Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Brexit for slow learners part II

by Frank Schnittger Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 10:38:12 AM EST

Lord Frost is reported to be concerned that the Northern Ireland Protocol has resulted in a massive expansion of intra-Ireland north south trade to the exclusion of British suppliers. Apparently supply chains have been rapidly re-ordered and trade between Britain and the rest of the European Union has "kind of collapsed" in the first nine months of the year. Who'd have thunk?


At the same panel discussion, Martin McTague, policy and advocacy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, expressed concern about a "two-speed UK" with different things happening in Northern Ireland and that an increase in trade North-South will "put pressure on the union inevitably" and weaken the links with Britain.

The remarks raised eyebrows in Northern Ireland.

"To hear David Frost rail against the EU is nothing new. But to hear him state clearly and coldly that he wants to damage North-South trade and stop Northern Ireland's growing exports to the EU single market is sickening and chilling," said SDLP Brexit spokesman Matthew O'Toole.

O'Toole and others in Northern Ireland expressed concern that Frost was not trying to smooth the flow of goods into Northern Ireland from Britain but was attempting to undermine the unique economic advantage given to Northern Ireland under the Brexit agreement to trade with the EU.

Tory fears that an all-island economy might be growing out of the complexities of Brexit are supported by trade figures showing a boom in North-South trade since the UK's exit came into effect. The value of goods imported from Northern Ireland to the Republic rose by 77 per cent in the first six months of the year, while exports from the Republic into the North rose 43 per cent.

"Trade is like water - it will find the path of least resistance. For us, this is the natural consequence not just of Brexit but the Brexit that they chose," said Stephen Kelly, chief executive of business representative group Manufacturing NI.

While North-South trade has increased, imports into the Republic from Britain fell 16 per cent. Companies, North and South, have complained about torturous volumes of paperwork that must accompany goods travelling west across the Irish Sea that make some trade, particularly for small companies, just not worth the business. British companies are among those to have lost out.

Frost's reference to the land bridge show he is concerned also about the loss of this business to Britain from the Republic and that the UK might be struggling to understand the consequences of Brexit and becoming a "third country" with all of the cross-Border checks this brings. And this is all happening before the UK switches on its own import controls on goods from the EU.

As Bobby McDonough, former Irish ambassador to the UK, Brussels and Rome, notes: Brexit is not going well

A recent YouGov poll found that 53 per cent of the British public think Brexit is going badly. A mere 18 per cent believe it is going well. The British people are remarkably astute given that the majority of MPs, as well as great swathes of the British media, are in denial.


Brexit, like TS Eliot's Macavity, continues to be something of a Mystery Cat. The Johnson government's policy agenda for implementing and celebrating the restoration of the UK's so-called "freedom" falls into two broad categories.

First, doing things the UK was perfectly free to do as an EU member state while proclaiming them to be a Brexit dividend. Second, pretending that the real negative effects of Brexit have nothing to do with Brexit. As TS Eliot might have put it, Brexit is "the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair/For when they reach the scene of crime - Macavity's not there".

On the one hand, there are the many Brexit "triumphs" claimed by the Johnson government, developments that would have been entirely compatible with the UK's continued membership of the EU. Much of the British media has either fuelled this fiction or allowed it to go unchallenged.

While imaginary Brexit benefits became holy writ for the British tabloids, the obvious negative effects were swept under the carpet

Most obviously, there are the international trade deals through which the UK has scrambled to maintain the beneficial trade arrangements it already had through the EU.

Although the UK is now, at best, no better placed in trade terms than it was before and certainly less influential into the future, the constant trumpeting of illusory negotiating triumphs propelled trade secretary Liz Truss to become the Tory faithful's most popular member of government.

Similarly, EU membership would not have prevented the UK from participating in AUKUS, its new trilateral security pact with the US and Australia, even if poking France in the eye would have been even more foolish if the UK were still trying to work closely in Europe with its most important and natural partners.

Apparently Lord Frost is getting "itchy fingers" at the prospect of Triggering Article 16:

When David Frost addressed a half-empty room at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday, there were almost as many European diplomats in the audience as party members. But his speech was a hymn to Britain's bright future alone now that it had slipped the bonds of the European Union.


"The long, bad dream of our EU membership is over. The British Renaissance has begun," he said.

