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

UK Menaces Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 12:13:56 PM EST

Draft letter to the Editor:

A Chara, - The article by [former Irish Taoiseach and EU ambassador to Washington] John Briton in response to UK EU negotiator Lord Frost and NI Secretary of State Brandon Lewis is well argued and well put. (John Bruton, UK ministers need to read the NI protocol they signed, Opinion, 7th. July). The subtitle sums it up nicely "No hint of contrition or constructiveness in article by Lord Frost and Brandon Lewis . . . just menace."

(continued below the fold)


The article by Frost and Lewis (We must find a new balance in how NI protocol is operated) was an absolute disgrace and constituted an unfriendly act by our near neighbour. We should have withdrawn our ambassador for consultations and suggested the British ambassador - who has been equally insulting in his musing in the Irish Times - should take a long, extended break.

It's time the EU stopped pussyfooting around, making concessions to the UK on the recognition of UK qualifications, driving licences, driving insurance Green cards, free movement of pets, etc. while the UK disregards its most basic duties under the Withdrawal Agreement.

What we are seeing is the beginnings of a trade war between the UK and the EU, with N. Ireland considered as little more than collateral damage. Indeed, a little loyalist violence will do nicely as far as some Tories are concerned, as it will give them another stick with which to beat the EU.

It really is past time for the UK to suffer some real consequences for their failure to implement the protocol, and not just the legal consequences that will take many years to come to pass and which are viewed with derision by many Brexiteers.

Strict checks on every container load from the UK to EU ports in Dublin, Calais and Rotterdam might persuade them that maybe they should be implementing the agreement they freely negotiated after all.

The notion they didn't realise what they were signing up to is farcical - they were the authors of many of the regulations at issue - and the situation in NI now is exactly as it has always been at external borders to the EU.

It's always about having cake and eating it as far as Brexiteers are concerned, and the EU indulges them at its own peril.

Relations between the UK government and Ireland and the EU have been deteriorating rapidly as the marching season reaches its crescendo on July 12th. (commemorating the victory of King William of Orange over his father-in-law King James at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, of all things). Ironically it was the protestant King William who had the support of  Pope Alexander VIII, but his victory heralded a long period of British protestant ascendency in Ireland.

The Irish government has been becoming increasingly concerned at the actions of the British government in N. Ireland as is shown by the tone of newspaper coverage:
Coveney says Britain showing `no generosity' in protocol row with EU
and, in relation to British soldiers getting off scot free for murdering unarmed civilians,  Amnesty for Troubles killings will deepen anguish of families, survivors say.

The EU, too, is belatedly starting to talk tough: EU will step up legal action if UK does not adhere to NI obligations - Sefcovic, but I don't think legal actions will perturb the UK government over much - their time-lines are way beyond the field of action decision scope of most government ministers.

Commentary in Ireland is increasingly robust with Professor Ronan McCrea arguing that Frost and Lewis [are] being deliberately disingenuous on protocol and that London wanted a deal with the EU and a hard Brexit more than it wanted to preserve the economic unity of the United Kingdom yet seeks to blame the EU for the resulting agreement. Even normally staid business correspondents are becoming increasingly alarmed with Eoin Burke-Kennedy arguing that Brexit inflames North's identity politics and that the economic advantages of NI's new trading arrangement are being overlooked by the rejectionist rhetoric.

What all these writers have in common is a concern that the British government is almost seeking to incite loyalists to riot to give them added ammunition in their dispute with the EU. They fear it plays well in Tory Brexiteer circles to maintain an adversarial attitude towards the EU even if that provokes instability and violence in N. Ireland. As I wrote in a previous unpublished letter to Editor:

A Chara,- The opinion piece by Lord Frost and Brandon Lewis shows that the UK government is still taking an adversarial approach in its relations with Ireland and the EU. Far from taking ownership of an agreement they freely negotiated with the EU, they continue to demand that it be watered down to meet hard line unionist objections, while offering nothing positive in return.

There is no recognition that the customs controls required by the agreement are the unavoidable consequences of Brexit and inconvenience exporters here just as much as they inconvenience exporters in N. Ireland. Far from acknowledging that a large majority in N. Ireland voted against Brexit they are still trying to have their cake and eat it.

