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Daisy, the Brexit Cow

by Frank Schnittger Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 01:27:36 PM EST

This is the story of Daisy, the Brexit Cow. She lives on a farm in Monaghan but her milk is transported for processing to Fermanagh, from where it is transported to consumers in England via the Belfast Liverpool ferry. So far she has been unaffected by any proposed Brexit changes because her produce is regarded as British and will not be subject to any tariffs or border quality checks.

However next year Daisy will have a calf which may be processed for beef in either North or south Ireland. She may be fattened for a few weeks on a farm in N. Ireland prior to slaughter, so does this make her a N. Ireland calf, and will it matter whether she is processed in the North or south of Ireland and then sold on the British market?

Northern Ireland has insufficient meat and dairy processing plants to meet the demands of the British market - or will those demands be met by beef from Brazil or Argentina instead? 50% WTO tariffs on beef mean that meat prices in the UK will go up dramatically unless they have free trade agreements with at least some meat exporting countries.

Cattle in Ireland are generally sold at auction at cattle markets dotted throughout the country. Often Cattle not sold on day 1 may be put out to pasture at a farm near the market for a few days until the next market day comes along. Does that make them "British" if the market happens to be located in N. Ireland even if they spent most of their lives south of the border?

The UK government seems determined that there will be no controls on food products travelling from Northern Ireland to Britain. So what happens if the lorry transporting Daisy's milk (mixed with other cows milk) to Liverpool carries a back load of Tesco's finest produce to Belfast where it will be subject to rigorous EU checks to ensure it conforms to EU quality standards and that all tariffs due are paid?

Contrary to initial claims, the UK Internal Markets Bill does not deal with this issue. It is governed by the 63 page Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement signed last year, sealed by a UK general election result, and ratified by Westminster parliament last January. The precise practicalities of how its provisions will be implemented are still under discussion at the EU-UK Joint Committee on the implementation and application of the Withdrawal Agreement, co-chaired by Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Cabinet Office Minster, Michael Gove.

However the UK government has issued guidance notes as to how the protocol will effect exports. In summary:

Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does now - there will be no additional process, paperwork, or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, delivering unfettered access.

Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum - with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost, to be established to provide wraparound support, alongside guidance on the processes for food and agricultural products designed to uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.

Trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks.

For trade with the rest of the world, Northern Ireland will benefit from UK FTAs - ensuring the benefits of those agreements are felt right across the United Kingdom.

Sounds like N. Ireland will have the best of both worlds benefiting from both access to the Single Market and the UK market and any FTAs the UK government might negotiate. But as usual, the devil is in the detail: the phrase "Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum hides the hotly contested issue of exactly what customs and other controls will operate "down the Irish sea" on transshipments from Liverpool to Belfast  which may contain goods originating in third countries.

The UK has already objected to the EU opening an office in Belfast to oversee these controls, despite the fact that the EU Commission already has an office there, and the US and China maintain consulates there. In practice, all the EU are asking for is "sufficient and proportional oversight." and this could be operated from the Commission offices if required.

It is probably in everyone's interest to ensure that any enforcement procedures are operated as unobtrusively as possible. As noted in the UK government policy paper

The Protocol is not codified as a permanent solution: it is designed to address a particular set of problems in a way that upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and ensures the UK, including Northern Ireland, leaves the EU as a whole. It can do so only for as long as it has the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. That is why it is for the elected institutions in Northern Ireland to decide what happens to the Protocol's alignment provisions in a consent vote that can take place every four years, with the first vote taking place in 2024. For as long as they are in force, the UK will give effect to them in a pragmatic and practical way that minimises the impact on individuals and businesses.

Despite the fact that N.Ireland has the best of all worlds in the protocol (thanks to robust Irish government and EU Commission negotiating) it would not be surprising if unionists voted against the continuance of the protocol on the purely ideological grounds that it treated N. Ireland differently to the rest of the UK, and imposed a barrier on goods moving from Britain to N. Ireland. Fortunately they are unlikely to have a majority in the N. I. assembly, going forward.

