Sort out the Northern Ireland border

Yesterday I asked the government to legislate to ensure smooth passage of goods between GB and Northern Ireland. The government promised us we were taking back control of our laws and borders. They assured us their deal with the EU allowed the U.K. single market to work properly for the whole UK.

Not trusting the EU I objected at the time. I was very concerned about continuing EU influence over Northern Ireland and over our fishing, and it now seems I was right to warn. EU interference and requirements are impeding the flow of goods from London to Belfast where they go smoothly from London to any English city.

The government says it can use a clause in the Irish protocol to take over and control our single market in Northern Ireland. It should do so. It could also legislate, as they say we are now a sovereign country. I supported them when they sought to do so before signing the Agreement, only to see them cancel that legislation a day later when the EU offered a deal. Clearly the deal was not as good as the legislation. So bring on legislation.

We meant it when we voted to take back control. That has to include Northern Ireland trade and our fishing grounds. There are plenty of countries and businesses around the world who want to sell us things. Our borders with the rest of the world in Great Britain work just fine. We can also supply more of our own needs. Let’s get on with it. We cannot allow the EU to stop us trading with ourselves!

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  1. Len Peel
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    You were reelected in Wokingham on a promise of an ovenready border in the Irish sea!

    Reply Not so. I was elected on my views that we needed to take back control for the whole UK

    • hefner
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: so basically taking no responsibility if only some parts of sovereignty are regained. ‘Take back control’ is all or nothing? Can’t you see how ridiculous you sound!
      And what about your Fisheries Minister colleague preferring attending a Nativity play to doing her homework? What do YOU have to say to that? Your usual bla-bla-baaaa?

      • Hope
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Hef, spot on. Victoria Prentice should be sacked. She had no clue to the issues or ideas how to move forward. Fluffy crap about nativity! Again, a quota promotion rather than ability by her performance.
        What an utterly ridiculous answer to such a serious problem!

        • Simeon
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          To be fair to Prentice, I suspect her understanding would not have been advanced by reading the thing. And she didn’t get where she is by having a mind of her own anyway. Blindly following Blowers has served her well thus far. Finally, I suspect Blowers himself didn’t bother reading it, so it’d be a bit much if he sacked her for her indolence – not that I believe hypocrisy beneath him! Perhaps he’ll sack her for honesty. He certainly couldn’t be accused of hypocrisy for that!

          • Hope
            Posted January 15, 2021 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            You might have thought she was feeding her detailed knowledge to Frost for his negotiation to make sure it accurately reflected the best interest of U.K. Or that she was given information to prepare the industry she is responsible for! No. She was utterly clueless and even so still gave an utterly pathetic answer to a serious question. A national embarrassment collecting minister pay of about £130,000+!

            I appreciate it was the final weeks where Johnson entered negotiations where he capitulated on Fisheries, level playing field, non regression clauses, ECHR, Horizon Europe- so we taxpayers finance EU army and allow EU to bid formUK contracts.

      • NickC
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, Somehow I don’t think you will succeed in making Leaves responsible for Remain policies. We have consistently repudiated such Remain policies as the annexation of Northern Ireland, the EU stealing our fish, continued payments to the EU, alignment with EU rules, etc.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      “Sort out the Northern Ireland border”

      The GFA says that there shouldn’t be a border for it at all with the rest of Ireland, and as part of the UK, nor should there be one with the rest of that.

      So your heading refers to something which should simply not exist.

      I’d move this further down your “to do” list, John.

      There will me many, many other problems, amongst which to hide it, as a result of your Tory brexit.

      • NickC
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Martin, There has been a border ever since Eire was split off from a united Ireland within the UK. And irrespective of the EU or the GFA.

      • Hope
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Leaving to the last minute to pass through parliament was stage managed to put pressure on his own MPs. The vassalage outcome was known long before.

      • GeorgeP
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        There is no mention in the GFA of how the border between NI and the ROI should be operated, hard, soft or none at all.

    • IanT
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:42 am | Permalink


    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Permalink


      As a Wokingham Constituent I can confirm that JR printed his own leaflets, with his own thoughts and beliefs on a huge range of topics and subjects, and it was on those opinions and thoughts he stood, as a Conservative candidate.
      In addition he has this site, which is open for all to view and comment,.
      If people are not aware of JR’s views and just voted Conservative believing he was some sort of Party lap dog, then they only have themselves to blame.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Exactly right. Bring on the legislation now, EU interference and requirements in this area are an outrage. It is though exactly what I expected.

    • Hope
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      It is not an outrage. It is what Johnson’s govt and party signed up and voted for. This is what you get when you will not walk away andmaccept anything given.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:20 pm | Permalink


        That is why it was left until the last minute. The behaviour of this government and PM is as appalling as the last.

        • Hope
          Posted January 15, 2021 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          People forget Johnson had an 80 seat majority. May did not.

          Did,China recently give away so much or agree to ECHR, level,playing field, Fisheries, territorial waters or part of their country! Are EU inspectors allowed in Hong Kong!

    • Christine
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      As I mentioned in my previous censored post a few weeks ago this so-called trade agreement has the following clause:

      “The Withdrawal Agreement remains in place. The UK has agreed to withdraw the contentious clauses of the UK Internal Market Bill, and will not introduce any similar provisions in the Taxation Bill.”

      If as the EU previously stated, they did not intend to disrupt trade between GB and NI, why insert such a clause and why would our Government agree to it?

      What happened to the Gove solution?

      Never, ever trust the EU. We should have just gone for the WTO option. We will now have years of conflict. When will politicians learn the EU is not our friend.

      • Hope
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Yep, vassalage was accepted and agreed. Voted through at speed.

        ERG hang your heads in shame.

  3. Andy
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    This was all in the withdrawal agreement – which just about every Conservative MP voted for, and virtually no other MP did.

    You literally all voted for a border down the Irish Sea and for the piles of pointless lapsed work we have now.

    You also all voted for the masses of red tape which has massively harmed swathes of the fishing industry – particularly the shellfish industry in Scotland.

    They say they are going to show their love for your deal by dumping rotting shellfish outside Westminster next week.

    And remember – don’t try to take a sandwich on holiday.

    • jerry
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Your argument might hold more water in the years to come, once the UK has comprehensive FTAs with other EU “third countries”, for example the USA, but at the moment all goods being shipped to NI are currently fully compliant with EU regs.

      If someone want to try playing hard-ball these Eurocrats (or is it Irish nationalists?….) that Eire will be out on a limb, should the UK land-bridge becomes a logjam, unavailable or uneconomic. What is good for the Goose is also good for the Gander…

      “don’t try to take a sandwich on holiday.”

      Indeed, but also a timely reminder to the many EU truck drivers too, arriving in the UK.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Sir John, this is what it has come to. The point that you abstained rather than voting for notwithstanding, mad Andy has nailed it. It didn’t have to be this way, but the Tory party made it this way. The establishment has conspired to give licence to every bitter Remainer to say ‘I told you so’, to which any honourable Leaver can only reply, ‘You were right (if only for all the wrong reasons)’. But the electorate will be untroubled by subtleties, simply concluding that ‘Brexit’ is indeed awful.