The Remainer majority in N. Ireland have lost all of the benefits of the EU, including the CAP, regional and cohesion funds. They have lost their rights as EU Citizens, their human rights as contained in the Charter of Fundamental Human rights, and the right to appeal the judgements of British Courts to the European Court of Justice. All they have retained is access to the Single Market for their goods exports and imports, but Brandon and Frost are to be believed, it is unionists who are the victims.

It is time they acknowledged that there are disadvantages to Brexit which are baked into the cake of Johnson's oven ready deal and moved on to respect Ireland's choice to remain within the EU. There is no "sausage anxiety" in N. Ireland - they make perfectly fine sausages of their own - and Brandon and Frost shouldn't be feeding the entirely confected anxiety about the Protocol which unionists are using to cover up their shame at their complicity in a hard form of Brexit which is the cause of all these customs controls in the first place.

The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement commits the British government to being even handed in their dealings with all communities in N. Ireland. It is time they started to represent more than the extreme fringes of unionism in N. Ireland.

Ironically all this comes at a time when most unionists are struggling to come to terms with the Protocol. Edwin Poots had agreed to work the north south institutions of the Good Friday agreement despite his antipathy to the Dublin Government. His successor, Geoffrey Donaldson, now speaks about "correcting the flaws in the protocol" having previously campaigned for its abolition. Unionist commentator, Newton Emerson, acknowledges that public opinion is almost evenly split on the protocol (on nationalist/unionist lines) and argues that the priority for unionism now is to avoid the protocol threatening the stability of the devolved institutions in Stormont (Subscriber only).

So we have the extraordinary situation of the UK government (clumsily) trying to play the Orange Card in its battle with the EU, while some unionists are trying to calm things down. Could it be that they are tiring of being used by the UK government when it suits them and abandoned when it doesn't?

I had thought that the very forthright messages (including a demarche) coming from the Biden administration would have alerted Johnson to the perils of inflaming the situation in N. Ireland further. If so, it seems that Lord Frost and Brandon Lewis didn't get the memo.

But Brexit may have had another unanticipated consequence for British Ireland relations. Having long regarded Ireland as a junior partner within the EU, insofar as they regarded Ireland at all, Britain may now have a renewed strategic interest in Ireland as the weakest link within the EU. Brexiteers haven't given up their cherished hope that Ireland may one day be inveigled out of the EU into a closer relationship with Britain, and the sight of N. Ireland loyalists marching against "EU domination" is music to their ears. Having long had a strategic interest, with Ireland, in tamping down tensions there, some Brexiteers are now playing on those tensions for all they are worth, the peace process and rights of N. Ireland nationalists be damned.

As a former Irish Taoiseach and EU ambassador to Washington, John Bruton carries a lot more weight with the decision makers in Brussels and Washington than minor British politicians acting as bootboy bullies for their Prime Minister.

In many ways I am surprised that Maroš Šefčovič, as Vice President of the Commission, has continued to act as counterpart to Lord Frost, when the latter took over from (effectively Deputy Prime Minister) Gove. If I were him, I would have appointed some mid ranking unelected Bureaucrat as direct counterpart to Lord Frost, and reserved my availability for Frost's boss, Michael Gove.

Frost seems to have lost the run of himself since his elevation to the Lords and to Cabinet, and needs to be reminded that EU Vice Presidents have better things to doing with their time than be insulted by the aristocracy of a former member state.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 01:25:41 PM EST
Yes, I'd agree with that. Frost was almost a plausibly deniable bomb thrower in the Dominic Cummings vein at first, but his pugnacious tactics have passed their sell-by date, possibly even for the UK Govt.

Situational politics is all very well, it wins you headlines. Talking tough and taking daft confontational positions works as you enter into a situation, it's all part of the way the EtonDisorder "do" business. However, as the same old same old drags on, a creeping sense comes over the public that we can do better. Especially as we are seeing the "fruits of brexit" in the UK c/o the empty shelves due to a shortage of lorry drivers for deliveries.

The Tories are moving towards a fracture point where they have to change the tune or face a serious crisis of confidence with the public.