But if N. Ireland goods are to have free access to the Single Market, does not reciprocity demand that goods of at least part southern Ireland origin have free access to the UK market? In practice, British demands that there be no restrictions on goods moving from N. Ireland to Britain would appear to facilitate this, provided they are routed through N. Ireland. But how will the UK prevent goods of other EU member states slipping into the UK via the Belfast back door? They appear to have no plan to do so.

In general, UK government policy seems predicated on the notion that a FTA will be agreed between the UK and EU. However in the absence of such a deal there could be a one way route for goods of Irish and EU origin to slip into the UK via Belfast. If the UK wants to make tariff free trade two way, they have no option but to agree an FTA deal.

In the meantime, and without a deal, there seems little to prevent Daisy and her co-herds wandering the fields and roads between Ireland and N. Ireland and passing themselves off as Irish or British as desired. Closing or policing 300 cross border roads along the 500km land border is not a workable solution, especially when so many farms straddle the border itself. Depending on the outcome of the FTA negotiations, some of those farms could become very valuable property indeed.

The Sour Milk Journey of Irish Cows

From cow to cup: Brexit and the threat to your milk's cross-Border journey

Northern Irish products not being of EU origin could cause 'huge problems' for valuable Irish dairy sector | The Journal |

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 07:16:59 PM EST
Most of the problems enumerated in your excellent link (2018) have been resolved by the N. Ireland protocol which is not dependent on a trade deal being agreed.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 09:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if it is possible to buy shares in smuggling organizations
by asdf on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 07:21:17 PM EST
Buy a farm straddling the border...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 08:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll be shot for smuggling.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 08:36:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't this depend on whether Daisy is Protestant or Catholic?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 08:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It most border areas, your more likely to be shot for not smuggling. Diesel laundering is a local hobby. Tax differentials between the two jurisdictions are low so small there is v. little scope for smuggling atm.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 08:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gove heads to Brussels to thrash out deal on post-Brexit Northern Ireland checks
Although a separate strand of talks to the trade negotiations, the questions over the movement of food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland was dragged into the Brexit discussions in September with Boris Johnson claiming the EU were threatening a food "blockade" down the Irish sea.

He used this to justify the introduction of controversial Brexit clauses into the internal market bill which would give the government unilateral powers to disapply the withdrawal agreement.

Theresa May's Europe adviser Raoul Ruparel said the incendiary clauses were deployed to create leverage in the trade talks, designed to demonstrate to the EU the negative consequences of a no-deal scenario.

Last week it emerged that four in 10 food producers in Great Britain were planning to pause or reduce supply of produce to Northern Ireland because of the checks following similar warnings from Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer supermarkets.

The joint committee remains one of the most opaque elements of the Brexit deal with little information made public about their workings or the content of the meetings.

Monday's meeting was made public only at 8am, with a UK government announcement that said: "chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster will meet Vice-President Šefčovič today in Brussels to discuss issues related to their work as co-chairs of the withdrawal agreement joint committee."

According to reports the UK government is prepared to drop the part 5 Brexit clauses from the internal market bill which has already been defeated in the House of Lords if "long-term and legally sound" solutions are found to minimise the controls on trade across the Irish sea.

Sources told RTE's Europe editor, Tony Connelly, that "the clauses would be dropped as part of a virtuous sequence of events, beginning with the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement, followed by a swiftly announced meeting of the EU UK joint committee, which has been negotiating the most difficult aspects of implementing the protocol".

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 12:00:20 PM EST
The blame game is beginning of course. I don't however understand the need for remainer self flagellation, self sabotage really. 'Bloody victims!' as they would say here.

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Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 12:23:51 PM EST
Labour has been spineless on this all the way along, although the Liberals were even worse and deserve to be consigned to history. Keir Starmer is even reported to be prepared to support whatever deal Boris comes back with - consigning Labour to irrelevance for the next few years, at least.

