After seven years, five PMs and countless false dawns, Rishi Sunak has hailed a “decisive breakthrough” that could finally mark the end of Brexit.
Alongside EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, he unveiled his solution to the bitter trade impasse sparked by Boris Johnson’s Northern Ireland Protocol deal in 2020.
But it is far from certain whether the PM could win over the Democratic Unionist Party and his own Brexit extremist MPs.
Mr Sunak said new green and red lanes for goods means “we have removed any sense of a border in the Irish Sea”.
Lorries taking products from Britain will avoid checks if they are carrying products to be sold in Northern Ireland.
Customs forms will no longer be needed for parcels, a chilled meats ban will end and rules on medicines and pets will be relaxed.
The Prime Minister has travelled to Northern Ireland today to try to win support for the deal - and to begin to draw a line under years of Brexit wrangling.
What is the issue?
Boris Johnson promised voters an “oven-ready” Brexit deal at the 2019 election but it has led to continued rows because of disruption for goods crossing the Irish Sea.
New checks have been imposed on lorries moving from Britain to Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party is blocking the formation of a power-sharing executive at Stormont until the problem is sorted.
What has been agreed?
The UK and EU have been locked in talks for over a year, with an agreement finally sealed in Windsor yesterday.
The Northern Ireland Protocol, designed to avoid the need for a border on the island, has been replaced with arrangements called the Windsor Framework.
What checks have been ditched?
A new system of red and green lanes means lorries transporting goods that will be sold in Northern Ireland will be waved through without having to stop.
Only trucks carrying products that will eventually end up in Ireland would be subject to full checks. Customs forms will no longer be needed for parcels.
What about sausages?
A ban on chilled meats such as sausages, as well as plants and trees going from the mainland to Northern Ireland has been scrapped.
Medicines approved by British health regulators will also be available in the province again. And pets will no longer need papers from a vet to travel there.
What are the changes to taxes?
Restrictions that meant ministers could not change VAT and excise rates in Northern Ireland will be axed.
The PM said this would mean reforms to alcohol duty to “cut the cost of a pint” will apply there.
What is the Stormont Brake?
Under the Brexit deal, it was agreed changes to EU rules on goods would continue to apply in Northern Ireland automatically. Now, if 30 members of the Stormont Assembly protest, the UK will be allowed to veto them.
What is missing?
Some Brexiteers had complained the European Court of Justice will still have a role in Northern Ireland. This will continue to be the case.
What happens now?
Mr Johnson, who previously threatened to oppose the deal, said last night that he was still studying the details.