The government needs to ask for substantial improvements to the Northern Ireland deal

Now more of the detail is coming out about the Northern Ireland talks, it shows us  more matters need to be clarified in writing  and sorted out in the Joint Committee before accepting any changes to the legal position.

The EU spokesman has told MEPs  according to briefings that the ECJ will have an important role and substantial amounts of EU law will apply to Northern Ireland. He also pointed out the Stormont brake would rarely be able to work. It seems  the green lane would still be subject to EU checks and to possible EU interruption to the flow of goods.  That is why I have asked the government to show us a list of the EU laws that will apply to Northern Ireland from day one of any  new agreements. I have asked how many VAT and Excise rules will still constrain our tax policies, and want to know more about what information and form filling  people will  need to supply to allow green lane trade.  It appears that EU plant and animal husbandry rules will apply. We also need to know in what circumstances the EU could suspend or  modify green lane trade.

It is most important to get this right. The rest of the UK does not want to find it needs to align with the EU over tax and regulations, any more than Unionists in Northern Ireland wish to find their laws and taxes in part come from the EU where they have no vote or voice.  The UK fully accepts the need to avoid a border between NI and the Republic, but also needs to avoid a border between  GB and NI.  Any new arrangement at the very least needs a unilateral exit route for the UK should the terms prove onerous. It  remains to be seen if the Unionist parties find it acceptable so that they can rejoin the Stormont Assembly, one of the original aims of the talks.

 

 

162 Comments

  1. Bob Dixon
    March 7, 2023

    The Prime Minister cannot hoodwink us.This is a no deal as it stands.As for his small boat solution he needs to think again.
    Not looking good for him.
    Just need the Budget and his is a dead man walking.

    1. Gary Megson
      March 7, 2023

      Northern Ireland was always going to be an insoluable problem after Brexit, as Major and Blair warned you in 2016. Small boats were always going to be insoluable problem once we left the EU asylum system after Brexit, as many people warned you in 2016. Mr Sunak is not trying to hoodwink you, the only people hoodwinking you are the Brexiters pretending there are any simple solutions

      1. Cuibono
        March 7, 2023

        Oh…I thought it had more to do with Gaddafi…or rather with his murder?

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        March 7, 2023

        The solution is a border between Northern Island and the Republic. The EU can erect it or use trading standards to police goods on the European side.

        No need for all this bureaucracy.

        Do you think that if we offered the Republic unification without a border between the mainland and the Island of Ireland they would jump at it, EU demands or not?

        1. turboterrier
          March 7, 2023

          N S
          Correct. Nothing is insoluble if there is a will and a passion to achieve it.

        2. Brian Cowling
          March 7, 2023

          +1

        3. Delphine Gray-Fisk
          March 7, 2023

          Spot on with regards a border betweenN.Ireland and the Republic. There already is a border with regards Currency, VAT, Corporation Tax etc without it having to be a ‘hard border’.

      3. Denis Cooper
        March 7, 2023

        It was seen as insoluble because for over six decades eurofederalist politicians like Major and Blair, and before them Macmillan and Heath, and then after them Cameron and Osborne, had grossly overstated the importance of EEC/EC/EU membership, or failing that some other special trade arrangement, for our economy. And then because with the active collusion of the UK government under May the Irish government very successfully implanted the ludicrous idea that checks and controls anywhere on the island of Ireland would constitute a “hard border” and could provoke a resurgence of terrorism. The correct solution was identified on here days after Irish politicians started threatening that their government was prepared to block any special trade deal:

        https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/10/19/the-state-of-the-union-2/#comment-1269044

        “My possible solution was for the UK government to give an undertaking to the EU that it did not intend to allow its territory to become a source of unsuitable goods placed upon the EU Single Market, and so it would introduce a system to licence UK exporters to the EU which would force them to meet EU requirements or suffer penalties under UK law, with the possibility of EU officials being invited to assist in investigations.”

      4. rose
        March 7, 2023

        Major and Blair weaponised the border against us as did many other remainiacs. They were doing it before the EU started doing it.

        Once Frau Merkel had broken German, EU, and International law in opening the borders to one and all, the Dublin Agreement no longer worked for anyone.