When will these guys get the message that in a democracy the duty of the opposition is to oppose the government, especially when the government is thrashing their core beliefs? Now Labour will be in no position to blame the government in the omnishambles that will ensue, they have become complicit in the process.

If the Labour leadership had had any principles, it would have opposed Brexit even after the referendum which they could legitimately claim had been a fraud. Even if you except the result, there is no shame in sticking to your principles and arguing for a second referendum on the shape of the final deal, on the basis that it is only then that the final shape of Brexit has been determined.

It happens in trade union negotiations all the time - a vote of the principle of going on strike for better terms, and then a vote on the terms of any agreement. Only a second referendum has the democratic status to undo or modify the the results of the first. But Labour were slow to support it and the Liberals too snobbish to support Labour when they finally came around to it.

They could have split the Brexit vote between the Brexit party and the Tories, and consigned one or other to history.  But that's all done now. It is they who have become an irrelevance, and Boris who calls all the shots. It doesn't matter how much damage Brexit will do now, so long as the Tory party and its funders can blame someone else. Labour will now become the useful idiots to take that blame, no doubt.

Anyone who claims the British people in 2016 voted for the train wreck that is about to happen over the next 10 years is deluded. They were misled in the worst possible way, and Labour has become complicit. And there is now no going back. The EU have done with the UK, come what may, relieved they are gone, and will consign some junior officials the thankless task of tidying up loose ends as they arise.

If anything the EU will have emerged the stronger, released from the thankless task of appeasing those who never believed in its ideals in the first place. If the EU fail to agree on the implementation of the budget and recovery plan at this summit, they can always look to their united position on the Brexit negotiations as proof that the Union can still work.

For once, it may be the dynamics of maintaining EU cohesion - rather than appeasing Brexiteers - that will have determined the outcome. Economically, no deal may be crazy, but politically we have come to the point where it might work better for the EU than even for the Brexiteers.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 01:02:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blame game was the main event all along. And I'd say it's absolutely necessary to have continuity remain own up to their failure. After all it's not an overstatement that the UK is going to fall ass over head out of all their trading arrangements,because the vast majority of editors and MPs went to university together and they couldn't accept the idea of one of those people getting to be PM for even a week. Remember, once the Labour party had accepted all of People's Vote's demands and offered to implement them in a caretaker government the response was basically this:

All the sensibles™ decided that the only way to stop disaster was to vote third party in a two party system where one of those parties had already committed to meeting all your demands. Of course there's nothing to learn from that, there was nothing to be done and they are all heroes.

by generic on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 01:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will never understand the opposition agreeing to a snap election with the Faragists doing the bidding of their donors. It was obvious they were going to be demolished. Their only chance was a joint campaign in a referendum which required Corbyn to be PM for a few weeks with no mandate to do anything else. Jo Swinson will go down in history as the nobody who managed to do great harm.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 03:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The LDs are closet Tory enablers. That's been their role ever since the days of the "centrist" SDP.

That's why they were never going to agree to Corbyn as a temporary PM. It's also why they hyped themselves as the Party of RemainTM - because it took advantage of a strategic split within Labour.

The LD leadership has never, ever been honest about its true intent and positioning. Clegg ran a similar scam when he went from being a "Privatise everything" Orange Book contributor to "I will never, ever raise tuition fees and I'm also a safe choice as a non-Tory" in the run up to 2010 to "Now that we're in coalition it is with great regret and deep sadness that I have to announce that I support raising tuition fees."

And so on. There's also video of Vince Cable looking not particularly upset about the result of the referendum, and Clegg writing for the FT that a soft Brexit would be fine - while the LDs were trying to sell their "We Are Remain" shtick.

