Tag Archives: Protocol

Brexit: Northern Ireland protocol has made UK untrustworthy to other nations

He WAS lying (allegedly): I know this image was about Covid-19 but it turns out to have applied for Brexit as well. Who knew? (Pretty soon we’ll be able to apply it to everything he says.)

Look how the Brexiteer right-wingers close ranks when their Holy Grail comes under criticism:

Dan Hodges, who claims to be a columnist for a national newspaper, reckons that Remainers are terrified that the UK’s Tory government and the European Union could come to an agreement over the now-thoroughly-unworkable Northern Ireland Protocol.

Jonathan Lis tells it like it is:

You see, it seems Boris Johnson – who works part-time as the UK’s prime minister, let’s remember, told a Northern Irish politician that he did not intend the NI Protocol to be workable, before his Brexit was voted through by Parliament, protocol and all, with his (public) blessing:

It seems the PM’s former right-hand-goblin, Dominic Cummings, has confirmed this:

What are representatives of other nations supposed to think?

I would say they’d think exactly what the former Taoiseach of the Irish Republic – now its deputy prime minister – Leo Varadkar has said:

Mr Varadkar said:

“Surely the message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British government that doesn’t necessarily keep its word and doesn’t necessarily honour the agreements it makes.

“And you shouldn’t make any agreements with them until such time as you’re confident that they keep their promises, and honour things, for example, like the protocol.”

Meanwhile negotiations on a new NI Protocol have commenced – and already the commentaries suggest that Mr Varadkar’s is the prevailing view:

Aren’t those last comments interesting? In fact, the Brexit we ended up with – that Boris Johnson negotiated – turns out to be almost exactly the same as the “no deal” Brexit that his own government’s Operation Yellowhammer documents predicted in 2019 – and Jeremy Corbyn publicised in September that year:

He was ridiculed at the time. But he was right.

Two and a half months later, the UK elected the liar opposite him. And now nobody else in the world will believe us again.

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NI protocol: Frost’s new plan gets cold reception from EU. Rightly?

Lord Frost: he has turned his back on ‘Building Back Better’ and he isn’t ‘Getting On’ with anything – particularly the EU and Northern Ireland.

Both the UK and EU are putting forward ideas to change the Northern Ireland Protocol that aims to prevent a hard border being set up between the province and the Republic of Ireland. The problem is obvious: they don’t agree.

Worse still is the admission by Brexit Secretary Lord Frost that the UK only signed up to the protocol, back in 2019, because Boris Johnson was in a hurry to “Get Brexit Done”.

The implication is clear:

Johnson has only ever seen Brexit as an electoral tool – to fool voters into electing a Conservative government. He never really supported its agreements.

Let’s remind ourselves of what Johnson said about the deal in 2019, and what he has said about it since:

So it was a “great new deal”, but only up to the point at which it was implemented, after which it was a barrier to trade. A barrier that Johnson and Frost created!

Frost has now turned on the deal that he himself, personally, negotiated, saying that it is no good. It seems the whole world has responded with incredulity at the sheer cheek of this man, many agreeing with Neale Richmond’s analysis of him, below:

Frost reckons the NI Protocol is unworkable and blames the EU for imposing rules that restrict the flow of UK goods across the artificial border that Johnson put in the middle of the Irish Sea after lying that he’d do no such thing.

He has devised an entirely new protocol that strips the European Court of Justice of its governance role and proposes international arbitration of the way provisions in the protocol are implemented.

But the EU has said it would be very hard to see the Protocol surviving without ECJ oversight and was set, today, to propose its own changes:

The proposals are understood to include a unique deal around agri-food – which includes agriculture, horticulture, and food and drink processing – aimed at sharply reducing the checks on products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

There will also be an arrangement to allow the continued sale of chilled meats from Great Britain in Northern Ireland; these products were facing a ban.

The EU has also said it is going to change its laws in an attempt to solve regulatory issues which are posing a threat to the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

Clearly there are huge differences between the two sides and these are likely to lead to weeks of negotiation, with the future of peace in Northern Ireland – as provided under the Good Friday Agreement that many signatories have already abandoned – in the balance.