      And, yea, so it came to pass, that the prophet spake truth, and verily did the UK voters rise as one to utter, ‘Back to the Bosom! Let us suckle on the European milk once more.’

      And Agent Blowers returns to Brussels to a hero’s welcome and a cushy non-job with a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted pension.

      And what of democracy in the UK? Alive and kicking, at least as far as a zombie can get his leg up…

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I think nobody voted for this daft May/EU stitch-up agreement in 2016.
      We just voted to Leave the next day as Cameron promised.
      So the democratic decision was just to Leave. All this could have been sorted out in the wash in the meantime.

    • ukretired123
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Funny how you non-stop trolling negativity Andy. How the weather in North Korea? I don’t see you ever criticising China -the bigger problem, nor Russia. Too painful.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Andy, it will get sorted, it should have been sorted quicker and they have overcomplicating getting goods into Northern Ireland we don’t know. All they needed was a tick box on the declaration do these goods stay in Northern Ireland or could they be forwarded to Southern Ireland if so you have to fill in normal export document that is used for the Rest of the World.

      Our big British supermarkets and freezer companies like Iceland need to offer to freeze and sell this fish, why aren’t they. A couple of Nigella programs on tv and everyone will learn quickly how to cook the fish we have caught.

      How can they dump shellfish in a covid lockdown? If they do they will be arrested and people like you will be accused of trying to whip this up and cause what’s the new word for this ‘insurection’ (an uprising against the government).

      Our biggest ham importers are Denmark, Netherlands and Germany they need to take care not to ruin their own ham market. These drivers of commercial vehicles were told over a week ago that they couldn’t take sandwiches into the EU so why continue if not just to create a headline. Have we insisted EU drivers coming in to the UK cannot bring products in, probably not, well things need to change in order to sort this out and fast. This will be a greater problem just look at an EU drivers cab they carry all sorts of bottled foods into the UK.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Just shows how petty and childish the EU are. They made a big play of the Good Friday Agreement but their silly ways drives a coach and horses through it. Of course they don’t give a fig about Northern Ireland or the Republic, just to use them as whipping boys against the UK supported by anti British people like you. We need to tell the EU to go forth and multiply and end the ‘deal’ if that is what they can stand. Sandwiches? They weren’t looking for ham sandwiches when our fathers saved their sorry backsides in WW2 or when we dropped food parcels when they capitulated to Germany in about five minutes. They are doing it again right now.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:20 pm | Permalink


        Oh so true.

        If we had the courage of those years ago we would be stopping all EU imports pending some minute inspection process to prove acceptance.

        Two can play the frustration game.!
        But let us not hope that it comes to this.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 15, 2021 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          It’s already come to this Alan when silly EU border guards making a political point over a ham sandwich when their Country probably sold us that ham has started the ‘frustration game’.

      • ukretired123
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Spot on!

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      You’re correct the current situation couldn’t have happen without the direction and consent of the majority of MPs

    • Fred H
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      all those thousands of foreign drivers buying reputable wholesome sandwiches in the UK to enjoy going home – childishly refused to be allowed to take them on their journey.
      And you decribe us as ‘little englanders’. !!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Very worrying indeed that Neil O’Brian MP, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Policy Board should seems to be a such a vehement enemy of free speech (Conservative Home). PPE Oxon yet again it seems.

    • Peter
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      His surname is O’Brien not O’Brian.

      Why don’t you pay more attention to spelling instead of your PPE Oxbridge witch-hunt?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        A thorn by any other name (or spelling) surely still pricks as deep.

        I am probably a bit dyslexic and usually in a rather a hurry with podgy fingers and aged eyes. Not that schools had “dyslexics” in my day. They just though you were cr** at spelling and were slow at writing. Perhaps be careful as what you say it will probably be a hate crime against the disabled and illegal discrimination soon – if not already!

  5. Shirley M
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Do it! Legislate for the benefit of the UK, not the EU. The more we allow the EU to deliberately place obstructions to UK trade, the harder they will try. It would give a message to the world that the UK will not be used and abused, by anyone.

    • Ed M
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      ‘It would give a message to the world that the UK will not be used and abused, by anyone’

      – The world really doesn’t care.

      Let’s please create a positive vision of Sovereignty. That Sovereignty is just a good thing in itself (instead of focusing so much on how nasty the EU is) – and let’s provide a positive image about what British Patriotism (as opposed to British Populism) means / is.

      Lastly, Cyrus the Great, who pulled Babylonia into his Persian Empire, was praised by the Babylonians for doing this – as Cyrus freed the Babylonians from their own inept (/ corrupt) political leaders.

      Sovereignty must always be the default goal. But it isn’t a given if one’s political leaders are inept (including the end does NOT justify the means – you’ve got to have a REALISTIC PLAN and a POSITIVE VISION as well as a STRONG LEADER to implement).

      • Ed M
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Brexit could still work – but let’s aim higher than this. Let’s aim to get it to work well. Which means we have to start being MORE POSITIVE, with a MORE POSITIVE VISION, and doing other things to strengthen our position – such as building up our economy more, including in the High Tech / Digital Sector so that Sovereignty becomes easier to implement with quicker and more satisfying long-term success.

        • None of the Above
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          Well Said.

        • Old Salt
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Ed M
          “building up our economy more, including in the High Tech / Digital Sector”
          So after all the cost of input only to be taken over by some overseas outfit for their benefit and our ongoing loss as has happened many times in the past and is still going on despite promises to the contrary.

          • Ed M
            Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            ‘So after all the cost of input only to be taken over by some overseas outfit for their benefi’

            – Who says that? (I certainly don’t).

            Why can’t the UK have it’s own kind of Apple and IBM and Oracle and Microsoft and Google and and Amazon and BMW and Audi and so on – and all the small / medium-sized high tech and digital companies?

            We are just as smart as the Americans, Germans and others. We have Cambridge and Oxford universities. Let’s please start competing with them properly in High Tech / Digital. And not making excuses. Not only will it be good for UK economy in itself (whether we were in or out of the EU) but will help pay for the transition from being in the EU to being properly Sovereign!

          • Ed M
            Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            I’m a Brexiter (ALWAYS in theory, but now in practise because a majority voted in favour of it and so we MUST implement) but I’m fed up of some Brexiters going on about how evil the EU is (it isn’t evil – it’s flawed from one degree to another – and overall – we’d be better off without it).

            Let’s please have a POSITIVE / FUN / INTERESTING / INSPIRING / CREATIVE VISION about how the UK can be GREAT as a Sovereign nation – not because the EU is evil but because we have a great vision of the kind of country we want to CREATE.

            Lastly, sometimes I think Brexit is more about some people wanting to have a good moan about something (the EU) than actually having a positive, creative, colourful vision for our great country.

        • Ed M
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Lastly, I REALLY want Brexit to succeed – and to succeed well. A Sovereign nation doing well in its Economy, Family Life, Security, The Arts, Education, etc is a GREAT thing.

