2. In the event of a disagreement between the Union and the United Kingdom on the reasonable period of time to comply with the decision of the arbitration panel, the claimant shall, within forty days of the notification of the respondent referred to in paragraph 1, request in writing the original arbitration panel to fix the duration of the reasonable period of time. This request shall be communicated simultaneously to the defendant. The arbitration panel shall communicate to the Union and the United Kingdom its decision on the time limit for compliance within forty days of the filing of the request. Accordingly, this Protocol shall not prevent the United Kingdom from including Northern Ireland in the geographical scope of any agreements with third countries, provided that such agreements do not affect the application of this Protocol. . . .