If England win the EUFA championship, the reckoning might be postponed till October. But I imagine things will start getting ripe towards the end of August.

btw, nobody in Westminster cares how much of Belfast the unionists burn down on the 12th. Self-inflicted idiocy isn't their problem

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 01:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU needs to curb stomp the UK.  That's the only thing Boris, et. al., understand

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 04:10:16 PM EST

Sausage wars blown out of proportion, says meat company

First six months of protocol has been not one of disadvantage, but opportunity

Writing in this newspaper on Saturday, Lewis and the UK's Brexit minister, Lord David Frost, argued that a "seriously unbalanced situation" was developing in the way the protocol was operating and the way forward was to "find a new balance of arrangements, adapted to the practical reality".

At Doherty's Meats, that practical reality has been positive. Based in Derry, their "heartland" is in the northwest, but their distribution network covers all of Northern Ireland and Co Donegal, with supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Tesco, Spar and SuperValu their main customers.

Since Brexit, they have expanded; two supermarkets have taken extra product lines, and they are in talks with another major UK supermarket.

"Some of the supermarkets saw an option there for ourselves to supply them, probably because of the shortages in terms of what they weren't able to bring across from GB," says Doherty.

"It's been really good, it's helped build our brand, and being locally based here in Derry it's allowed us to try to build our volumes."

All of their meat is local - from both sides of the Border. This meant his business was "ideally placed" to benefit from the protocol, as he readily acknowledges.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 05:21:44 PM EST
Spoiler alert: it was not about the sausages. Never been.
The UK's government main goal is to "force" the EU to renegotiate the NI Protocol they initially signed on, just "to get Brexit over the line". But they never intended to implement it and are looking at every trick in the book to postpone it indefinitely. And if violence must erupt in Belfast, it's so much water under the London Bridge.

Trouble is: the EU has moved on and has no time to deal with Brexit any longer, an issue that has slipped down to the bottom of page three in the EU's priority's list - much to the Brexiter's chagrin. Eastern Europe focuses on Belarus and Russia, Germany on next September's election, France on next year's elections and so on... Ireland may have to shout really loud to get the other countries attention.

How long will it take for the EU to get really tough, beyond the legal steps? Hard to say: the situation would have to become really urgent for Ireland, to have the Council agree to trigger emergency measures.

Actually, the Biden administration might get tough faster than the EU does: Joe "I'm Irish" Biden doesn't care much for Boris Johnson, special relationship notwithstanding and the Irish lobby in the US Congress is still strong.

by Bernard on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 05:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fintan O'Toole: Tories' appetite for farcical fodder is insatiable
Blessed are the makers of processed pork products, for they shall come to symbolise British pluck in the face of the foreign foe. The invention of the "sausage war" as a cover for the flagrant breach of an international treaty is absurd. But we have to remember that we are trapped in a nightmare where the more absurd the imagery is, the more seriously we have to take it.

To understand what is going on with the Northern Ireland protocol we have to ask: why sausages? Why did Boris Johnson confront Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit over the weekend: "How would you like it if the French courts stopped you moving Toulouse sausages to Paris?"

The question, as it happens, makes no sense. The Saucisse de Toulouse is made all over France, so even in the unlikely event of a blockade, Parisians would have no trouble finding some for their cassoulets.

And as an emblem of the allegedly terrible deprivations inflicted on the plain people of Ulster by the protocol, the sausage seems, on the face of it, even less apt.

If we go back to February 2020, we will find a very different official story: that the protocol would be great for the Ulster sausage.

Why? Because Northern Ireland has lots of fine sausage-makers, including Karro Food in Cookstown, Cranswick in Ballymena and the wonderful Finnebrogue Artisan in Downpatrick.

Not only is the protocol not causing a sausage famine in the six counties, it is a great boon for these pork peddlers. Says who? Well how about the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, whose Minister is one Edwin Poots.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 06:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When it comes to farcical fodder, I'll admit that sending warships to the Channel Islands to confront a threatening French fleet of, er, fishing boats has more allure than a puny "sausage war": conjuring dreams of Sir Francis Drake defending England from the EU Armada. Oh well, you get the wars you deserve...
by Bernard on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 06:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there is a point where defending absurdities has a tendency to create blowback.

It's all very well whilst there are full supermarkets shelves, people aren't too inconvenienced and England are doing well in the euros. But you only need a couple of slippages for somebody to start noticing the emeror is wearing no clothes.