          But we must ask hard questions and challenge to get there – not flatter people. Therefore I’m happy to challenge – and challenge hard – for the sake of Brexit being a proper, long term success in the future.

          • Grey Friar
            Posted January 15, 2021 at 10:16 am | Permalink

            Ed, are you aware that 99% of the leaders of our big firms, our digital start-ups, our security and police forces, the Arts, and our great Universities advised that Brexit was a catastrophic mistake because it would cut us off from our biggest market, cause blockages at our borders, and make the UK a less attractive place for capital and talent? All of which – Project reality – is exactly what is happening now

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I bet you don’t legislate to ensure free flow of goods.
    Once again government giving the BBC ammunition to portray Brexit as a failure.
    I hope we are removing food from the cabs of foreign trucks.
    Brussels only understands action so let’s have some from our side.
    We all knew the agreement wasn’t very good just better than nothing.
    Get a grip.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Brexit is an utter failure, if its intention was to make any material thing better.

      Why should not the BBC – or anyone else – simply report fact?

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      It is my understanding that while trade checks are made from UK to EU, our esteem government have put a stay of action and a status quo for 6 months for any EU to UK trade

  7. Peter
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Agreed. The EU are deliberately trying it on.

    The U.K. needs to assert its authority. If there is a clash that cannot be resolved then give notice that we are ending the agreement.

    Best to sort things out early.

    • Peter
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Remember this agreement is not significantly better than WTO in many ways.

      If there are any hidden elements that now cause buyer’s remorse then we should not hesitate to exercise our right to terminate the agreement.

      • Simeon
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Something tells me the Tories are not remorseful…

      • GilesB
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        The EU benefits from the vassalage agreement because their goods exports to us are tariff free.

        The U.K. loses because the tariffs saved on U.K. exports to the EU are so much less.

        And the imbalance will get worse in future as we increase our share of exports to the rest of the world.

        The agreement is no better than WTO rules in terms of red tape at the border as there are still SPS checks and rule of origin declarations etc.

        Tear it up.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          If they were going to tear it up, they wouldn’t have agreed to it. Is it so fanciful to think that the UK government like the agreement they signed up to?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Boris Johnson sold his Christmas deal as a great British victory.

        You are not seriously talking about tearing it down only 14 days into the new year, are you ?

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        The WTO would have put our Government in charge – maybe they were freighted to take responsibility

      • graham1946
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        There certainly are ‘hidden elements’. This is just the first of the landmines I alluded to a few weeks ago. Many more will explode and are designed to undermine Brexit. Best tell the EU we are not putting up with it right now while volumes are low and lockdown is on. The EU have never been good ‘partners’ but have always sought to humiliate the UK any way they can. Start looking for other people to supply us and give them free access.

    • David Peddy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Hear ,hear

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I’d estimate that 90% of MPs hoped we’d remain in the EU – I can’t see any government ever lifting a figure against the EU

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The government and JCVI plan to offer the first vaccine dose to all those in the top 4 priority groups by 15 February. They estimate these groups account for 88% of COVID-19 fatalities.

    If however they adjusted for the far higher male covid risk nearly double (by vaccinating men above a slightly younger age than women based on relative risks) then the same number of vaccination might cover more like 94% of fatalities rather than just the 88%. So why are JCVI and the government not following the logic and science here and thus saving more lives and protecting the NHS?

    Are they just innumerate/daft or do they actually understand but do not care about an extra, perhaps as many as 500 deaths?. Why are no journalist or MPs asking this question of them? JCVI members are not short of qualifications surely some of them must realise this is the position? Even the vaccine minister or Hancock should have sussed this by now.

    • jerry
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      @LL; What do you expect from a govt being run from No.11, rather than from at least the DHSC, I have resigned myself to a case of Que Sera, Sera. It’s like WW2 being run by and from from a bunker below the offices of the Paymaster General!

      But that’s the way people like you, who all to often call yourselves ‘real Tories’ want it, save your crocodile tears. Or are you really offering to pay mid 1970s tax rate on your income and capital etc, along with currency controls, to pay for a proper scientific response to this health crisis?

    • Peter
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I am equally gobsmacked over this. They parrot on that they are “following the science” as an overall excuse for anything, then ignore it if it inconveniences them. We all know they are afraid of the female lobby but it beats me why not one journalist (or as far as I can see MP) has not at least challenged this tablet of wisdom of orders which is against their own science.

      • Peter
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        To clarify this is not the poster who usually posts as Peter.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        +1 thank goodness someone sensible on this issue. It will kill hundreds for now good reason if not addressed and corrected.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Another idea – ask the people who have recovered from Covid after a positive test and who are therefore immune (as has been proved recently) to decline the vaccine initially. The estimate is 12m have had it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, why waste short in supply vaccine on people who are almost certainly already immune?

    • Christine
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I actually agree with your point and I’m a woman. Scientific studies have shown that because women have two X chromosomes they are much better equipped to fight off viruses. Even nature produces more males than females because of the higher male attrition rate.

      Of course prioritising men over women won’t happen because there would be a huge outcry and you would have other ethnic groups crying out for their elevation on the list. The added bureaucracy would slow things down and stop couples attending vaccination centres together.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Well firstly they never listen to sense.
      And secondly they can’t even organise every Dr’s surgery and pharmacy to roll out the experiment.
      So how could they work out your sensibly suggested grouping?
      Oh yes…and what do they care about a few thousand deaths??
      Not a lot!

  9. Sea_Warrior
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Quire right – and I’m increasingly concerned about what’s happening in Gibraltar.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Yes. Another sell out plus despite the BS the fishing deal is not that of an independent coastal state. They are now negotiating Financial Services get ready for more giveaways disguised with heavy spin treating us as stupid supported by their MPs more interested in their own careers than us.

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Makes a mockery of the referendum

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Sell-out on the horizon

  10. Nig l
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Yes. Kate Hooey, umpteen times more respected and honourable than Gove got it right yesterday. We keep getting told we are independent but as soon as the South says jump, your PM says how high?

    Politicians go through all sorts of tautology to avoid lying but in this case their lies cannot be disputed.

    They have treated Northern Ireland’s voters shabbily and sold out as they did with the Good Friday Agreement. You must mobilise the ERG and stay on the attack.

    • Andy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      You mean unelected bureaucrat Kate Hoey. Nobody voted for her – and she helps impose rules on us with no means of us to get rid of her.

      Northern Ireland voted remain for a reason. Because your Brexit was always going to be a disaster for them. You have imposed it on them anyway.

      • Nig l
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        As usual one eyed and factually incorrect. Better informed is to be better accepted. Kate Hooey voted constantly against selling out to the EU contrary to her parties policy and so was a pariah, indeed we have to thank her for voting against Theresa May so getting us to where we are now.

        I guess that is why you don’t like her.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Yes, so much for “localism” eh?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      +1 Deceit comes to mind, maybe in political terms that is not really lying

    • jerry
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      @Nig 1; “They have treated Northern Ireland’s voters shabbily and sold out as they did with the Good Friday Agreement.”