It's hard to imagine just how corrupt and cynical the lies and manipulations have been. The point was always to get Brexit over the line, to keep it there, and to destroy the British Labour left. And no lie was too big along the way.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 03:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Just an astonishing number of bad faith actors all around.

by generic on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 06:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Every time either the US or UK sets a new low bar for corrupt crony crapitalism, the other says, "Hold my beer."
by rifek on Thu Dec 17th, 2020 at 03:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 02:33:05 PM EST
...or not:

The Schödinger clause...

by Bernard on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 05:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 02:56:35 PM EST
This belongs to the 'Rabies Brexplained' diary.

But Brexit, set to take full effect on January 1st, now requires the urgent invention of another word to capture the simple reality that the self-harm inflicted on the British people, across so many areas of their lives, is the direct effect of Brexit itself and of the hard version of it pursued by the Johnson government. Many people, of course, understand this well both in Britain and around Europe. But if this elementary reality has to be explained every time that British tabloids express astonishment at the latest materialisation of the bleeding obvious, we may lose the will to live.
by Bernard on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 05:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard Blackpool is nice for a holiday
by asdf on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 07:20:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And their truffle oil is outrageous...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 07:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jokey-but-serious one-upmanship behind Britain's Brexit talks approach (Subscriber only)
In her classic study, Watching the English, first published in 2004, the anthropologist Kate Fox analysed the bonding rituals of her compatriots. She found that English men (though not English women), bond through what she called "the Mine's Better Than Yours game".

"`Mine', in this context, can be anything: a make of car, a football team, a political party, a holiday destination, a type of beer, a philosophical theory - the subject is of little importance. English men can turn almost any conversation, on any topic, into a Mine's Better Than Yours game. I once listened to a 48-minute Mine's Better Than Yours conversation (yes, I timed it) on the merits of wet-shaving versus electric razors."

Essential to MBTY, Fox found, is "a mutual understanding that the differences of opinion are not to be taken too seriously". To take umbrage and storm off in a huff would be incomprehensible. "The game is all about mock anger, pretend outrage, jokey one-upmanship . . . Earnestness is not allowed; zeal is unmanly; both are un-English and will invite ridicule."

Crucially - and you can see where I'm going with this - "It is also universally understood that there is no way of actually winning the game. No one ever capitulates, or recognises the other's point of view. The participants simply get bored or tired and change the subject, perhaps shaking their heads in pity at their opponents' stupidity."

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 12:09:48 AM EST
As I understand it from reading Fox, the game has three basic rules: the importance of not being earnest; a one-upmanship that presents itself as a joke but that has a hard edge of self-assertion; and the lack of interest in reaching a conclusion. The approach of British prime minister Boris Johnson's regime to the Brexit negotiations meets all three tests.

The dominant linguistic mode of MBTY, says Fox, is "fake lightheartedness". This, along with mock anger and pretend outrage, is Johnson's USP. His mastery of phoney nonchalance is what so many of his compatriots love about him and what makes him the Maradona of Mine's Better Than Yours. Hence Johnson singing Waltzing Matilda to his officials last Thursday evening as the talks broke down, to show he was ready for the "Australia-style" arrangement that is his empty euphemism for no deal at all.


This irritated insouciance is mirrored in the breathtaking refusal to prepare for the bureaucratic deluge: the 215 million additional customs declarations, the data systems needed to keep 220 million tonnes of freight flowing across the UK's borders. Yawn.

Jokey-but-serious one-upmanship so permeates Brexit discourse that it has crossed species into pandemic-speak: "world-beating" Britain "leading humanity's charge".  


This is why the trade talks have been dogged by mutual incomprehension. Instead of seriously mapping out a realistic future, the British side has been playing MBTY. But the EU neither understood nor cared about this game. It has been playing a different match, with entirely different objectives.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 12:20:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
((Youtube ue7wM0QC5LE))

You tube seems to have changed the way you embed videos... can't get this one to render

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 12:35:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 04:53:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was just a lark?

