Ireland has been granted an enhanced role in how the Brexit agreement will be implemented, according to draft documents seen by RTÉ News.
The documents set out how the Joint Committee, and specialised sub-committees, will put into effect all of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is now expected to be ratified by both sides following the decisive Conservative victory in the UK elections.
The Joint Committee will manage how the deal will be put into effect, with the European Commission taking a lead role for the EU, and British ministers representing the UK side.
However, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus will enjoy an enhanced involvement in the implementation of the special provisions that govern the key issues all three member states pursued in the negotiations; namely the Irish border, Gibraltar, and the status of the British miltary base in Cyprus.
In a draft statement by the European Council and Commission seen by RTÉ News, both institutions have agreed that "the Commission will respond positively to any request from Ireland, the Republic of Cyprus or the Kingdom of Spain ... in relation to the meetings of the specialised committees".
It is understood that the move was approved by both the Commission and Council, following lobbying from Dublin.
The development means that Ireland will be closely involved in the implementation of the protocol, which will effectively bring about a customs and regulatory border on the Irish Sea.
The specialised committee that will implement the protocol on Ireland will have to work out, among other things, which goods crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be exempt from tariffs, and how regulatory controls should be managed.