      You need to be very careful playing those cards, a majority might agree, should a border poll ever be called…

      How about we keep this about trade and economics etc, not politics?

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Of course there cannot be obstructions to moving goods around the UK.
    I can’t see why our Customs people are even complying with this stupidity.
    If the EU want to erect a border on their territory fine but not on ours!

    • Simeon
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      This is what the UK government agreed to. An agreement ‘thrashed out’ over the course of last year. The customs people are simply implementing government policy – as of course they should.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        It was essentially “thrashed out” by daft PM May who lost the confidence of the country in doing so- and who was only in place because the alternative was unthinkable.
        The previous government’s policy was to Leave in June 2016 without an agreement.
        I think there are countless examples in history of bureaucrats blindly following “government policy” to the detriment of their country. It’s not something to be proud of nor for you to push as being a “good thing”.
        The whole thing needs tearing up, even if it takes a new-Reform party- government so we move goods around our own country seamlessly.
        It’s an open goal for Farage because Labour blindly follow the government 6 months behind on Brexit.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          Customs people are paid to do their job. We are not talking about senior bureacrats. They would be sacked if they didn’t comply with regs. Why should they be the martyrs?

          You criticise May, but it is Blowers that did the deed. I sincerely hope you’re not trying to make excuses for him.

          Farage is a prize idiot. Open goals are meaningless. Anyone voting for him needs their head examined after his endorsenent of BRINO. If Blowers has ended his political career, then that is at least one thing we can thank him for. British independence requires a new champion – preferrably someone with intelligence, integrity and backbone.

          I apologise if I come across as harsh. From your previous posts I believe you to be well-intentioned. The purpose of my post is clarity.

    • None of the Above
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Many of these problems are a result of incorrect info supplied by the business concerned or incorrect interpretation of so-called regulation.
      Yes, the root cause is the NI Protocol but we have Theresa May and remainers to blame for that. Boris Johnson had a very bad hand to play with and although he tried to change a few cards, he couldn’t improve it enough.
      Those who are dissatisfied with what’s happening at the border need to accept that under a WTO departure things would have been even more disruptive, compensated only by a tariff balance in our favour.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        We could have moved goods into NI seamlessly under WTO, obviously.

        We will again when this daft agreement gets torn up by this or a future government. We shouldn’t be denying our own people the goods they want. It’s for the EU to put up walls when all we want are bridges.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      It simply needed a box to be ticked are these goods staying in Northern Ireland or to be forwarded to Southern Ireland. If someone ticks the goods are staying in Northern Ireland but they rock up in Southern Ireland then Southern Ireland prosecutes the offender.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t it Boris himself while visiting NI said ‘’just throw any extra paperwork in bin’’

  12. BW
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It needs to be understood that the task of the EU is to show all the other nations that Brexit is a bad choice. It must do this any any cost. It is the only way they will be able to stop other nations leaving. It would not surprise me to find those at the borders, especially the French have been specifically briefed to be as awkward as possible.
    This sort of behaviour will not end as the EU cannot afford Brexit to succeed. So if legislation is needed and will work, get on with it as soon as possible.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      The task not just of the EU but of the UK government also – a task they are undoubtedly willing and able to execute.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Not much of a “task” at all, is it?

        The simple facts of Tory brexit do it all for them.

  13. None of the above
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    We all have only two tools left at our disposal, our vote and our money. Let us use both for the benefit of the UK.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Agreed, follow me and boycott ALL eu goods and farm products. Its easy , I have had the satisfaction of depriving them of my money for four years plus.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      But because of the economic ties, what benefits the European Union – in fact the whole world – benefits us all, and the converse is true.

      It is not a zero sum game.

      Ever heard of Adam Smith?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Yet again you have the wrong end of the stick.

        Adam Smith spoke about free trade not 40% tariffs to outsiders.
        We want free trade, but not with people who are themselves pro-protection.

  14. Simeon
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The present arrangements are precisely what you have facilitated. They are precisely what was anticipated by the WA of a year ago. The sovereignty clause was a ruse to get you and your fellow travellers on side – a ruse you should absolutely have seen through because of its provenance.

    Sir John, why don’t you set out the consequences of the UK reneging on an agreement with the EU? Already, we see this government has made an utter horlicks of Brexit – and it’s not even Brexit but BRINO!

    Better still, set out the consequences of your (belated?) realisation that NI has been sold down the Rhine – unless these consequences don’t include you leaving the Tory part, in which case you oughtn’t bother.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      If the DUP had backed Labour, not the Tories, then NI – and the rest of the UK – would not be in this brexit fundamentalists’ mess.

      In a way it’s poetic justice.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Fully agree, they’re all signed up member of the new Trade & Coop deal

      Just like fisheries, we fully control the next 5.5 years of EU fishing in our waters and the continued status quo

    • Len Peel
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      It is striking how quick the ERG were to desert their erstwhile DUP friends

      • Simeon
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Not just the ERG but every other Conservative and Unionist Party MP. Though to be fair, the DUP played a full part in their own demise, or rather the demise of the unionist Ulstermen they represent, by trusting Blowers in the first place.

  15. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    When is this government going to start standing up for our rights as a nation? He is playing into the hands of Sturgeon by not sorting this out in a rapid and decisive manner. We are now 2 weeks into Brexit. For goodness sake do something. This lack of action is taking away confidence in the Tory government every day this is allowed to continue. I cannot vote for a government that doesn’t look after its own people. Johnson has made a complete cock up of Brexit just as most of us thought he would. Why is he still in post receiving a salary?

  16. George Brooks.
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right Sir John. Nip it in the bud as we owe the EU nothing and there is little point in holding back and pretending we are good friends. All they will do is spread the disruption to other sectors.

    We do not want another series of wet responses. We are in control of our laws, now prove it.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:49 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      A bit like the super trawlers fishing in our water….we can’t stop them, we’re certainly not in control of our own laws

    • Fred H
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      to borrow our friend’s oft quoted observation it strikes me as being too much ‘like wet lettuce’.

  17. agricola
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    If it is not working , fix it. Specifically in terms of NI trade. I would want to see a detailed appreciation of the fishing situation before being drawn into pontificating on the subject. Let us have an appraisal of exactly what the post Brexit fishing situation is and you will get a considered comment.

    • hefner
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      ‘pontificating’, indeed, daily doses of it.

    • IanT
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:50 am | Permalink


      Deals done at short notice require time to bed in. IT Systems and people – that’s without the media and opposition (with axes to grind) focusing on the problems and not the successes. Worry about this in six months time if it’s still hitting the headlines.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        You have a point IanT.