As it now goes down the wire, the choice comes down to hard Brexit or whatever deal Barnier negotiated with some minor adjustments (and a photo-op with Johnson and a fish). Given the UKs inability to formulate its negotiation positions internally, it is going to be mostly Barnier's team that have written the texts.

That choice in return comes down to what Johnson really, really wants. And given that he is all phoney nonchalance, who knows?

I am reminded of Henderson's Failure of a mission, where Henderson - the Brittish ambassador to Germany in the late 30ies - lays out their plans to embolden the peace wing of the nazi party through the Münich agreement and how it failed because they hadn't understood that Hitler was leading the war wing. Sometimes history does come down to individuals, mostly men with to much power and to little sense.

by fjallstrom on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 09:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For Hitler, if it was a choice between a war and him losing his leadership position, it was no contest. I suspect the calculation is similar for Johnson, as the Tory party can be pretty ruthless about getting rid of a leader no longer perceived as an asset.

So does Johnson want to be a Churchillian wartime leader, indeed a leader whose leadership role is only sustainable through war, or a more conventional PM who brings home the bacon in terms of an international deal, and then must face the consequences of secular decline dressed up as making Britain Great again in the form of inane claims to "world leading science", bestist country in the world, greatest contact tracing app in the WORLD?

The latter role is more that of a snake-oil salesman and petty patriot, a role well suited to the minor talents of Health and Education Secretaries Hancock and Williamson. But perhaps Boris thinks he has done all that in his prior incarnations as journalist and Mayor. Perhaps, now he wants to be the real deal - a wartime leader in the mould of his mentor Winston Churchill?

If that is the case we can brace for "THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN" all over again, against imaginary foes if necessary, or makey uppy ones like the evil Soviet European Union, hopeful of the USA riding to the rescue once again, with Russia or Turkey or the Middle east refugees weakening the Union prior to a successful British assault on BE Day, when the hated Union will be dismembered into its constituent parts.

History doesn't often repeat itself with the same cast of villains,  but sometimes the roles can be mockingly reversed. Witness the State of Israel's pogroms against the Palestinian people, having been founded on the horrors of the Holocaust.  Brexit is Britain's Balfour Declaration asserting its right to become an independent nation having been subjected to the imagined horrors of European subjugation for too long.

Boris can only have his place in history by going to war. Otherwise he is merely one of a long line of mostly short-lived Tory PM's managing a declining nation into oblivion.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 12:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Boris can only have his place in history by going to war. Otherwise he is merely one of a long line of mostly short-lived Tory PM's managing a declining nation into oblivion."

I disagree. Boris is already guaranteed a place in history as the person who pulled the UK out of the EU. Whether there is a deal or not, whether there is a general economic collapse or not, whether the US manages to take over England's food supply system or not--in any case the UK will in three weeks officially be out of the EU.

Theresa May is an example of one of the long line of useless PMs, and will be overlooked in the books.

by asdf on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 05:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Cameron set the scene by organising the referendum in an attempt to deal with internal party divisions, May continued the process by insisting on a hard Brexit outside the Single Market and Customs Union, Boris got her deal across the line with minor amendments, and now, under his watch, the final formal acts of Brexit are taking place as the transition period expires.

However other than winning an election on endorsing "an oven ready deal" he subsequently threatened to reneged on, he has done little but preside over a corrupt and incompetent regime, mishandled Covid, enriched his chums, undermined civil liberties, and accelerated the break-up of the UK. I suspect he will want a more positive legacy. Winning a war would do the trick, but first he must find an enemy he can defeat.

The EU, for all its faults, doesn't appear to be willing to play the fall guy. If the EU cannot agree the implementation of the Covid recovery plan and budget at this summit, they will also want a a distracting controversy... It's easier to maintain a united front against Boris, than to agree to compromising the Single Market and legal order of the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 07:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think an underappreciated reason for the lack of problems with the Sweden-Norway border - apart from Norway being in the EEA and in Schengen and you know, agreement capable - is the relative lack of Daisys. The border is mostly running over sparsely populated mountain regions.