        1. Delphine Gray-Fisk
          March 7, 2023

          Agreed.

      5. Bloke
        March 7, 2023

        Those who claim things are insoluble dissolve when solutions flush them away with other wets.

      6. Barbara
        March 7, 2023

        Funny – neither of those things were an ‘insoluble problem’ before the EU existed.

      7. Mickey Taking
        March 7, 2023

        I think we should agree to take asylum seekers from Albania, subject to us monitoring them in dinghies, setting off from the nearest coast, making no landfall, getting no assistance and landing on the shores of the Clyde, Scotland.

      8. mancunius
        March 7, 2023

        Northern Ireland was and is not an insoluble problem. And you were warned that pretending it is (and lying about the terms of the GFA, which nowhere mentions the ‘border’ but does insist on cross-border cooperation that the EU contemptuously ignores) will assuredly cause violence in the Province, for which the EU is directly responsible. You want ethnic cleansing, do you? You may get more of that than you bargained for.

        As the WTO experts have always maintained, international trading across the RoI/NI border, is simplicity itself, via remotely exchanged e-trading arrangements. This was already discussed, but then in December 2017 the EU and RoI government tore it up, and fraudulently painted a picture of manned, armed border posts and queues, and their naive quislings lapped it up.

        They will come to regret it.

    2. Ian wragg
      March 7, 2023

      The population may not want dynamic alignment with EU rules but the snivel Serpents and a large number of politicians do.
      This agreement is another stepping stone to colonial status for the UK
      Fishy is a liar and I don’t believe he’s a Brexiteer

    3. Peter
      March 7, 2023

      Yes far more detail is required – not just outlines and hyperbole on how wonderful the deal is.

      A ‘unilateral exit route for the UK’ is also absolutely essential. Keep that and you can wear the EU down over time, in the same manner as they are attempting to do to us.

  2. Javelin
    March 7, 2023

    The headline in the Telegraph hasn’t just holed the Conservative Party below the water line it’s lifted the hull out the water and broken its back. “Sunk” would be too kind a word.

    “Matt Hancock’s plot to block funding for disabled children if MP opposed lockdown” – DT

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 7, 2023

      Those of you who voted Leave because you were “sick of hearing about Europe” must be loving this eh?

      Well, you were told, and it’s going to continue for decades.

      1. Cuibono
        March 7, 2023

        What no one mentioned was that if tested, “democracy”, as interpreted by our leaders, would not actually deliver.
        They didn’t expect a Leave win. But Leave did win.
        And all the chaos is the establishment’s attempts at thwarting that WIN. At demolishing democracy.
        WE WON!

      2. Peter
        March 7, 2023

        ‘That is why I have asked the government….’

        We will need proper answers too – not the vague and evasive response to questions we see quoted so often on here from various government ministries on an assortment of topics.

        Above all we need people with the spirit that they are going in to do battle with the EU – not just roll over Mrs. May style.

      3. XY
        March 7, 2023

        Did anyone ever say that? I think you made it up.

        Most people said they voted Leave because they were sick of being in the EU, sick of being tied to its silly rukes, of paying in a lot of money to be part of a trade bloc and seeing other “members”… instead of paying a membership fee… they got to take ours!

        Rewriting history is all you remainers have though.

      4. Mickey Taking
        March 7, 2023

        I have no doubt people will be sick of Europe long after you Martin and me are long gone.

    2. Cuibono
      March 7, 2023

      Remember that William Holman Hunt painting “ The Scapegoat”? Poor goat, punished and banished for everyone’s sins! ( And he was just following orders).
      Maybe the govt. is having its “Day of Atonement”?
      Or “Day of Diversion”.
      Don’t mention the jabs and their consequences….
      Nor that since the govt. lied it is possible that NO ONE technically gave their informed consent.

      1. Donna
        March 7, 2023

        It isn’t technicial Cuibono.

        The Government lied about the severity of Covid for the vast majority; they lied about there being no alternative treatments which is necessary before emergency authorisation for a treatment can be granted; and they lied about the jabs preventing you from “killing granny” …. they don’t even stop YOU from getting the virus, let alone infect others (and that was known at the beginning of the roll-out). And no-one was told about the very serious adverse effects they may cause.