        We also need to make sure that Ireland and the EU have the exact same paperwork requirements sending goods to the UK or they’ll never stop this incessant bullying of the UK for petty political point scoring like Martin is trying to troll every post with.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      In the eyes of this government nothing is broken, its precisely what they negotiated and agreed

  18. Stephen J
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I rather thought that the representative system of democracy meant that MP’s are not delegates, but rather independent representatives. Since the vast majority of MP’s voted to “remain”, they were not the correct representatives to regain the INDEPENDENCE that the referendum spelled out. A majority of the people disagreed with both the government and the EU lording it over us, after forty years and given the opportunity by Mr. Cameron, we voted to LEAVE. A binding referendum is different from an election. on the morning after the referendum, the government’s only job was to enact a one line bill to repeal the European Communities act, with a date set for final withdrawal.

    That is what the referendum deal was, and what Cameron said would happen.

    We didn’t vote for your party to replace all of the iniquities of the EU with their own mini-version of the EU.

    We voted to leave the EU…. Not to take back control. Our government shows all the signs of intending to bend over to receive every new EU instruction.

    The only Tory MP, that I have ever witnessed being a true representative (by attending to the spirit) of an act was Enoch Powell, who left the Tory Party when he saw it going native. The reality of course is that although MP’s are not delegates, they act as if they were delegates of Johnson, rather than representatives of the people.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Excellent post. EP was a giant. Thatcher did some good things, but Powell would have been able to go further – and would have been less divisive (though that Thatcher was divisive was by no means entirely her fault).

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Thatcher was not in the same class as EP. Hardly anybody is.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      +1 Excellent

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      @Stewaphen +1.

      @ Simeon – Thatcher did indeed do many good things but failed in many other ways. Closing many good grammar schools, burying us further into the EU, appointing John Major as Chancellor and not stopping him from taking us into the ERM, failing to change the NHS dire monopoly heathcare system, failing to get real competition into education and healthcare, falling for the green crap war on plant food and renewable agenda, failing to cut the state sector down a a sensible size ……

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right!

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Excellent summary of current events

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Permalink


    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      The ‘representative system of democracy’ is, at best, an oxymoron. How can a system be democratic if the people in a constituency vote for someone who votes in such a way as to be contrary to the views of the majority of their constituents.

      I don’t know who thought up this bolleaux, but, clearly, it was someone who only wanted to pay lip service to democracy. You think our current system is democratic? Don’t make me laugh.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        +1 a vote every five years for someone who, once elected, will do the opposite of what he/she promised to do to get elected.

  19. Brexitdisullusioned
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The EU sells us more goods than we sell them. The deal covers goods. Great for the EU. The UK sells more services to the EU than they sell us. The deal doesn’t cover services. Great for the EU. Please explain

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Good point. The Provos spent 30 years trying to bomb Ulster out of the Union but Johnson handed NI to the EU in 5 minutes to close a fishing “deal”

      I see today the EU are trying to starve NI into submission – with lorry loads of food rotting at the ports, while the drivers spend 5 days filling out the new paperwork. Lets hope they have enough toilet rolls.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:37 pm | Permalink


        Family member works in the freight industry and conforms that all should know the new rules by now and what paperwork is required, but many have simply buried their heads in the sand and have tried to carry on as in the past, hence the problems when they get to the port with the wrong or Old system paperwork.
        Whilst they have had no problems, many of their customers whose freight they carry are still confused as to what is required.

        Rest assured I am not saying perhaps it is as simple as it was in the past, but it takes time to get familiar with any new system, then you work more efficiently, because you learn by your mistakes, at least most do !

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:05 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      “Will of the people, and stuff”

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Carry on goading Martin, it makes people more resolute.

    • IanT
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Why is a ‘no deal’ for Services great for the EU?

      After all, it avoids Brussels tying our Fin Tech down in their endless rules and regulation. I think no-deal is much preferable.

      All the recent negotiating focus was on the export/import of physical goods and the problems caused by “No Deal”. That is what voters were probably most concerned about but I doubt many of them worried about the City or Services.

      Quite right too – the City is more than capable of looking after itself and will do so. Nor do I think lack of a ‘Services’ deal is a mistake by Boris and Frost – I think it was actually quite forward looking. I’m sure Macron is rubbing his hands at the prospect of Paris becoming the new financial centre of Europe but give it a while and we will see in the longer term.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      It covers financial services to some extent. It could be enhanced if more equivalence agreements could be negotiated. But best not to dwell on that and push to expand services in the rest of the world markets – finance and legal companies will find creative ways to continue trading with the EU in the interim.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      It was never about trade. The EU is a political project. Those, on both sides of the argument, who bang on about trade are deluding themselves and others.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        It’s not an economic project, nor a political one, though these are vehicles.

        It is mainly a peace project, that is, a moral one.

  20. Ed M
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump has more-a-less killed off Populism – at least as a ‘Popular’ movement, in particular with Corporate America treating him now like a Pariah . It was inevitable.

    We must ensure here in the UK that Brexit is focused on a positive vision of British Patriotism – not a negative form of nationalistic populism.

    • Lynn
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Yep with only 75 million dedicated supporter he has shown how unpopular ‘popularism’ is. Biden has 81 million pieces of paper and somewhere around 50 million supporters. Now that’s power!

  21. Richard1
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Yes I guess we better invoke article 16 I think it is, which allows the govt to take unilateral control if things aren’t working. What is amazing is the petty vindictiveness of the EU with its officials reportedly taking drivers’ sandwiches. What’s in it for them to behave like this?! It is an irritant and should be dealt with, but what it certainly isn’t (NB BBC) is an argument for the EU.

    Generally I suggest a patient approach – I suspect they will get bored of this in a couple of months. Likewise on those other pettinesses such as stopping musicians travelling and restricting people to 90 days in 180 in second homes. And of course most importantly financial services equivalence. Try to sort it out privately without the use of the megafone, but make it clear that if after say a year we haven’t got these issues resolved satisfactorily we will give notice to withdraw from the agreement. That has been shown to be the language the EU understands.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      The Irony is Richard these Eu Countries taking ham sandwiches are usually the people who sold us the ham. Talk about shooting themselves in their own foot.

      Now we must stop all of the foods that EU drivers come into the UK with, it is a much bigger problem for them because they often come to the UK and live in their trucks for weeks at a time, with all sorts of produce in their vehicles, often unrefrigerated. If we take reciprocal action it will stop this pettiness because believe me it is a bigger problem for the EU than it would be for the British who often just buy takeout anyway from my experience of drivers!

  22. ian@Barkham
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The only ones that couldn’t see that this so-called Brexit deal was about how the EU would carry on managing and punishing the people of the UK – was this Government. Come on, the EU will let us(the UK) have just 25% of the fish in UK territorial coastal waters after 5.5 years. It is not worded that way for nothing, it could have said the UK would offer the EU 75% of the fish in UK waters. But no its the EU decreeing what we do

    We voted for a ‘clean break’ not surrogate rule fronted by willing quislings. The UK can never get to realise its full potential while it is held back by an authoritarian dictate.

    An illustration in point would be the EU has done a deal with their(the EU’s) biggest trading partner, China. Nowhere in that deal does China have to accept EU rule. Maybe that is an illustration the China and the EU are both ruled by similar principles – the politburo dictates and the people jump.