The govt did will with both Nissan and Vauxhall, guaranteeing electric car jobs into the medium future, although they have kept the level of investment under wraps (for Vauxhall probably colossal)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 06:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it wouldn't surprise me if the EU hadn't asked Biden to be their enforcer on this. The UK wants to create tension with the EU cos it goes down well domestically. It's a different thing if the US is the one snapping the leash and teling Boris to behave.

the downside for Biden is that he's got 99 problem and EU/UK relationships don't have to be one of them. I'm sure he won't mind the odd harsh word, but I don't think he's got time atm for a greater engagement.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 06:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden doesn't need to spend much time on this. He's got staff who know his views pretty intimately. I doubt it ranks high in his first 100 priorities. It's the UK who are looking for a trade deal.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 07:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the US viewpoint, there is hardly any concept of a "special relationship" between the US and the UK (or GB or England). The idea might have prevailed during WW2, but that was a long time ago.

On the other hand, there is still a sizable community of people with Irish backgrounds and reasonably good connections with Ireland. Joe Biden is an example.

If the latter group pushes for a pro-Ireland (and thus pro-EU) trade policy, there are not a lot of the former group around to push back.

by asdf on Thu Jul 8th, 2021 at 02:46:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and it's again a situation where the US executive would have to put in a lot of work to accommodate the UK, and I don't see why they would.
by generic on Thu Jul 8th, 2021 at 08:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's a Top 10 priority obviously, but I suspect it is in the Top 100.

Biden's take is basically going to be, "Abide by the Protocol -- or find some 'compromise' Ireland and the EU are fine with -- and I might think about discussing a trade deal; otherwise fuck off."

Boris seems to think the US cares a lot about doing a trade deal when it really doesn't.  An EU trade deal?  Yeah, that's something people would put time in on.  With Britain it'd be more, "Well, they're our closest ally and really want it, so okay, as long as they hold up GFA."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jul 9th, 2021 at 08:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly I have no idea if the EU has the political ability to do much of anything. Was there any reaction to the UK embargo on vaccine exports? So I do wonder if the EU will mount any coherent reaction to the UK blatantly breaking the withdrawal agreement. Not that that will help the UK much since most of the economic damage was baked in as soon as they sent the letter and could only have been minimized by good faith efforts from both sides.

Otherwise, things are looking up over there!

by generic on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 07:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed: the EU justice system is moving at a glacial pace. By the time the EU court issues a verdict and the EU Council and Commission agree on what to do, we may be well into next year.
by Bernard on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 07:43:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But even then, what happens? Some punitive tariffs? I'm having a hard time imagining those amounting to much compared to the slow death of London as a financial center.
by generic on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 09:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Death of the City? that'll do nicely. That's practically 90% of the economy. Or at least as far as the tories are concerned.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 10:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea. You look to all the help for refugees we celebrate, the Nicholas Wintons etc. they'd have been imprisoned by this fascist.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 10:20:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, EU sued Aztra Seneca, and the result was that AstraZeneca has not made its Best Reasonable Efforts to manufacture and deliver part of the 300 million doses promised. However, it is too late to matter politically, and financially the verdict was much less then the Commission wanted.
by fjallstrom on Thu Jul 8th, 2021 at 07:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 8th, 2021 at 01:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The emulsified high fat offal tube"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 8th, 2021 at 01:19:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What lay behind Frost and Lewis's inflammatory article on the protocol?
David Frost and Brandon Lewis's article about the Northern Ireland protocol in these pages last Saturday has, as Frost noted this week, "aroused much interest", little of it positive. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said it showed no generosity towards the European Union after Brussels agreed to extend a grace period on the movement of chilled meats from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Former taoiseach John Bruton said Frost appeared not to have read the agreement he negotiated with the EU and was refusing to take responsibility for it. The opinion piece was, as Coveney put it, "a very strange way to make friends and build partnership". But that was not its purpose.

Frost and Lewis's article, along with the British ambassador's outing on RTÉ Radio the same day, are part of a diplomatic effort to make clear Britain's position on the protocol in the bluntest possible terms. The message to European capitals is that London wants far-reaching changes to the way the protocol is implemented and that modest easements to reduce friction on the Irish Sea customs and regulatory border will not be sufficient.