For Johnson and his government, the damage has already been done. Their contradictory behaviour has been universally condemned by opponents and former allies alike, both within and outside the Conservative Party:

Particularly infuriating is the Johnson government’s refusal to discuss any of its policies without lying about them – including this one:

Clearly there was no good faith and the plan was always to cause trouble in Northern Ireland and to rip up the agreement later.

And what about Bernard Jenkin’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight?

Notice the faux pas at the end when he said, “We tried to make it worse – work.”

But Jenkin wasn’t convincing. Too many of us have had our eyes opened to the harm these lying clowns have caused, and we’re not going to believe any more.

Some of us have been proved to have been right all along:

We are realising what Johnson has been able to do, simply by lying repeatedly to us – not only about Brexit but about everything else he was planning to do:

And we see the consequences:

The trouble now is those tribal members of the public who simply won’t accept the evidence that is now in front of them.

It is.

And some will carry on supporting it, even when their own standard of living plummets.

All we can hope – those of us who seriously want a better future for our bitterly divided and misled island nation – is that enough people have realised the depth of Johnson’s – and Frost’s – betrayal to make a difference before it is too late for us all.

But the clock is ticking…

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Article 16: after the Tories got everything they wanted from Brexit, they want to change it

You get what you vote for – and the UK voted for an utter imbecile: stunts like this allowed Johnson to push through a Brexit deal that he hadn’t bothered to read (because he’s “not a ‘details’ man”). Now the UK – and especially Northern Ireland – is suffering shortages of vital supplies including medicines because of this man’s stupidity.

This is what happens when you let stupid Tories mess around with the fundamentals of your life.

Boris Johnson is threatening to suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol of his own Brexit agreement because it is doing exactly what he negotiated. That’s what it means when he says he’s threatening to trigger Article 16.

That is to say, the loss of imports into Northern Ireland that has put the province into crisis is a logical result of the agreement that Johnson not only negotiated, but demanded that the public endorse in the 2019 general election and that MPs vote through after.

And look what it did to the people there. Trade is being choked off – particularly the supply of medicines, at a time when Covid-19 has restricted healthcare:

Article 16 of the NI Protocol says that the UK or EU may take safeguarding measures – without agreement with the other side – “if the application of the protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade”:

Irish minister for enterprise, trade and employment Leo Varadkar is on the record as having said that, if the protocol is stopping Northern Ireland from getting medicines from the UK, the province can get them from the Irish Republic (the EU) instead. That’s diversion of trade:

Some commentators are saying the entire NI protocol would be suspended. They are mistaken.

Article 16 makes it clear that any changes will be restricted to what is strictly necessary in order to remedy the situation. And if the UK invokes it, the EU may retaliate if its own rights and obligations are prejudiced by those changes.

So this is a realistic appraisal of the options:

This means the creation of that hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic that the NI Protocol was written to avoid – angering US President Biden and ending the prospect of a trade deal between the UK and the United States. Boris Johnson would have nobody to blame but himself.

Could it be avoided? Apparently not:

TL;DR means “too long; didn’t read” and here it implies that the people who are calling for Article 16 to be invoked haven’t actually bothered to read up on what it is and/or what its consequences will be.

So brace yourself – especially if you live in Northern Ireland.

Because of Boris Johnson’s stupidity – and the desperation of English Tory voters to “Get Brexit Done” without actually knowing what it meant – you are facing a winter of deprivation and despair.

Don’t let Johnson tell you he didn’t want it because his actions show that he did. The evidence suggests that he is simply one of the many who couldn’t be arsed to read his own agreement and still does not understand what it means.

You get what you vote for – and in 2019 the UK voted for an utter imbecile.

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Environment Secretary ‘Useless’ says it’s BIDEN who doesn’t understand Brexit NI protocol

A long record of defending the indefensible: Environment Secretary George Eustice has previously stated beliefs that children should starve during the holidays, asylum seekers should drown and people should die of Covid-19 rather than let the economy be harmed.

What stunning arrogance from a man who has been dubbed “George Useless”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice took to our airwaves to try to minimise the damage done by US President Joe Biden’s words on the Northern Ireland border and trade with the UK after Brexit – and made matters much, much worse.

Biden has expressed concern that peace in Northern Ireland could be jeopardised by the “Northern Ireland protocol” between the UK and the European Union, that regulates imports to and exports from the province.