        NO-ONE gave informed consent; they submitted to a mass medical experiment.

        1. Cuibono
          March 7, 2023

          It is a legal technicality.
          You can’t give informed consent unless you are in full possession of all the facts.
          The govt. lied therefore it may have been in breach of the law.
          And in what position, I wonder, are those who administered the jab?
          I think that we are in agreement.

  3. Lifelogic
    March 7, 2023

    It is totally unacceptable & very damaging for both NI and for the UK. With a biased referee, the ECJ, as final arbiter.

    But clearly Rishi and Starmer seem determined to push this disaster through. The Stormont Brake is clearly a worthless con trick there and wrongly named only for PR and spin reasons.

    Surely Suank has intentionally(?) misled Parliament with his absurd one sided spin on this disastrous Windsor sellout. Even quite wrongly getting the King involved, Charles should have refused.

    1. Donna
      March 7, 2023

      You’ve saved me the trouble of writing the same thing.

      Sunak has been “very, very economical with the actualite” ….. with his PR stunts on the TV, the article he wrote in the DT and to MPs in Parliament.

      As for WEF-Charles ….. he displayed that his promise to stay out of politics is completely unreliable and he has none of his mother’s wisdom. I see nothing to celebrate about his coronation ….. so I won’t be celebrating.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      March 7, 2023

      Just what I said. He’s misled Parliament and is also misleading the public over this and the boat fiasco. They wonder why we don’t trust politicians. Thanks to things like social media and Sir John’s diary the public know more than they would like us to know.

  4. Lifelogic
    March 7, 2023

    Not just ask for but obtain substantial improvement and get an impartial court. to referee.

  5. Mark B
    March 7, 2023

    Good morning.

    Even if EU rules and regulations had a minimal initial impact on the UK, you can bet that this is just the thin end of the wedge.

    The EU Creeping Vines of regulation will constrain and eventually strangle the UK into evermore UNION.

    Just assert our sovereignty over Ulster and see what action the EU decides to do.

  6. Milo
    March 7, 2023

    This getting silly, there HAS to be a border sonewhere. Every state on the planet has a border with its neighbours, to check people’s papers and that imports meet local laws. Only in the EU are there no borders, but we left the EU. Truth, you never had a realistic plan for Brexit and you still don’t

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 7, 2023

      So the border, if necessary should be between the UK and the EU not within the UK.

      Ireland would accept no border as a price for reunification I suspect so it can live without a border.

    2. Donna
      March 7, 2023

      Correct, every State has a border with its neighbours …… but they don’t have a border within their own State. So the border must be between NI and Eire. But it doesn’t need to be a visible one ….. only the EU is threatening that.

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 7, 2023

      Same old rubbish.

      See here:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2023/03/01/the-eu-view-of-the-protocol-agreement/#comment-1375429

      “Your mistake is to assume that any border checks have to be performed at the border.”

      And:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2023/03/03/the-protocol/#comment-1375754

      “”No matter where you locate check sites – they amount to a hard border.”

      That includes a farmyard in Ballymena, nearly the furthest you can get from the border … “

      1. Gary Megson
        March 7, 2023

        Border checks have to be performed at the border. That is how it works everywhere in the world – US/ Canada, Brazil/ Argentina, Australia/ New Zealand, you name it. The only place where there aren’t border checks between countries is inside the EU, because the countries have agreed to follow the same rules so no need for checks. After Brexit, the UK gets border checks. You knew what you voted for, right? You know now what you voted for, right?

          1. Gary Megson
            March 8, 2023

            Denis, you claim that there need be no borders if both sides agree there will be no borders. In this case the UK and the EU have NOT agreed there will be no borders. End of story. Denis, you need to live in the real world, not an imaginary one.

          2. Denis Cooper
            March 8, 2023

            And clearly you still haven’t actually read what I wrote, which was NOT that there need be no borders but that any border checks need not be conducted at the borders.

            Once again: there is a border between France and the UK but the border checks are not performed out at sea at the actual border:

            http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2023/03/01/the-eu-view-of-the-protocol-agreement/#comment-1375525

            “The arrangement is reciprocal, with French officers completing Schengen entry checks in the UK. These arrangements are underpinned by bilateral treaties.”