According to Frost's account of Brexit, the only blot on the sunlit landscape of fuel shortages, empty supermarket shelves and a looming cost of living crisis is the Northern Ireland protocol. And he made clear once again on Monday that Britain's patience with the EU is running out and that each day brings him a step closer to triggering Article 16.

In the coming days, Frost will send the EU legal texts based on his July command paper calling for sweeping changes to the protocol. The EU has not yet formally responded to the proposals but has ruled out renegotiating the agreement, and its offer of easements within the existing protocol is unlikely to be enough for Britain.

Having threatened Article 16 so often, the time may be approaching when Frost will have to trigger it. But as the leaders of Northern Ireland's three unionist parties said at a fringe meeting in Manchester Art Gallery, that will not achieve much on its own.

For a start, triggering the article begins a fresh round of negotiations with the EU before any action can be taken. It only allows Britain to suspend parts of the protocol and it must justify why each suspension is necessary.

So Article 16 allows Frost only to suspend the protocol in a limited and specific way and the act of triggering it will almost certainly provoke legal action from the EU. If he decides to go further by tearing up the agreement to unilaterally impose the changes set out in the command paper, the EU's response will be more dramatic, possibly including retaliation under the trade and co-operation agreement.

Even such reckless action, which could add to the supply chain problems that threaten Britain with a winter of food and fuel shortages, would not be enough to satisfy unionist leaders. As Jeffrey Donaldson stressed on Monday, they are demanding the full repudiation of the protocol through primary legislation at Westminster, and triggering Article 16 will do little to reassure them.

It is worth noting that Northern Ireland has not experienced the fuel shortages plaguing Britain, and while there have been some empty shelves at British supermarket chains like Marks and Spencer, there are alternative sources of supply and no shortages in the rest of Ireland. The EU have offered "easements" on the certification of medicines for Northern Ireland originating and certified in the UK, but none of this has been of any interest to Lord Frost and co. Their real concern is the losses being suffered by British businesses and the degree to which Northern Ireland is re-orientating its trade to Ireland and the EU.

The other thing that Lord Frost should consider is that there is nothing short of a full scale trade war between Britain and the EU that would appease unionist and loyalist leaders. They are concerned to maximise the links between Northern Ireland and Britain even if this sinks the UK as a whole.  In the same way as British Brexiteers are hardly concerned about the future of Northern Ireland, unionist do not care what damage their petty squabbles do to the UK as a whole.

It is this divergence of interests between British Tories and their erstwhile unionist allies that should worry Boris Johnson most. It is also doubtful that the White House was overly impressed by a British cabinet Minister's suggestion that Biden is approaching senility and doesn't understand the complexity of the difficulties created by the Protocol, a suggestion the Irish government was quick to rebut:

Mr Biden has warned British prime minister Boris Johnson that that the Belfast Agreement must not be put at risk by the difficulties in reaching agreement on post-Brexit trade rules between the UK and EU.


He said he feels "very strongly" about the issue and added: "We spent an enormous amount of time and effort in the United States.... and I would not like to see - nor would many of my Republican colleagues - a change in the Irish accord."

British environment secretary George Eustice later claimed that Mr Biden does not "fully appreciate" the details of the dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol.

He told Sky News it is "very complicated" and "I'm not sure he does fully appreciate all of that".

Mr Eustice also suggested that Mr Biden is "just reading the headlines, reading what the EU is saying, reading what Ireland might be saying, which is that they would like the Northern Ireland Protocol to work in the way the EU envisage."

Does the UK really want to risk a trade war with the EU and the ire of the Biden administration? They are going the right way about it, and it is Lord Frost who is running out of time rather than the EU. The EU is currently winning every battle and can afford to play a long game, while the Brexit crisis is growing every day in the UK.

Display:
Frost : " The terms of the agreement we have negotiated will allow Ulster to carry on trading with the EU as before"

Ulster Business : "okay then" - carries on trading and doing well

Frost : "No, wait. Just because we said you could carry on trading doesn't mean we wanted you to"

Ulster Business : "Please indicate on this doll where you think placing us outside the Great British trading zone obliged us to give a shit what you think"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 12:09:14 PM EST
tbh, I really don't think the Unionists quite got the message when Boris shafted them last time over the NIP.

The Tory party don't care about Ulster except as a colonial outpost. If Ulster's business community sorts their lives out without disturbing Boris' sleep, then all very well and good. Westminster can read polls as well as anybody and they all know the unionists are gonna get creamed at the next election.