The briefings have included warnings about the threat of loyalist violence if the EU fails to agree to the dramatic changes Britain claims are necessary to reduce unhappiness about the protocol in some communities in Northern Ireland. Do EU member states really want to roll the dice on a return to violence rather than drop what Frost calls their "theological" approach to implementing the protocol as agreed?


The expectation in London is that negotiations on the protocol will reach another crisis in the days approaching the chilled meats deadline on September 30th. The appetite for unilateral action has diminished since the United States issued Frost with a diplomatic ticking off ahead of last month's G7 summit.

The language used by Frost and Lewis in recent days suggest they are building an argument for invoking the protocol's Article 16 on the basis that it is being implemented in a way that contravenes its own text. But the expectation in Whitehall is that such a move will not be necessary.

London is operating on the basis that there is no stomach in Europe for a fight over the protocol and that a few nights of brinkmanship at the end of September will produce a fudge that will see the EU agree to a further extension of grace periods.

I have commented on the article as follows:

Excellent article, and the British are right - Europe doesn't have the stomach for a fight over s little known corner of Ireland on the edge of Europe. But as usual the Brexiteers have a tendency to over-play their hand, and with French and German elections coming up next year a little bit of hard ball with Britain might keep help to keep the French and German far right at bay as well.

The real question is whether Ireland has the stomach for the fight, because the EU won't want to be seen to let down the small member state most exposed to Brexit. The EU is above all proud of its record in keeping the peace in Europe, and proud of its small role in keeping the peace in N. Ireland. If the Irish government sounds the alarm, the posse will come running.

The pandemic may also play a key role in all of this. The EU elite may be furious over the UK's antics over Brexit, but that doesn't really penetrate far into the body politic of most European electorates. Brexit is very far down their list of priorities. But what really poisoned the well for the UK is their display of vaccine nationalism at the start of this year, and their tacit blocking of Astrazeneca vaccine exports to the EU, after the EU had allowed Pfizer to export its production to UK. That effected the man and women in the street, and they haven't forgotten it.

Now Boris seems determine to make Britain the epicentre of a new surge in the pandemic, putting all other European countries at increased risk. I can see borders closing, and not just for people, but for goods and their drivers as well. There could be a surge in post Brexit hostilities as well, and Boris has few friends in Europe now.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 9th, 2021 at 11:55:51 PM EST
Boris has few friends in Europe now.

And even fewer friends in Washington DC.

by Bernard on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 at 11:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is long past time for the EU to act like reality matters, namely that it has no use for the UK beyond not-so-plucky comic relief and it is no longer painless or even cost effective to continue pretending otherwise.
by rifek on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 at 02:05:46 AM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 02:02:43 AM EST
And here are the trophy and a copy of the National together

From The National

Vanity Fair in Italy wrote: "The final of the Euros, of course, is just further evidence of a battle that Scotland has waged for centuries to try to disengage from English authority and live independently: a need already seen during Brexit and which continues today, extending to all forms."
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 02:59:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No comment (continued).

by Bernard on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 at 10:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Ireland to Frost: Enforce the protocol, don't fight it - politico.eu

Business chiefs and Irish nationalists tell UK minister the post-Brexit trade deal works for them.

David Frost heard an unusual message from Northern Ireland politicians and business leaders Friday: Quit exaggerating the problems associated with the post-Brexit trade protocol and commit to fully enforcing it.

During a one-day visit to Northern Ireland, Britain's chief architect of the U.K.'s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU visited Newry, a border town, where businesses are building trade with the Republic of Ireland. The protocol keeps cross-border commerce in the town flowing freely with its EU neighbors.

"Our businesses are broadly happy with the protocol. A lot of them are benefitting from it," Newry's chamber of commerce chief, Colm Shannon, told Frost.


Two sides to every story..
by oldremainmer48 on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 09:35:19 AM EST
Yep, but this one isn't being published in England.

For the "British" view, see the Telegraph Editorial...

The EU has agreed to a three month truce to allow the sale of chilled meats from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It's a welcome move but, as Lord Frost, one of the most effective members of the Government, tells this newspaper, this is only a tiny part of what's wrong with the Protocol.