            “And it is already the case that any necessary checks on the movement of people across the Irish land border are performed away from the actual border, so why should any checks on goods not also be performed away from the actual border?”

            Or perhaps you agree with Simon Coveney that Ballymena is on the Irish land border?

          3. Derben
            March 8, 2023

            Denis, obviously checks at the France/UK border are not done at sea but on land. Same is true for GB/NI checks, as Boris agreed and is now an international Treaty.

    4. rose
      March 7, 2023

      Of course there has to be a border, and there is one, a currency border, a VAT and excise border, a tax border, between us and Southern Ireland. It is also guarded on the other side by Garda patrols and it is smuggled across by the IRA. It exists and it is used as a border. It can cope with a trickle of goods going across plus electronic notification.

  7. BW
    March 7, 2023

    The EU will never allow NI to work. It is a useful tool to release their continual punishment to the U.K. The ECJ should have no say in any part of the U.K. if it is allowed we will be in the courts every week. The only way forward is a complete break. Article 16 is one way or the NIP bill that seems to have been shelved, much to the joy of the EU. Can’t any of our politicians understand the EU does not want a solution especially one where we “take back control” or one the does not give primacy to the ECJ. so stop playing with words, fiddling with this bit and that bit. and get us fully out. The problem is our establishment don’t want us out.

    1. Gary Megson
      March 7, 2023

      So tell us where you want to put the border. (Just to help, the Americans will not allow one between Northern Ireland and Ireland).

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        March 7, 2023

        Nothing to do with the Americans and your ilk changes tune on America depending on what suits you. Beware the orange man

      2. Sharon
        March 7, 2023

        Gary
        What on earth has Ireland and any border to do with America? It’s none of their business.

        1. Mickey Taking
          March 7, 2023

          they all are convinced the island is full of poor, starving peasants living on scraps, and living in tumbledown pig shelters while being downtroden by the English.

      3. Denis Cooper
        March 7, 2023

        The border is where has been for the past century, as internationally acknowledged including by the Americans.

      4. rose
        March 7, 2023

        There is one between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Biden is exactly au fait with everything in America let alone in Europe.

        1. rose
          March 7, 2023

          Sorry, Biden isn’t exactly au fait.

      5. David In Kent
        March 7, 2023

        We are happy not to have a border between Northern Ireland and the republic, if the EU wants one that’s their problem and they can erect it.

        1. Carrie
          March 7, 2023

          Nope, you cannot leave the border open with Ireland while checking goods and people coming from France and Belgium. That breaches the WTO non-discrimination rule. As ever, once you Brexiters come up with a plan, it turns out to have more holes than a rusty bucket

          1. Denis Cooper
            March 7, 2023

            See here:

            http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2023/03/03/the-protocol/#comment-1375933

            “… check out Article 7.4 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement:

            https://tfadatabase.org/en/tfa-text/measure/18#

            “Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control … Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance records of traders, and type of means of transport.”

          2. Denis Cooper
            March 7, 2023

            And see here:

            http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/08/the-eu-talks-are-not-going-anywhere-lets-table-a-free-trade-agreement/#comment-994336

            “… from last November:

            https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/wto-says-its-rules-would-not-force-eu-or-uk-to-erect-hard-irish-border-1.3710136

            “WTO says its rules would not force EU or UK to erect hard Irish border”

            “”There is nothing in WTO rules that forces anyone to put up border posts,” said WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell on a visit to Dublin last week … “

          3. Denis Cooper
            March 7, 2023

            The Irish land border was already open for people and there was never any plan to change that, and there was never any reason why it could not also continue to be open for goods.

      6. Jason Cartwright
        March 7, 2023

        There is a border already regardless of what the US thinks, not that it is any of their business. The issue is how ‘soft’ it should be.

      7. fedupsoutherner
        March 7, 2023

        What’s it got to do with them? Keep your nose out is the message to Biden. We don’t interfere with the Mexican or Canadian borders.

        1. Derby
          March 7, 2023

          No, we have no influence over US borders. But the US and its Irish lobby have a very close interest in ours. Don’t like it? Tough. I know Brexiters like to pretend reality doesn’t exist, but it does, oh yes it does

          1. Fedupsouthener
            March 8, 2023

            Only because the likes of you Derby are willing to be under the thumb.