  23. middle ground
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    When 36% of the country vote for something that was never clearly defined, this is the result.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


      In fact it was only a quarter of the country, but 36% of the electorate.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Well Martin last time I checked under 18s don’t get a vote.

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Might one ask how you think this can be rectified? What legislation will your government enact and how will it override this new EU association agreement?

    How will you influence the executive to bring the legislation to the House?

    How will you create a majority in the Houses of Parliament to carry the day?

    Is this a resigning matter and how many of your colleagues will sit independently with you if it is?

    • Dennis
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      NS – sorry, I have no idea, again – JR

  25. Tabulazero
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    We both knew this would end up like that.

    If the UK tear up the withdrawal agreement, the EU will retaliate in kind and it will not simply be in Northern Ireland that there will be border problems.

  26. Tabulazero
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    It’s also rich of you to complain given the fact that your gameplan was to go for no deal.

    No deal would have brought ten times the disruption you moan about.

    Reply Nonsense. A WTO exit would have been good

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      There is no disruption for the EU Tab it all seems to be one way traffic because we’ve been reasonable. Is this really how your EU want to carry on?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply. A WTO exit would have brought all of today’s disruption and added on top all the disruptions linked to quotas and tariffs.

      It would have been worse.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Under WTO there would have been no six months grace from the UK side either, we’d all be in the same boat and agreements would have to have been reached quicker. Boris was foolish to agree to all the changes from the UK from 1.1.21 whilst giving the EU six months grace so as far as the negotiators are concerned they don’t give a monkeys, trouble is the British people are watching all of this in disbelief. It’s done now so we need to fix Boris mistakes ourselves.

        If you think the British public will all take a punishing and let the EU carry on selling to us you’re kidding yourself, the government can’t buy up all the imports you’re relying on the British public too for our goodwill and the EU are seriously affecting that even if our journalists aren’t picking up on that and our politicians are deaf to it.

  27. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Written proof and admission that neither you nor we can trust your Tories in your government. As has been said before on many many occasions the protection of the Tory party is paramount. Being nice to them in the hope they will be nice back is naive – repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity.

    It is the country which loses, Tories have betrayal of the people in their DNA.

    And somehow linked, I was appalled and disgusted by ‘Boris’ with his answer to Ian Blackford yesterday when he raised the loss of shellfish exports. ‘Boris’ totally ignored the issue and simply ranted and insulted him and his party. That is how he thinks of Scotland and any Scot who supports Scottish national identity. I have no doubt that he feels the same way about any English and English national identity. He will no doubt stamp on us in tje same way. It can’t be otherwise; he takes us for granted. Someone who has enough belief and courage must tell him that the Union and England are not the same thing and that he should behave accordingly. I’m now fully with Scotland.

  28. ukretired123
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It’s ridiculous as you say that we cannot freely send goods to fellow citizens in the country without the EU Big Brother like Orwellian 1984.
    N Ireland was used as a stick ing point to beat us with aided and abetted by Varadakar who needs many friends now. So much for Good Faith and Christmas.
    I agree we need to pass legislation quickly.

  29. ian@Barkham
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The EU has a different version of sovereignty to the rest of the Free Democratic World. The EU Rulers confer rights on its citizens and term them as being sovereignty. The termed pooled sovereignty means the state governments permit similar uniform rights through out the block.

    If everyone is born equal. To give someone rights means you have to be the one to have removed them in the first place.

    In a free democratic society it is the people that lend sovereignty to their representatives through elected parliaments. This can be withdrawn by the people at elections. A free sovereign country at all times is being governed by the will of the people, not as in the EU were the people are being dictated to by a politburo.

    Sovereignty at all times in a democracy is owned by its people, as such Sovereignty is the People, only despots take that away.

    If the UK is a Free Democratic Sovereign Country – laws, rules and dictates inside the UK territory can never at any stage be dictated to by outsiders. Yet as every day that passes this Government confirms they are still primarily rule takers and will jump to their external master before the people of the UK that pay their wages.

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It’s not just a case of why doesn’t the government sort this out now — Why wasn’t it sorted out before it became a problem.

    It must have been known from the shoddy agreement signed by Boris that things would be difficult for NI — It seems that just like Gibraltar he was content to give things away, that were not his to give, in order to announce a near-BREXIT.
    Gibraltar has EU security personnel on its soil, NI is in a mess with food, and our seas are not our own — What fools we were to trust this PM.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Well let’s make sure we’re not fools again.

  31. Peter Parsons
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “Our borders with the rest of the world in Great Britain” have physical infrastructure that the UK has committed not to build between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

    This was always going to be an issue. I pointed this out to some Leavers prior to the referendum in 2016 and they just put their fingers in their ears and ignored it. Chickens come home to roost, and the Brexit chickens are now arriving in force.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Many things are, but this IS NOT OUR PROBLEM.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Others will rightly be the judge of that.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        The UK putting up physical infrastructure on a UK border when the UK promised not to put up any such infrastructure is definitely the UK’s problem.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe, it has been a problem getting timely reference numbers, a system that was wanting to send reference numbers in a struggling postal service, they’ve started using e-mails its made improvement, it is getting sorted, slowly but surely and once done it’s done forever and will be the new normal.

  32. ian@Barkham
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    From the Daily Telegraph

    The fisheries minister has raised eyebrows by disclosing she was busy organising a nativity trail on Christmas Eve when the Brexit deal was agreed, and didn’t read its fine print on fish. When she appeared before the Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee on Wednesday.

    Whose in charge of the UK laws, rules and regulations – clearly not the UK

  33. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I assume it is not working because no one is yet fully conversant with all of the new paperwork/electronic forms that need to be completed, hence all of these new checks causing delay.
    Likewise it would seem the new paperwork does not seem to cover all eventualities within a lorries manifest.
    Thus the difference is theory and what happens in practice.
    Time is still young, so the system may evolve or need modifying to cope.
    Only if that fails should you legislate, but this time make it absolutely clear, with no political fudge to complicate matters.

    As usual it is us being flexible (6 months game) and the EU being difficult (immediate enforcement) but what did you expect.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      (6 months transition/delay)

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      You are correct Alan and delays getting numbers, at first they said the numbers would be posted out and would take 3-5 days in the post, everyone was complaining so they have now started to e-mail the numbers required should have just done this on the day of application. Just sloppy government procedures holding things up and new rules on internal UK trade that wasn’t fully explained to a lot of manufacturers and small transport companies even if the larger organisation had the explanations as you claim (which would be typical).

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Or maybe the EU was actually prepared and ready and the UK simply was not.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        The EU was given six months to prepare from the new year, the UK was given just over a week. It’s not all rosy though Irish transport companies aren’t happy.

  34. a-tracy
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    It is more complicated to get goods to Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the EU. It is more of a burden to get reference numbers for that and this should not be the case they are members of the United Kingdom. I can give you all the details of the procedure and the silly delays should you wish to have it John.