Conclusion : they don't have to care what the previously troublesome unionists say. They have less than a year to create an impact and, at the moment, all they're doing is huffing and puffing in such a way that makes their doom much more likely.

That said, I don't think Frost is out of step with Boris here. It suits  BJ very well to have a fight with the EU over something that doesn't matter to him very much. But it plays well with the rubes in the red wall who read the tabloids. Boris doesn't take governing very seriously and will probably be surprised to discover that Biden does, but that will be a problem for another day, probably  year from now (or longer if the re-negotiations can be dragged out)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 12:18:25 PM EST
I am leaning towards Tories only caring about short term electoral advantage. And it is really short term.

Cameron: promise a Brexit referendum in order to win a national election. Win election. Lose referendum. Have no idea what to do, resign.

May: Hand in notice of withdrawal in order to win a national election. Barely win eleciton. Fail basic negotiation skills in not checking what your principal wants or can accept before nagotiations, resign.

de Pfeffel Johnson: Call an election and promise to deliver Brexit. Win election, deliver a worse Brexit than May, have no idea what to do, blame EU.

If you look at this track record, it is not even good at winning elections. Or for the individual PM to stay in office, though Tories has managed to cling to power with a bit of help from the Lib dems who hated Corbyn more and the Queen who appointed de Pfeffel despit him not having the parliaments support. The only way it is consistent is in the failing of actual governence.

by fjallstrom on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 07:55:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great volumes indeed, what are we talking about? The July statistics can be found here ...

Imports from Northern Ireland exceed €2.1 billion in the first seven months of 2021

Imports from Northern Ireland in the first seven months of 2021 increased by €800 million (+60%) to €2,122 million when compared with January to July 2020.

Exports to Northern Ireland were €1,894 million in the period January to July 2021, an increase of €592 million (+45%) on the same period in 2020.

...
The value of goods exports to Great Britain in the first seven months of 2021 was €8,215 million, an increase of €1,680 million (+26%) on the first seven months of 2020.

The value of goods imports from Great Britain for January to July 2021 was €6,319 million, a decrease of €2,931 million (-32%) compared with January to July 2020.

by Oui on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 12:24:11 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 12:25:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would seem the Tories think that they are still living in Queen Victoria's world. Someone should tell them that world died in WW I.
by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 02:45:05 PM EST
Just as the GOP want to return to the pre-1928 (or pre 1860) world, the Tories definitely hanker after the days of Empire, even the fag-end pre-WWII would do. They want half the world to be pink again.

Of course, it's not gonna happen and the damn ungrateful colonies are always making demands like visas and being paid a proper rate for their wares.

Government is hard, but that's not the game these people are in; it's Hollywood, they're selling nationalistic fantasies. Vanquishing imagined woke foes and punching assorted hippies at the BBC is just so much fun.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 07:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile the Irish Central Bank is projecting robust growth for the Irish economy:
A post-Covid growth surge in the Irish economy is expected to generate 160,000 additional jobs over the next two years, reducing the unemployment rate to below 6 per cent, the Central Bank has said.

In its latest quarterly bulletin the regulator predicted turbo-charged growth of 15.3 per cent this year, nearly double its previous forecast in July, and 7.2 per cent next year on the back of a rapid resurgence in consumer spending linked to the unwinding of €16 billion in excess savings built up during the pandemic.

However, it warned that businesses and households are facing higher costs and prices due to pent-up demand and supply bottlenecks. These factors are leading to higher transport, energy and input costs across the economy, as well as demands for higher wages to compensate for the increased cost of living.

It predicted average earnings would rise by 5.1 per cent this year, fuelled by labour shortages in several sectors, most notably construction.

"As the easing of public health restrictions continues the rebound in the Irish economy in recent months is expected to be followed by a sustained period of robust growth," the Central Bank said.

Growth of 15 and 7% in successive years are Leprechaun economics style figures, but this growth is broadly based and very real - as the creation of 160,000 new jobs and a reduction in the unemployment rate fro 10%+ to less than 6% indicates. It also contrasts rather sharply with the relative stagnation in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 06:17:54 PM EST
All growth figures this year, and probably the next are skewed, because the 2020 economic output took a pandemic/lockdown induced dive.

What is more pertinent would be comparing with the same indicators in 2018 and 2019: in many countries in Western Europe, all indicators seem to have gone back to, or even exceeded, the 2019 levels.