      8. formula57
        March 7, 2023

        @ Gary Megson – It must be doubted the Americans will be keen on the Evil Empire’s wrecking moves against the Good Friday Agreement.

        The U.K. surely can be content with the border arrangements envisaged under that Agreement: it is the Evil Empire that seeks extra controls. Let the Americans place operatives in Northern Ireland and the Republic to undertake whatever checks the E.E. wants to take place if they are so bothered.

      9. Berkshire Alan
        March 7, 2023

        Gary

        In time, and it may take years/decades there will be a United Ireland, and thus the border with the UK will be the Irish sea.
        Then the EU can resolve the differences between North and South themselves, if they will still exist after so called re-unification.

      10. Bill B.
        March 7, 2023

        But, but… didn’t we ‘take back’ our sovereignty, Gary?

    2. Billy Elliot
      March 7, 2023

      OMG this “punishment legend” is still alive!
      There never was nor will there ever be any “UK needs to be punished since it dares to leave us” plan from EU side.
      Pure fantasy.
      On the other had there were lots of legends/unicorns at the time of referendum (all the cards, easiest deal, Türkiye joining EU) so not surprising after all.

      This is pretty much as good as it gets. Get over it.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 7, 2023

        I seem to remember we have carried on paying penalties ever since we gave notice to Leave?
        When did you last leave something and continue paying ‘ex-membership fees’ for years and years?

  8. turboterrier
    March 7, 2023

    Sorry Sir John but it is time to walk totally away from this ever growing mess. Both Rishi and Starmer are looking more inept by the day and the EU have sat back and seen the desperation in their eyes to conjure up a deal any deal to try and look their respective parts. The EU are extracting the urine because they can. People want to go back to rejoin? Crazy man crazy. For once parliament has got to stand up together united and walk away.

    1. Sharon
      March 7, 2023

      +1

    2. rose
      March 7, 2023

      And Marcus Fysh’s question on Sue Gray’s part in foisting the NIP should be pressed home hard. There must be no more censorship by the Speaker. Answers must be got. The ramifications are huge.

    3. Lenny
      March 7, 2023

      Sure, walk away. But where are you going to put the border? I just wish you Brexiters had thought this through before you inflicted this catastrophe on the country, instead of acting all surprised when all the problems you were warned about smack you in the face

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 7, 2023

        Can you see this map?

        https://tinyurl.com/29atjszf

        Can you see the border?

        Now that wasn’t so difficult, was it.

      2. John O'Leary
        March 7, 2023

        WE (the UK) are not going to put any more border restrictions anywhere. If the EU wish to beef up the free-flowing border between NI and the RoI by adding SPS inspections etc., then that is their choice.

    4. Berkshire Alan
      March 7, 2023

      Turbo
      Agreed, But it’s not just Starmer and Sunak, it would seem the majority in Parliament still want us to be involved in/with the EU, they do not want us to be a fully sovereign nation and an independent UK, and whilst that exists then we have no chance of being in control of our own affairs.

  9. John McDonald
    March 7, 2023

    The Government needs to ask the EU for nothing. Long before the EU the people of Ireland and the main land UK moved around the British Isles with no border controls. Passport free travel and the right to work anywhere even vote anywhere and hence live anywhere in the British Isles. There can be no Green lanes or Red lanes for Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or English travelers.
    We all sign up to common standards for goods and services. Any civil or criminal issues arising are delt with by the courts in the Republic or in the UK. If the Republics legal system allows appeals to EU courts that’s fine.
    But this can never be the case for the UK legal system now with have democratically voted to leave the EU. Just say No Deal , end of story.
    What can the EU do about it any way ?

    1. John O'Leary
      March 7, 2023

      Dump the TCA altogether and erect tariff barriers is my guess.

      1. John McDonald
        March 7, 2023

        I think we can call their bluff on that one. BMW won’t like it. Also It might hurt the Republics economy if the UK does not impose any tariffs. Things would be cheaper in the North of Ireland.