    Southern Ireland is just like sending goods to the Rest of the World, same as always, straight forward.

    Sack Shapps, we’ve had enough of him now. We are being restricted and imprisoned, preached to and lectured, fined and condemned whilst he allows incomers from South America and the rest of the World without tests.

  35. Nig l
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Ps Off topic a really good comment by Guido. Whilst your government is harassing people sitting on park benches, truly scraping the bottom of the barrel fining a couple for seeing their mother with dementia, you are dragging your feet again on people from abroad, this time allowing the Brazil variant in, unfettered.

    No surprise, Grant Shapps again.

  36. majorfrustration
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    So the cracks appear – so early. Still did anybody really trust the PM to get the UK a good a deal as he said. The more and more these issue start to come out of the woodwork with nothing being done the more the Tory Party is likely to lose the next election – I suspect Nigel cant wait.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about Nigel but I can’t wait.

  37. BJC
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    In a nutshell, the deal keeps us shackled to the EU UNLESS Parliament is prepared to diverge and get a massive financial kicking. As we still have a Parliament stuffed to the rafters with Remainers, that’s as likely as Mr Johnson declaring we’ve beaten Covid and had all our freedoms returned to us. I presume Mr Johnson’s sabre-rattling over NI is all part of a process to push the HOL into line? As I pointed out a few weeks ago, they present a fundamental block to progress.

    I’m exasperated over the continuing focus on the EU, so please can we have some news on the benefits we’ve already realised from the FTAs Ms Truss has secured, or is this another area that’s in suspended animation until Covid is sorted, so not worth the paper it’s written on?

    The UK government must shift its focus to a policy of making the EU irrelevant (weakening its influence) by promoting the many opportunities presented by these deals. In the absence of the possibility of trade fairs, etc, is there such a thing as a dedicated online presence for different sectors to deliver their products/services to a broader market than the obstructive EU, i.e. similar to the model of Uber or Just Eats and could be particularly beneficial for SME’s? If not, why not? If yes, give it more airtime than the EU!

  38. alastair harris
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    a good example of the difference between the theory and practice of sovereignty! You are right of course. The government should legislate to deal with issues that are arising.

  39. acorn
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “The government says it can use a clause in the Irish protocol to take over and control our single market in Northern Ireland. It should do so.”

    Which clause would that be then and, what would be the odds of Boris deploy it anytime this century?

    Reply Cl 16

    • Dennis
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply Cl 16 -not giving odds then.

  40. William Long
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    You are right to be worried. The only time to sort this out, and show we won’t be bullied, is now! Every minute that that these impediments are allowed to persist, gives Brussels more letigitimacy in its abuse of the agreement.

  41. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    These outcomes were predicted by those of us who see the EU as a danger to democracy. Cheese and ham, even in personal sandwiches, are banned. OK let’s reciprocate all dairy and pig meat are banned from UK import.

    This parliament is not for purpose.

    Hundreds of illegal immigrants are boating in each week, covid rules are irrelevant for them, put them on Eurostar back to France. This situation makes a mockery of Government exhortations. MPs take back control.

  42. Fishknife
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Imagine the hullabaloo if Berkshire’s shelves were empty !
    This situation is not acceptable, two weeks after the event.
    Bureaucracy must not be allowed to trump our people.
    Sort it – now.

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    WHY are GP’s being told to concentrate on vaccinations only, to ignore lesser problems… WHEN Pharmacists are being ignored, although they have the training and capability to give vaccinations????

    Is Whitehall deliberately being inept? It appears to be so natural.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      lesser problems?
      4.5 m patients on various waiting lists of NHS.
      Hundreds of thousands with cancers which will likely be a far bigger death toll than Covid.

  44. ChrisS
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Listening to the arguments over the North Sea border this morning, it is obvious that we will need to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to safeguard trade across the North Sea.

    It was profoundly unsatisfactory for the agreement with the EU to introduce any restrictions on trade within the UK, especially when this can be monitored by the EU from an office located within the UK.

    It might be opportune to delay evoking Article 16 until we see whether the agreement is ratified by the European Parliament. If for any reason it isn’t, we can include negotiations on this thorny issue when we sit down again with Barnier or his successor.

    In the meantime, once we have evoked A16, we should be able to maintain it indefinitely as long as there is the slightest evidence that trade is being disrupted or even made slightly more difficult. I suspect Ireland will not object, and the problem will go away just as soon as we come up with the technical solution that we originally proposed and the EU rejected because at the time a workable system did not exist.

  45. Iago
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    We are not an independent country now, controlled by these committees of anonymous UK and EU civil servants. Johnson and his numerous ministers are quite happy with this.
    Our goods are impeded and our borders are flung wide open.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      and we threw away the magna carta

      • hefner
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Don’t idolise the Magna Carta, practically it was just a text forced on King John by the barons, with no impact whatsoever on the common people.
        You would look less silly if you were to quote the 1688/9 Bill of Rights when a Dutch Prince William III of Orange married Mary, all that reported to the gullible as the Glorious Revolution.

        • glen cullen
          Posted January 16, 2021 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          Thanks for your quality feedack

          • hefner
            Posted January 17, 2021 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            You’re very welcome.

  46. bill brown
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    This is the usal one-sided fake news on the EU.

    The EU is not trying to hinder us trading with NI or ourselves there are some teething problems which will be sorted out as is the case in Dover.

    Your suggestion to re-introduce legislation which was against an already international treaty and which did not help our credibility as a country. (and was against international law according to fhe former attorney general and the minister for NI.)

    This introduction of former legislation will not happen nor is it in the interest of the UK.

    This is the same sort of arguments that were used by the Remainers before.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Bill, all of the goods being traded presently are within EU rules, we didn’t suddenly start importing products from the USA on 1.1.21. The EU insisted the rules agreed before Xmas were put in place with no transition as the UK government gave them. So I say stop playing nice with the EU and make them fill in the same paperwork procedures to send goods to us immediately. Then lets see.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 10:29 am | Permalink


        we signed the agreement so we have to live with it , we had time enough to consider our options/

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 15, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Bill, we are getting used to this and adapting Bill, which will put us ahead of the EU.

          Our politicians may be incompetent but don’t assume the rest of the UK are.

  47. glen cullen
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Didn’t the government propose and MPs voted for the Withdrawal Agreement, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Trade & Cooperation UK/EU Agreement, therein each document it was clearly stated the separation of NI from the union…any layman could see the sell-out of NI as the cost of the deal

    It is what it is….trying to make trade a little better between NI and UK just makes it worst – be honest, NI is taxed, managed and controlled by the EU

    • Old Salt
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      As one Martin Selmayr once said “The price the UK would have to pay would be the loss of Northern Ireland”. So it would seem to come to pass. The EU wins again in breaking up the once United Kingdom with NI now effectively annexed. Divide and conquer. Can’t say those responsible weren’t warned. Now it seems Gib’ as well.