NB: Exceptions may apply to insular states who have recently left major trading blocks.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 06:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland's GDP grew by 3.4% in 2020, despite the pandemic. What we are seeing is further growth on top of that.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 07:40:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tory fears that an all-island economy might be growing out of the complexities of Brexit are supported by trade figures showing a boom in North-South trade since the UK's exit came into effect.

You say that like it's a bad thing
by Bernard on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 06:40:15 PM EST
It is for many British businesses and their Tory supporters...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 07:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shrugging off crises, UK PM Johnson delights party, annoys business - Reuters
Many were less than impressed.

Tony Danker, director-general of the CBI business lobby group, said the ambition for higher wages "without action on investment and productivity is ultimately just a pathway for higher prices".

"It's a fragile moment for our economy. So, let's work in partnership to overcome the short-term challenges and fulfil our long-term potential."

The chief executive of one company in the top 150 of Britain's FTSE listed companies said Britain was going through a "painful readjustment" post-Brexit which had been delayed by the COVID pandemic: "The government's relationship or lack of relationship with business is a symptom of this."

Even some Conservative lawmakers expressed concern over the possibility of higher prices, particularly at a time when the government has withdrawn a top-up to a state benefit for low-income households and increased some taxes which could hurt lower-paid workers most.

Boris Jonhson: Fuck business, through and through.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 08:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lord Frost is reported to be concerned that the Northern Ireland Protocol has resulted in a massive expansion of intra-Ireland north south trade to the exclusion of British suppliers. Apparently supply chains have been rapidly re-ordered and trade between Britain and the rest of the European Union has "kind of collapsed" in the first nine months of the year. (Why are the Tories so concerned about rise in North-South trade post-Brexit?, Simon Carswell, News, 5th. October).

Meanwhile, a recent YouGov poll found that 53 per cent of the British public think Brexit is going badly. A mere 18 per cent believe it is going well. The UK Government strategy appears to be to "First, do things the UK was perfectly free to do as an EU member state while proclaiming them to be a Brexit dividend. Second, pretend that the real negative effects of Brexit have nothing to do with Brexit." (Bobby McDonagh: Brexit is not going well, Opinion, 5th. October)

But there is a third strand to UK government strategy: According to Lord Frost, the only blot on the sunlit landscape of fuel shortages, empty supermarket shelves, growing labour shortages, and a looming cost of living crisis is the Northern Ireland protocol. And he made clear once again on Monday that Britain's patience with the EU is running out and that each day brings him a step closer to triggering Article 16" (David Frost warns EU his Article 16 trigger finger is getting itchy, Denis Staunton, Brexit 4th. October).

In other words, the Tory strategy is to once again portray the EU as the big bad boy in the neighbourhood, seeking to deny plucky Britain its rightful place in the world.  In this, they are joined by unionist leaders, for whom nothing less than the full repudiation of the protocol through primary legislation at Westminster will suffice.

Once again, unionist leaders appear to be over-playing their hand: does the UK really want to risk a full-scale trade war with the EU, as well as the hostility of a White House smarting at British cabinet Minister George Eustice's claim that President Biden doesn't understand the complexities of the Protocol?

It is worth noting that Northern Ireland has not experienced the fuel shortages plaguing Britain and is now benefiting from massively increased trading with Ireland and the EU.  While the British economy stagnates, Ireland's is due to grow by 15% and 7% this year and next,  according to the Central Bank.

Pandering to the sensitivity of unionist leaders is a luxury the UK government can no longer afford, and neither can a Northern Ireland spared the worst effects of Brexit to date, and now having an opportunity to share in Ireland's relative growth and prosperity.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 07:35:51 PM EST

Something appears to have happened in recent years to cause the Irish and UK economies to diverge rather dramatically: There are, of course, may factors and distortions, but could Brexit be one?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 08:26:49 PM EST

the press is puzzled.

by generic on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 06:50:04 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 07:19:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dunno what wigtgenstein has to do with it, but that hero of the working class is flipping spot on

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 07:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, we had to sit there and watch this idiocy happen in real time. It was so obviously a campaign of throwing mud to see what would stick, but the whole press joined in cos the idea of his premiership terrified the press ownership.