The UK had to sign off on the Protocol if it wanted to get Brexit done properly while maintaining free trade for manufactured goods. It should not have been thus: the EU and UK Remainers should have accepted Brexit, and not used Northern Ireland as a means of trying to keep us de facto in the EU. Theresa May's weakness meant that it wasn't to be, and by the time Boris Johnson rescued Brexit it was too late for him to convince the EU to accept a rational means of policing the Irish border. He had to trust that Brussels would consider creative solutions to avoid trade disruption. The opposite has happened, a perfect illustration of why the UK, pragmatic and pro-trade, was never compatible as a member of the imperialistic EU.

Northern Ireland is part of the UK, as recognised in the Good Friday Agreement, and treating it otherwise has stoked tensions: Brussels insists piously and ignorantly that the EU is essential to the historic peace process, but this Protocol is tearing it apart. Remainers who claim the EU is simply implementing what the UK agreed to ought to check their conscience. As Lord Frost warns, "If it isn't supporting the... Good Friday Agreement and helping that work, then the Protocol itself isn't working." Many will conclude that it never will, and must be renegotiated, if not from scratch, then at the very least comprehensively.

Anyone who could describe Lord Frost as "one of the most effective members of the Government" is either deluded or doesn't have much regard for the rest of the government. Other than poison the well of EU/UK relations, what has he actually achieved? But maybe that's the point, and what the Telegraph wants is hostility between the UK and the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 11:05:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't know the history behind the Irish flag; some background, courtesy of an Irish teacher:

by Bernard on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 at 10:05:06 AM EST
Ireland-France links grow stronger in wake of Brexit
"Brexit and its implementation have caused a palpable shift in how Irish and EU business deal with each other," says Maria Deady, Dublin Chamber international project executive. "Irish companies for whom the UK was their primary trading partner are now looking to continental markets for their businesses and finding opportunities. Dublin Chamber's international department has seen an increase in queries from companies looking to take advantage of the Enterprise Europe Network to assist them to find new business partners in the EU.

"Moreover, there has been a substantial change in the logistics between Ireland and the EU making it easier than before," she adds.

"The number of ferry services running between Ireland and the European continent has more than quadrupled compared to 2020. These direct routes are favourable as they cut out the delays that were seen due to the additional customs and regulatory checks imposed by Brexit when using the landbridge.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 at 01:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've considered Ireland always Green ... haven't you?

Oops ... going nuclear? 🤨🇫🇷

by Oui on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 at 10:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah - we'll sell them as much Wind energy as we buy nuclear off them- its about managing peaks and troughs in supply and demand...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 15th, 2021 at 11:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kiwis unimpressed with Tories' respect for legal commitments.

by Bernard on Thu Jul 15th, 2021 at 06:34:24 PM EST
by Bernard on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 12:09:56 PM EST
Not only that, but it was overwhelming endorsed by the British electorate giving Boris a stomping majority for his "oven ready deal" at the last general election...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 12:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was overwhelmingly distorted by the UK's FPTP electoral system, which turned a significant but not apocalyptic voting majority into a huge difference in seats.

With PR the UK would have had minority coalition governments since 2017, possibly 2015, with no outright Tory majority.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 08:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 08:52:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU and the Republic need to prepare for the UK to abrogate the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Good Friday Agreement.

The UK government is not reliable.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Jul 23rd, 2021 at 12:16:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Straight from the 'You can't make that up' department:

UK government orders councils to display EU flag as condition of receiving Covid high street cash - Independent

The UK government is telling councils to display EU flags across towns and cities in England as a condition for receiving high street Covid recovery cash.

Guidance issued to local authorities by the communities ministry this summer says the blue and yellow symbol of European unity is "required" to be displayed around "every piece of signage, pavement sticker, or temporary public realm adaption" funded under the scheme.

The requirement, which will see thousands of new EU flags posted on official buildings and in public places across the country, exists because the European Regional Development Fund has given money to the UK to help with the Covid-19 reopening.

Despite Brexit having happened, under the withdrawal agreement the UK is still eligible for certain payments from the fund until the end of 2023 - but with strings attached.

The flag rule, imposed from Brussels but enforced from Whitehall, is embarrassing for ministers because they are keen to rid UK public buildings of EU flags, but do not want to turn down the Covid recovery cash.

by Bernard on Sat Jul 24th, 2021 at 09:29:19 AM EST

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