It keeps Northern Ireland aligned with the EU’s single market for goods to ensure free trade across the Irish border, but has led to additional checks on goods being traded across the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has drawn criticism and protests from unionist politicians in Northern Ireland who have called for it to be scrapped.

Boris Johnson swore to everybody who asked – before Brexit happened – that there would be no border checks between GB and NI… and it now seems clear that he was either lying or did not understand his own deal.

The UK has requested a fundamental renegotiation but the EU has refused – and with good reason. Boris Johnson was desperate to rush his Brexit into being, back in 2019, ensuring that many of his MPs did not understand what they were supporting. Any problem now is his responsibility and he will have to live with it – including any problems it creates with the USA.

Eustice turned up on TV and on the radio to suggest that Biden was “wrong” and had, himself, not properly read the details of the agreement that was negotiated, in a series of interviews that will make Boris Johnson’s current meetings with the US president much more difficult:

Eustice’s attitude was that this matter did not concern the US President…

… but that makes no sense at all when the UK is also trying to negotiate a two-way trade deal with the United States (over which Biden is, again, doubtful).

Eustice admitted, “It’s just not a priority for the US administration.”

And Boris Johnson has also said, “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”

It seems nothing has changed since former president Barack Obama said the UK would be at the back of the queue for a bilateral deal.

So of course the Johnson government has a Plan B, which is to join a trade bloc – like the one the UK has just spent five years leaving:

So the situation is this:

If the UK doesn’t get a trade deal with the US because its deal to leave the EU has created problems in Northern Ireland, then Boris Johnson will try to talk the UK into a trading bloc like the EU.

So what was the point of the last five years of fuss and palaver?

In other news, Julia Hartley-Doodah tackled Eustice on the really important issues:

Wow. If only some of our political interviewers could be bothered to dissect the Tories as thoroughly on issues like Universal Credit, rising bills and – yes – Brexit!

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Should Northern Ireland split from the UK to end deadlock with the EU and keep Biden happy?

Deadlock: The EU has a trade agreement and couldn’t care less if it harms Boris Johnson. And Joe Biden’s commitment to co-operation with the UK may waver if a solution can’t be found and the Troubles return. What if the Province splits from the UK – for the good of its people?

It makes a nice story on the eve of a G7 summit – especially one taking place in the UK. And that’s what the BBC propagandists want.

But while US President Joe Biden and the UK’s pipsqueak Boris Johnson might agree that trade problems in Northern Ireland due to last year’s UK-EU deal need to be solved, we have no reason to believe they agree on how.

The European Union has no problem with the current situation. All the problems were created by Boris Johnson because he rushed through a trade deal, either without understanding it or without caring what was in it – to meet a deadline he thought he needed to maintain public confidence.

Even the BBC had to admit it:

French President Emmanuel Macron said: “I think it’s not serious to want to review in July what we finalised after years of debate and work in December.

“We have a trade deal – it has been painfully discussed for years… if six months later, they say: ‘What we negotiated with you, we don’t know how to respect it’, then that means that nothing is respectable anymore.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the Northern Ireland protocol – the name for the post-Brexit trading rules – was the “only solution” and should be implemented fully.

Biden’s interest dates from the 1990s, when his forerunner Bill Clinton worked with people on all sides of the Northern Ireland question to help bring about the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called “Troubles”.

The BBC (again) has already published details of a planned speech in which Biden was set to voice concerns that deadlock on the Northern Ireland Protocol could jeopardise peace in the Province.

Sadly, with Biden taking pains to stress that he is not “warning” the two sides in any way, the EU unwilling to give any ground at all, and Johnson incapable of understanding the complexities involved, it seems there may be “Troubles” ahead once again.

There is a simple way out, of course: Northern Ireland could vote to leave the United Kingdom.

I’m not even suggesting that this means joining the Republic of Ireland.

The simple fact is that the people of this region have suffered terribly because of the “Troubles”. If I was living there, I would be furious that Johnson’s insensitivity has put NI back in the firing line and would be prepared to consider any alternative to prevent it.

And there’s no reason they would want to stay in the union – Johnson has created a situation where they are actually worse-off, the longer they put up with the current situation.

If Northern Ireland quit the UK but did not join the Republic, Biden would be happy; future violence could be averted. The EU would be happy too – it would make trading much simpler.