Then the Graun, which was as guilty as anybody, has the gall to whine about the lies in the press undermining democracy

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 at 07:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Published as the lead letter, and currently the most read article on the page;

UK government won't get far by pandering to unionists

UK Brexit minister David Frost is reported to be concerned that the Northern Ireland Protocol has resulted in a massive expansion of north-south trade in Ireland, to the exclusion of British suppliers. Apparently, supply chains have been rapidly re-ordered and trade between Britain and the European Union has fallen close to collapse in the first nine months of the year.


Meanwhile, a recent YouGov poll found 53pc of the British public think Brexit is going badly. A mere 18pc believe it is going well. The UK government strategy appears to be, first, to do things the UK was perfectly free to do as an EU member state while proclaiming them to be a Brexit dividend; and second, to pretend the real negative effects of Brexit have nothing to do with Brexit.

There is a third strand to the UK government strategy. According to Frost, the only blot on the sunlit landscape of fuel shortages, empty supermarkets, growing labour shortages and a looming cost-of-living crisis is the Northern Ireland Protocol. He made clear on Monday that Britain's patience with the EU is running out and each day brings him a step closer to triggering Article 16.

In other words, the Tory strategy is to again portray the EU as the bad guy, seeking to deny plucky Britain its rightful place in the world. In this, they are joined by unionist leaders, for whom nothing less than the full repudiation of the protocol through primary legislation at Westminster will suffice.

Once again, unionist leaders appear to be over-playing their hand. Does the UK really want to risk a full-scale trade war with the EU, as well as the hostility of a White House smarting at British cabinet minister George Eustice's claim that President Biden doesn't understand the complexities of the protocol?

It's worth noting Northern Ireland hasn't experienced the fuel shortages plaguing Great Britain and is now benefiting from increased trading with Ireland and the EU. While the British economy stagnates, Ireland's is due to grow by 15pc and 7pc this year and next. Pandering to the sensitivities of unionist leaders is a luxury the UK government can no longer afford, and neither can a Northern Ireland spared the worst effects of Brexit to date.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 8th, 2021 at 09:48:46 PM EST
The Irish Independent has published a letter in response to mine: (several letters down page)
Don't blow problems of Brexit out of proportion

FURTHER to Frank Schnittger (`UK government won't get far by pandering to unionists', Letters, October 8), I for one - an Englishman - am delighted with Brexit.

However, I have no problem with the idea of a second referendum to decide the issue. I am also happy for Scotland and Wales to gain independence and Northern Ireland being reunited with the Republic. The current problems the UK is suffering, possibly Brexit-linked, are nothing compared with the dreadful suffering shared by millions in Africa and elsewhere; therefore, I don't complain.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London

So the UK's new comparator countries are in Africa as opposed to the EU?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 11:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that's extraordinary

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 07:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just be happy you aren't living in Rwanda...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 09:06:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we to understand that being in England before Brexit was worse that being in Africa?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 09:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to some Brexiteers, it was akin to living in the Soviet Union or Fourth Reich...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 09:36:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Letter to the editor

Dominic Shelmerdine responded to my letter about the dangers of unionists and the UK overplaying their hand in relation to the Protocol by writing that he is "delighted with Brexit" and doesn't complain about Brexit related problems because "they are nothing compared with the dreadful suffering shared by millions in Africa and elsewhere". (Don't blow problems of Brexit out of proportion, Letters, October 9)

I am aware that some British Ministers compared being in the EU to being subjugated as part of the Soviet Union or the Third Reich but wasn't aware that the limit of their ambition was now just to be better than the poorest African countries. I always wondered what their favourite phrase "the sunlit uplands of Brexit" meant!



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 11th, 2021 at 10:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit expectations are being lowered on a constant basis (Several letters down the page)

Dominic Shelmerdine responded to my letter about the dangers of unionists and the UK overplaying their hand in relation to the Protocol by writing that he is "delighted with Brexit" (`Don't blow problems of Brexit out of proportion', Letters, October 9).

He doesn't complain about Brexit-related problems because "they are nothing compared with the dreadful suffering shared by millions in Africa and elsewhere".

I am aware that some British ministers compared being in the EU to being subjugated as part of the Soviet Union or the Third Reich, but I wasn't aware that the limit of their ambition is now just to be better than the poorest African countries.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 06:09:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frost is already pre-emptively accusing the EU of waging trade war by retaliating under the term of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in case the UK triggers Art. 16, so...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 10:44:50 AM EST
Fascinating to see UK based journalist giving paragraphs to the thesis that the situation getting tense is all about Macron being miffed (having been shoved into the locker by the US and the Aussies) and the French imposing their "hard line" on the EU (France always get what it wants in Brussels, well known fact); this view from London is blithely forgetting other countries who are directly impacted by the NI protocol, like, you know, Ireland.