Don't get me wrong, there are border regions in the southern most part and they have been suffering with border closures during Covid, but that most of the border isn't running in regions where there are farms probably makes things easier.

by fjallstrom on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 08:44:15 AM EST
In addition to that, AFAIK the Swedish/Norwegian border is largely uncontested, with a strong law abiding culture on both sides. The N. Ireland border was never less than contested, and regarded as entirely illegitimate by one side who make every effort to undermine it. Everything which makes a nonsense of the border - such as different lockdown rules on both sides - is a win for nationalists and a cause for unease for Unionists. Everything becomes politicised, from the response to Covid to the sport you support to the supermarket chain you shop in. It was never about just the mechanics of customs controls...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 01:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Sweden let go of Norway in 1905 - without war - the border had been stable since 1660 (when Sweden had to let go of Trondheim that it had gained in 1658), and Norway is no longer laying any claims to Bohuslän or Jämtland (though Jämtland has a humorous independence movement). And no one had any crazy ideas about breaking out the Swedish supporting areas, perhaps because the 184 persons who voted no to independence didn't live in the same area. Also, same religion and basically the same language, would have made any strategies to colonise futile.

If Finland hadn't been conquered by Russia in 1809 a Finnish independence movement from Sweden in the 20th century could have been a bloody affair leaving long-lasting scars. Fortunately for Swedish-Finnish relations that wasn't the way history went and the only major dispute over Åland Islands was settled peacefully through the League of Nations. Åland got demilitarisation (including Ålanders not being conscripted) and extensive local rule (including language) which among other things has led to Åland Islands having a seperate treaty with the EU.

by fjallstrom on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 10:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no checks on supermarket supplies to Northern Ireland
Supermarkets will be permitted to continue to supply Northern Ireland shops without special Brexit checks that will kick in, deal or no deal, on 1 January.

In a concession by the EU, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Asda and other trusted traders in the food sector will be given a waiver potentially running to a number of months before checks apply.

It means sausages, burgers and cheeses will not be examined individually at ports, addressing recent concerns from Sainsbury's that it would have to curb meat, dairy and fish supplies because of the Brexit checks.

There had been fears expressed by traders that every item in a food truck would be subjected to checks, with the example of a ham and cheese sandwich requiring two health certificates for each ingredient.

"There will be a grace period; trusted traders will not be subjected to the checks during a grace period," said a government source. "It will not apply for very long but they won't be required to do the full checks. The point is, everyone has to comply with the sanitary and phytosanitary checks, but we were determined to ensure food supplies were not interrupted and got this concession from the EU."

Earlier reports that businesses in Northern Ireland would be required to fill out Brexit paperwork when sending their goods across the Irish Sea to Britain, a year after Boris Johnson told them they could put export forms in the bin, have been denied.

The threat that they would have to complete export and exit declarations has been lifted, it has emerged. The only checks will be on a limited list of items, including endangered species and blood diamonds.

Sources said the concession was made as part of a package of arrangements hammered out in the UK-EU joint committee in exchange for the UK dropping its law-breaking Brexit clauses in the internal market and taxation bills. They will be unveiled in the House of Commons by the committee's co-chair and cabinet minister Michael Gove later on Wednesday.

There has also been a deal allowing 15 EU officials to be permanently based in offices in Belfast to help traders get to grips with the new system and monitor enforcement by UK officials. Their presence represents a U-turn for the government, months after it told Brussels they could not open an office in Belfast.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 01:23:07 PM EST
NI narrowly escapes the cheese police.

Well done everyone.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 03:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So are they "cheese eating surrender monkeys?"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 09:16:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British Fish Security

by Oui on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 11:39:07 PM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 01:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tories criticise Boris Johnson over navy gunboats Brexit threat

Shrewsbury MP, Daniel Kawczynski. He tweeted on Friday that naval forces should be deployed in the new year "to prevent illegal French fishing in our waters".