  10. turboterrier
    March 7, 2023

    All we can hope for is the slow burning fuse about parliamentary corrupution and abuse with the EU picks up speed. Daily it seems more and more illicit perks and favours come to the surface about under the table abuse of their system involving millions of euros.
    Bring it on and make mine and a hell of a lot of people’s day. What you sow so you reap.

  11. BOF
    March 7, 2023

    ‘The EU spokesman has told MEPs according to briefings that the ECJ will have an important role and substantial amounts of EU law will apply to Northern Ireland.’

    This is so unacceptable that it is pure treachery to even put it before parliament. If EU law applies in NI then it will inevitably apply in the UK in many circumstances. And to become an international treaty! Sell out does not begin to describe it.

    1. rose
      March 7, 2023

      That is where people need to wake up, BOF. It is not just NI that will be under the Brussels boot. Apart from the tyranny of it, the EU can make a lot of billions out of us by continually taking us to “court”.

  12. Nigo
    March 7, 2023

    Immediately the deal was announced my MP, Leo Docherty rushed out a message saying what a fantastic job Sunak had done taking back control and ensuring the future status of NI as part of the U.K. As is now clear this is nonsense with them remaining very much in the clutches of the EU. How he could think continuing oversight by the ECJ (the brake is a smokescreen) customs posts etc is beyond me.

    Without any of the legal texts published he was not in a position to make any claim. It is obvious as an insignificant minister he was ordered to put this tosh out and as we see with the Covid leaks it demonstrates how ‘he’ thinks we are stupid and the utter contempt we are held in by people in power.

    We can see the outcome of such craven support in the human suffering and economic cost caused by the deceitful Covid lockdowns and once again vanity and ambition is taking precedence over the needs of the people of NI.

    Well done to you for holding the executive to account and exposing their real objective, paying any price to get rid of this problem. Yet another U.K. P.M outflanked by and crumbling to the EU.

  13. Sea_Warrior
    March 7, 2023

    Good work, Sir John. Sunak has been slippery.

  14. Nigl
    March 7, 2023

    Sorry should have been Nigl

  15. Mickey Taking
    March 7, 2023

    What a farce, a man waving a sheet of paper ‘Peace tomorrow’, yet we gradually learn there needs to be a book of carefully scrutinised ‘small print’ which likely makes a nonsense of the claim.
    The clue should have been the apparent support of smiling EU.

    1. Atlas
      March 7, 2023

      … it certainly seems that way …

  16. Cuibono
    March 7, 2023

    Given who is in power in NI and given that they want Independence…
    Not to mention, that from what I’ve read, “trouble” is constantly a-bubble beneath the surface…
    I have never understood why the GFA is sooo important.
    But then, I’m no politician.
    I’m not keen on surrender or virtue signalling.

    However, I don’t forget having my bags searched…very covid like all that was…

    1. rose
      March 7, 2023

      It’s important because it gives dual consent: it prescribes both republicans and Unionists must agree before a change is made. Without it, our republican parliament would be betraying NI more than it already does. So would the nest of Sinners otherwise known as the Northern Ireland Office. The Biden regime makes out it is just a device to stop the border existing, but it doesn’t mention the border.

      1. Hat man
        March 7, 2023

        But Rose, the GFA did not say there should be no border. It’s Washington that’s saying that.

        1. rose
          March 7, 2023

          Exactly. It didn’t mention the border because it was there and it wasn’t a problem, not even for the IRA who smuggled across it.

          1. Zeb
            March 8, 2023

            Really? So IRA attacks on border posts and checkpoints were just media inventions, were they?

      2. Cuibono
        March 7, 2023

        Land border unacceptable to republicans.
        Sea border unacceptable to Unionists.
        Stalemate!

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    March 7, 2023

    The UK fully accepts the need to avoid a border between NI and the Republic, but also needs to avoid a border between GB and NI

    If the EU insists on a border just put the green and red lanes between Northern Island and the Republic – done.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 7, 2023

      Ireland not Island

    2. Denis Cooper
      March 7, 2023

      There is a border between NI and the Republic, see this map:

      https://tinyurl.com/29atjszf

      Note the location of Ballymena in the north east corner, almost as far from the land border as possible.

      https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/ben-lowry-unionist-choice-on-deal-is-not-as-said-between-the-unpalatable-and-the-disastrous-as-it-is-between-two-disasters-4050686

      “I reported on an articulation of this Irish intransigence in November 2017, just before the UK capitulated to Irish demands in the backstops of December that year. Simon Coveney told an audience in Belfast that the Irish government would not accept checks even if they took place at a farmyard in Ballymena, because it would still be border infrastructure and “we will not stand for it”.”