For those living in the EU, though:

by Bernard on Mon Oct 11th, 2021 at 05:33:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of Ireland:

Ireland slams UK protocol demands as insatiable  - Politico.eu

Coveney said the European Commission and its point-man on relations with the U.K., Maroš Šefčovič, have spent many weeks crafting a package of proposals designed to address all major issues highlighted by Northern Ireland politicians and businesses during Šefčovič's recent visit to the region.

Yet even before those plans were to be unveiled Wednesday, Coveney said, Frost briefed several media outlets the U.K. would dismiss EU efforts as inadequate.

"When David Frost accuses me of raising issues on social media, it's a bit rich, quite frankly," Coveney told RTÉ radio. "He is briefing British media to say: `The EU can make the changes they need to make, but it's not enough. We want more.'"

Coveney said Frost was willfully elevating a demand that was legally impossible for the European Commission to deliver. He said he had spoken to Šefčovič about this on Sunday night.

"His thinking is the exact same as mine," Coveney said of Šefčovič. "On the eve of the EU introducing the most comprehensive package of measures to try to respond to the problems of the protocol, the U.K. moves to shift the goalposts again onto a new red line which nobody in Northern Ireland is calling for."

by Bernard on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 06:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's the Spectator magazine line. It's the voice of the pseudo-intellectual far right these days

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 12:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France would probably be taking a hard line in any case, but what is far more important, from an EU point of view, is to protect the legal order of the EU. With Poland challenging that legal order right now, the last thing the EU will want to do is undermine its own legal order by removing the CJEU as final arbiter of disputes over the Protocol.

It is an existential issue for the EU, and the UK couldn't have chosen a worse time or more fundamental issue to challenge the EU on. It seems obvious that Frost doesn't want practical issues over the protocol resolved right now, and I don't see why the EU should issue its proposals today when they have already been pre-emptively dismissed by the UK.

Timing is all in negotiations. You have to wait until your counter-party is actually in solution-seeking mode before you issue any substantive proposals. If all the UK wants to do is raise tensions about the legal order of the EU,let them shout about it in an empty room to the hearts content. Tell them to call us when they are ready to discuss practical implementation measures.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 04:48:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of timing:

Dominic Cummings says UK always intended to ditch NI protocol

The UK government always intended to "ditch" the Northern Ireland protocol, Boris Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings has claimed.

In a string of tweets, Cummings said the flawed Brexit deal had been a way to get out of the electoral doldrums and "whack [Jeremy] Corbyn", and "of course" the government should be allowed to "sometimes break deals... like every other state does".

Leo Varadkar (Deputy PM of Ireland) chiming in:

"Those comments are very alarming because that would indicate that this is a government administration that acted in bad faith," Varadkar said. "And that message needs to be heard around the world, because if the British government doesn't honour its agreements, doesn't adhere to treaties it signs, that must apply to everyone else too.

"So at the moment they're going around the world they are trying to negotiate new trade agreements. The message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British government that doesn't necessarily keep its word, doesn't necessarily honour the agreements it makes."

by Bernard on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 05:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Everybody does not do it
  2. It is all very well screwing a distant colony or a native American tribe who have no means of redress, but rather stupid to try it on with a more powerful neighbour.
  3. Actions have consequences
  4. Bad faith actors become international pariahs and find it hard to deals with anyone.
  5. The Biden administration and US Congress will read Cummings' comments with interest...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 06:02:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, the condescending "English Exceptionalism" drops off the age.

It's one of those "he said the quiet bit out loud".

One of the ongoing revelations about the brexiteers is the extent to which they really really aren't as bright as they think they are.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 at 07:34:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nannies Au-pairs Hard to Come By - Hits Close to Home 😄

Another Brexit effect ...

by Oui on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 09:30:23 AM EST
Here's a thought. Raise your own children like my mother and my grandmothers did.
Or are your demon seed so vile that you can't stand to be near them?

Mother worked too. A different shift from Father. They sacrificed for their families. Apparently that's once a blue collar virtue.

by StillInTheWilderness on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 03:49:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sp. "once" should have been "only"
by StillInTheWilderness on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 at 11:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 03:08:39 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]