Sir Alan West, a former admiral and chief of naval staff, said it was right for the Royal Navy to be deployed if necessary. "It is absolutely appropriate that the Royal Navy should protect our waters if the position is that we are a sovereign state and our government has said we don't want other nations there."

More about Labour peer Commander Alan West ...

In 1980 he was promoted to Commander and took command of the frigate HMS Ardent, which was part of the British task force ordered to the South Atlantic in 1982. Ardent was sunk on May 21, during the campaign that evicted Argentinean invaders from the Falkland Islands.

As I remember, major loss of lives of British sailors when a French Exocet missile was deployed. With Trump, Johnson got some mighty backing ...

by Oui on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 04:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 03:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

They would be deployed from January 1 to police the UK's "exclusive economic zone" (EEZ), which stretches up to 200 nautical miles from the coastline. The boats, which carry machine guns, would have the power to halt, inspect and impound any EU fishing boats illegally entering the area.

The preparations reflect the fact that ministers are concerned about the potential for struggles between rival fishing fleets if EU boats are suddenly banned from entering Britain's waters.

by Oui on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 03:11:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK's "exclusive economic zone" (EEZ), which stretches up to 200 nautical miles from the coastline.

The Brits are now laying claim to Paris?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 07:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No-deal Navy threat 'irresponsible', says Tobias Ellwood | BBC News |

Former Tory party chairman Lord Patten accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being on a "runaway train of English exceptionalism".

Humza Yousaf, the Scottish government justice minister, told the BBC: "This UK government gunboat diplomacy is not welcome in Scottish waters.

"We will protect our fisheries where necessary. Police Scotland and Marine Scotland have primacy to do that. But we won't do that by threatening our allies, our Nato allies in fact, by threatening to sink their vessels."

by Oui on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 08:08:36 PM EST
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our Nato allies in fact

Maybe the EU can use the Austrian Navy....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 08:19:55 PM EST
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Four UK ships, probably two active at a time, are going to patrol several thousand EU fishing boats. Sounds good.
by asdf on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 11:28:32 PM EST
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and those damned trawlers have radar and radio communications and so will will always know precisely where those UK warships are, at any given time.

Mind you, there have been instances of fishing boats dragged underwater by their fishing nets ensnared by British submarines, with loss of life.

Could be a whole new lease of life for the UK's  £179 billion Trident submarine fleet.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 13th, 2020 at 12:07:41 AM EST
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Frigates vs. fishing boats.  Can't wait to see how the UK media give that confrontation the Gulf of Tonkin treatment.
by rifek on Thu Dec 17th, 2020 at 03:27:14 PM EST
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Brexit: Ireland warns EU against no-deal complacency
The foreign ministers of Ireland and Germany pledged not to give up on an accord until the end. Simon Coveney warned the EU that, if no deal were agreed, the bloc should not assume the UK would soon come crawling back.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday that, if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, it is bad news for all concerned.

Speaking alongside his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, Coveney also warned the European Union against overconfidence. He downplayed suggestions that leaving without a deal could prove so problematic for the UK that it would be forced back into talks with the EU to rectify the situation in short order, with an even weaker hand than at present.

"Anybody who thinks no deal now is in the EU's strategic interests because in six or 12 months time, when we start talking to the UK about putting in place a new agreement, that somehow the EU's hand will be strengthened, I don't think that shows an understanding of a British mindset," Coveney told a news conference in Berlin.

Possibly related: The 2021-2026 EU UK Trade war

by Bernard on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 02:51:55 PM EST
It is in the EU's economic and political interest to get shut of the UK.  For one it won't be on the hook to help bail out* the Thames valley and Fens flooded when Global Warming really starts to take effect.

* Pun intentional.  Patent Pending.  All Rites Preserved

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 07:09:18 PM EST
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No Patent applicable, as it will be a generic problem...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 13th, 2020 at 12:09:47 AM EST
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