      All we can do, as mere mortals, is to stop buying EU stuff as far as possible.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Old salt

        the goods arrive from 26 different countries not from the EU

        • glen cullen
          Posted January 15, 2021 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          goods from 3 countries and cheap labour from 23 countries

          • bill brown
            Posted January 15, 2021 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            Glen Cullen

            You will have to explain taht response please

      • ChrisS
        Posted January 15, 2021 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        If the EU wants to take over paying the £13bn annual cost incurred by English taxpayers in subsidising NI, I for one will welcome the takeover.

        The tiny NI economy is subsidised to the tune of almost £5,000 per head of population ( the 2019 figure ) and all of the resulting £13bn deficit would have to be paid for by the Irish state. Eire can’t afford to take it on and I can’t see the few net contributors to the EU budget handing over yet more of their citizen’s money to pay for it either.

  48. chris hook
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Sir John , you didn’t honestly think there’d be no sell-out did you? You were right to abstain .

  49. edwardm
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Exactly. No more messing around with the obdurate EU.
    We need free flow of goods to NI with minimal declarations, now.
    Businesses in general should change their trading patterns so not to be reliant on the EU.
    Fishermen should find new markets for their fish – eg land catch in UK and freeze the surplus and sell to Africa or the Americas. The EU is disrupting their trade so let it go short of fish. I don’t know why fishermen didn’t prepare for this, as they are a eurosceptic lot.

  50. John Partington
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    It has always been the intention of the EU to make trading difficult and inflict loads of red tape on companies. This is not right and the Government of the UK need to take retaliatory action if this continues. Action can include suspension of the blackmail money(so called divorce bill) and suspension of euro clearing and insurance by the City.
    I was an advocate of a no deal Brexit and what we have now is a semi-Brexit. The fishermen of this country were completely betrayed as well.

    • bill brown
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      John Partington

      If you want to suggest something realistic it might come across a bit more realistic

  51. Mark B
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    It seems our kind host did not like what I had to say today. Deleting my post from this morning may mean others will not read it, but it does not make what I said any less true.

    Re[ply Some of you are offering too many and too long. I needed just to delete things today to stop the build up. I will be deleting even more given the refusal of many of you to limit the umber and length. I do not know if I disagreed with you or not if I delete it for being too long!

    • Mark B
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Not true !

      It was short and to the point ! And it was one of the first of the day. I made posts on other threads, you could have deleted or ignored those.

  52. Everhopeful
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Did we mean it though? Independence?
    Here we are at the end of the globally dictated “ Decade of Vaccines”, frantically dancing to the global tune which demands we commit to immunisation as a priority.
    That’s not independence!

    I had no idea that SAGE is not an arm of our govt. but a global body! A sort of Mary Poppins.
    Boris appears useless because the orders from on high keep changing!

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      and don’t forget marcus rashford the new political tsar of number 10

  53. Billy Elliott
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    But Sir,

    It has only been to weeks since we left EU.
    It takes time to adapt. We can’t really continue with this let’s make a deal – let’s give up a deal game.

    On the other hand I don’t think things get better after this grace period when all red the red tape and what evere there now is will hit the fan.

    Nor do I belive WTO is the solutions – it is even worse.
    Quite a predicament we are having don’t we?

  54. London Nick
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Northern Ireland and fishing are Boris’s two most shameful betrayals.
    Failing to insists on a deal for financial services was his most economically expensive betrayal (in relation to Brexit – don’t even get me started on Covid!!).
    Agreeing to remain in the ECHR was his most dangerous betrayal (as we cannot deport any criminal or even terrorist who claims asylum).
    The man has clearly betrayed Britain, so why don’t Tory MPs no confidence him?
    I voted Conservative in 2019, so I am not a rabid Tory-hater by any means, but because of these betrayals I will vote Reform UK next time – unless Boris is gone and the Brexit betrayals have been resolved.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I’ll vote Reform too. We need reform urgently. The Conservative party is a real let down.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      We haven’t left…we even staying in the EU horizon 2020 project costing millions and remaining with the EU travel insurance card (but under a different name) also costing us millions

      Same same – same same

    • jon livesey
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Man threatens to waste his vote in 2024. Film at eleven.

  55. Multi-ID
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Very soon attention will be drawn away from NI to that pinchpoint at Calais. What can only happen then is a rush to containerisation and shipping through Felixstowe- everything will be slower so am afraid Uk Trading difficulties are only starting- and certainly JIT will be very much a thing of the past. But it’s all part of taking back control

    • jon livesey
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      There is no rational reason why things ought to get more difficult. Quite the reverse. As time goes by, folks on the ground will get used to the new system, the EU will realise that trade is a two-way street and obstructionism will hurt them too, and kinks will be ironed out of what is after all a new set of systems.

      Oh, and if containerization slows everything up, why did we ever get to using containers? Maybe because it makes other aspects of trade a lot more efficient? For example, by moving physical handling farther back in the supply chain. And what might that lead to? Maybe more technology applied to trade, instead of Scottish fishermen filling cardboard boxes by hand?

      Isn’t it amazing how many World experts in trade Brexit has brought out from the undergrowth, and all so negative and pessimistic? Make you wonder where they have been keeping themselves. Bed-sits?

  56. jon livesey
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    The anti-Brexit comments today are almost a perfect caricature of my prediction yesterday, when I said that if all you have is a vial of cannabis oil and a sanitary product, you look lost.

    And that is where we are today. The arrangements over NI are not perfect, but given two facts that interact, Brexit and the GFA, they could NOT be perfect.

    Got that? Given both Brexit and the GFA you can NOT have a perfect arrangement for NI that pleases everyone. It is simply a logical impossibility. You can’t have no border and no EU customs posts and no customs checks and no declarations. You might like to, but you can’t.

    So what we’ll have instead is a period of adjustment until we reach a situation that completely pleases no-one, but that everyone can live with. In fact, it will be quite a lot like the rest of life, where similar things happen all the time.

    But still, now you have vial of cannabis oil, a sanitary product, and a ham sandwich. Does that feel better? Cleverer? A slightly bigger nothing at all?

    • London Nick
      Posted January 14, 2021 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      You are utterly wrong.

      Firstly, the Belfast Agreement (the IRA call it the GFA) makes NO mention of the NI/Eire border, so a ‘hard border’ there is NOT a problem in that respect;

      Secondly, we could leave that border open, on the basis that we simply don’t care if EU goods enter NI unchecked. It is statistically insignificant compared to overall goods movement. If Ireland or the EU care if UK goods travel south, then let THEM close the border.

      So we could indeed have a ‘perfect’ arrangement, where we do nothing and keep all bporders open, and leave it to the EU to do anything on their side if they want (as is their right) and then take the flack for it if they do.

  57. M Davis
    Posted January 14, 2021 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    To ‘None of the above’ – Hear! Hear!

  58. Ian
    Posted January 15, 2021 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    W T O
    Do it now, no more talks just do it ?

    Sorry but nothing is going to happen because
    Yes the Establishment are all Remainers
    We are peeing into the wind
    Nothing has changed nor will it, untill Someone gets a grip

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I will vote for any party that will take us into the WTO

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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