  18. William Long
    March 7, 2023

    Sunak is just like all his predecessors: he will agree to anything to appear on a platform with the EU commission president.

  19. Bloke
    March 7, 2023

    Just as buildings need emergency exits for safety every sentence of agreement with the EU needs a unilateral exit to exist.

  20. agricola
    March 7, 2023

    As ever with the EU the devil is in the detail, to which you must add their intent to punish. Without it, other doubting members of the EU might be tempted to follow us, and then the EU starts to fall apart. I contend that we will never get a straightforward common sense agreement with the EU on NI. No amount of goodwill on the part of the UK will overcome the desire to punish us.
    There is only one course open to us, one to deal with a malicious EU and two to save the reputation of the government with the electorate especially the Unionists of NI. Use article 16 of the NIP, while it still exists, to rid ourselves of this running sore. Brownie points for Rishi.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 7, 2023

      Evil Empire is apt.

  21. Lynn Atkinson
    March 7, 2023

    I fail to see why no border with the Irish Republic is such an imperative. There is a border in Cyprus. The province does a great deal more business with the mainland than with the Irish Republic.
    Let’s opt for a border with the Republic and you will see the Irish Republic fail to install or monitor it.
    Surely by now we know that any deal the EU are prepared to accept is a disaster for us!

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 7, 2023

      Have you no idea of how many crossing places there are? It would be like building the Great Wall of China.

  22. Dave Andrews
    March 7, 2023

    What do you mean “ask”? As if it’s any business of the EU what happens within the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom.
    Oh and there’s no “International Law” when it comes to sovereign states like the UK. The UK can make and break treaties as it pleases. No PM should feel obliged to honour a bad treaty that needs disposing of.

  23. rose
    March 7, 2023

    Surreal Farming Today broadcast this morning. Lord Deben and the BBC ranting in favour of the Stalinist famine inducing Net Zero policy on farming. Apparently our DEFRA isn’t destroying farming fast enough, isn’t reducing herds quickly enough, and our Dr Coffey is suspected of not being zealous enough. Within a few minutes the BBC was telling us about malnutrition in other parts of the world.

  24. rose
    March 7, 2023

    We are being told that the new legislation to stop illegal immigration won’t apply to “people under 18” or “people with serious medical conditions.” Do they never learn? The first loophole, in particular, has proved disastrous, and will only grow. There will be boatloads of people “under 18” and with “serious medical conditions”. This is one amendment I hope the sensible people in Parliament will make, preferably before it gets to Parliament. The legislation has to apply to everyone coming from France and pretending to be a refugee when they aren’t. No-one coming from France is fleeing for their life. No-one coming from France needs to be processed.

  25. Denis Cooper
    March 7, 2023

    It’s not a matter of “substantial improvements” being needed; the agreement needs to be rewritten to shift the focus away from the flows of goods between GB and NI to the correct flow of goods, the flow in which the EU and the Irish government have a legitimate interest, and that is the flow across the border into their territory.

    Brian Monteith had a good article yesterday:

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/brexit-rishi-sunaks-windsor-framework-for-nothern-ireland-is-symptomatic-of-all-thats-wrong-with-todays-tories-brian-monteith-4052040

    I will highlight this:

    “… the trusted trader solution could have been applied as originally proposed between Northern Ireland and the Republic, not between Great Britain and Northern Ireland … ”

    Or, as I would prefer, “licensed exporter” rather than “trusted trader”.

    1. Gary Megson
      March 8, 2023

      The “trusted trader” scheme could have applied had both sides agreed to it. But they did not. Please Denis, live in the real world

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 8, 2023

        The UK does not need anybody’s agreement to set up a UK “trusted trader” or “licensed exporter” scheme. We already have a Joint Export Control Unit and its remit could simply be extended by UK statutory instrument without having to get permission from either Brussels or Dublin. That, Greg, is the reality, not your fantasies.