The only loser would be Boris Johnson. He would become the prime minister who forced the nation to split – and voters are not likely to forgive him for that.

It would be poetic justice. He thought he could get away with any old rubbish. He thought wrong.

Source: G7: UK and US in complete harmony over Northern Ireland – Boris Johnson – BBC News

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Boris Johnson’s dictionary: ‘Very sensible, adj. obviously nothing to do with me’

“Very sensible” according to Boris Johnson: according to his new Police Bill, defacing the statue of Churchill will get you 10 years in jail. Rape will only put you there for five (if the Tories bother to prosecute you).

Boris Johnson has apparently come up with a new boneheaded plan to fool us into thinking his other boneheaded plans are actually good ideas.

He has taken to labelling his stupidest mistakes “very sensible”.

So, for example, responding to the EU’s announcement that it is about to take legal action against the UK after Johnson unilaterally changed the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit deal, delaying the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets, among other changes,

the prime minister said the actions taken by the UK were “temporary and technical measures that we think are very sensible”.

No, they were very stupid. But Johnson is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he implements changes that mean NI is treated differently from the rest of the UK, then organisations in the Province will tear up the Good Friday Agreement.

It seems he’s decided that upsetting the EU is the least stupid thing to do – but it’s still not “very sensible”.

Another thing he thinks is “very sensible” is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently in Parliament, demonstrating that the Conservatives think damaging a statue is twice as bad as rape; the latter attracts only a five-year prison sentence while the former will put you in jail for 10 years.

Johnson said

the legislation was a “very sensible package of measures” .

One policy he didn’t say was “very sensible” was his plan to create miles of new bus lanes on our roads, and many more bus services in a half-hearted bid to get commuters out of their cars and onto public transport – a major u-turn for Conservatives.

In fact, cutting down on the number of cars with only one person in them, stinking up the country and polluting the world, is “very sensible” – it’s just that Johnson is the last person who should be promoting it because he very clearly isn’t.

Johnson seems to be crazy about buses – although his fixation has caused him more harm than good…

Do you even remember the Boris buses? It’s good to remember some of the white elephants from his time as London Mayor, isn’t it?

Johnson also loves a photo opportunity in a bus… although some might say this is to push the images of that big red ‘Leave’ bus, with the lies about spending all the EU subsidy money on the NHS instead, down the search engine rankings.

His latest bus-related project was heralded with another photo-op of him in a driving seat. No – I’ll save you from those pictures. Instead, let’s consider some of the responses after I passed comment on it:

 

And yet 13 million people voted to let him steer the ship of state. Not “very sensible” at all!

Source: Brexit: EU to begin legal action over alleged NI Protocol breach – BBC News

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Brexiteers’ justification for breaking international law on Brexit is illiterate. Why hasn’t Braverman resigned?

Suella Braverman: She used to chair a secret group of Brexit-supporting MPs and is now Attorney General. Yes, she is as daft as she looks.

In trying to humiliate a leading Remainer – and justify its own contempt for international law – Boris Johnson and his government have made the UK a laughing-stock once again.

And our Attorney General, Suella Braverman, should be offering up her resignation. Rather than uphold the rule of law, she has sided with a government that intends to break it, turning the UK into nothing better than a rogue state.

Almost as bad, she offered as justification for this lawbreaking a Supreme Court ruling that Parliament is sovereign in domestic matters – a ruling won by Remain campaigner Gina Miller in a challenge to previous Brexit legislation.

But the same Supreme Court ruling made it clear that this does not excuse the UK government from honouring its obligations under international law.

Here’s Braverman’s statement, as exulted by Brexiteers. I’ve found a more level-headed response to it:

What is the appropriate response? This:

Perhaps. This:

Mmm… How about two in-depth Twitter threads? First this:

(After that lesson in the law, I think the Secret Barrister may be allowed to advertise a book about it.)

And then there’s this:

It is not for members of the public to challenge this.

I have a feeling that the Tory government will face serious and well-funded legal challenges both from within the UK and outside.

I am concerned that this will lead to an equally serious financial penalty – a bill that, once again, the taxpayer will have to pay.

We always end up bailing out these incompetent Tories when we should be sending them to jail instead.

Last word goes to Mark Elliott (again):

It is par for the course in a government that is as bent as a nine-bob note.

But Suella Braverman’s resignation is definitely required.

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