        1. Gary Megson
          March 8, 2023

          Ah right. So the UK will declare that Bloggs is a “trusted trader” for the purposes of export to the EU. This will not be agreed by the EU. So when Bloggs shows up in the EU and says I am a trusted trader, the EU will say “you are not trusted by us”, and impose fines on Bloggs for not following EU law when in the EU. Denis, you really haven’t got to grips with the idea that life after Brexit doesn’t just depend on UK law, it depends on other countries’ laws too

          1. Denis Cooper
            March 8, 2023

            Bloggs will be following EU law, as a condition of being a “trusted trader” or “licensed exporter”, and so there will be no grounds for complaint. That is the whole point.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    March 7, 2023

    Has Sunak deliberately misled the country and Parliament? Where are the WhatsApp messages?

    1. rose
      March 7, 2023

      They are allowed to mislead Parliament on really big, serious matters.

    2. Mickey Taking
      March 7, 2023

      You really need to ask that?

  27. Bryan Harris
    March 7, 2023

    I’m not sure we should be asking for anything — We should be demanding it!

    What happened to the British bulldog? Seems he’s been neutered, made into a snowflake and is now scared of upsetting anyone by using the wrong words.

    Let’s stop faffing about – we give notice NOW of leaving the ECJ, and we tell the EU that ii they don’t come up with a real deal, then we will invoke ‘NO-DEAL’

  28. Christine
    March 7, 2023

    “The UK fully accepts the need to avoid a border between NI and the Republic”

    There’s always been a border between NI and the Republic. They have different currencies, different excise duties, and different laws. As we have said from the start, and Barnier admitted, the border has been used as a club to beat us with. There is no point in dealing with the EU as they will never give us a fair deal. Just walk away.

  29. fedupsoutherner
    March 7, 2023

    Sorry for my ignorance but does Gibraltar have the same problems?

    1. hefner
      March 7, 2023

      In the 2016 EU Referendum, Gibraltarians voted 95.9% to stay, 4.1% to leave, which might explain why there is not such a problem …

      1. rose
        March 7, 2023

        And straight away after that vote the Chief Minister shot over here and said they were desperate to stay with the UK. Huge majority in Gibraltar for that, in the late 90s%. Not many Irish republicans.

        1. hefner
          March 14, 2023

          What would you expect the Chief Minister to say? He might have been one of the Gibraltarians among the 4.1% leavers, therefore desperate to stay with the UK, or possibly not but keen on keeping the 60% of UK online betting handled there, a ‘trade’ for which Gibraltar is a specialist, together with other ‘off-shore’ financial services (aided by a tax system different from the UK) that Gibraltar happily provides to some in the UK.
          CIA World Book.

  30. turboterrier
    March 7, 2023

    Narrow Shoulders
    If the EU insists on a border that’s fine. They construct and pay for it in any shape or form it takes and they operate it. We don’t have to do anything. If we were demanding a border that would be a different story.
    No frills or spills at the negotiation one and only answer necessary. You want it? You have it. Thank you and goodbye, have a nice day.

  31. Jude
    March 7, 2023

    Definitely but he will not & will force this through! As he already has Labours backing. The whole debacle is a disgrace & an insult to the union. No deal is a good deal unless it’s agreed by those who should benefit from it!
    Again a British leader has accepted crumbs from the EU plate. That is not sovereignty.

  32. Chris S
    March 7, 2023

    As many of us expected, Brussels hasn’t conceded anything much, has it ? We should have called their bluff over their artificially inflated concerns over the Irish border years ago. They were never going to put up a border in Ireland, were they ?

    Perhaps we should now take a leaf out of the EU Playbook and tie the cross channel small boat problem in with the Protocol, in the same way they have been trying to blackmail us over Horizon? No deal on NI unless they agree to take back all migrants arriving here without documentation? After all, we still have the Liz Truss bill and Article 16 in reserve.

  33. Elli Ron
    March 7, 2023

    Sir Redwood, please vote against this “Windsor” treaty which is even worse than the original protocol.
    Sunak thought he will be able to grab a quick victory by this deception, this was foolish because there are enough people who really care about the UNITED kingdom.

  34. Keith from Leeds
    March 7, 2023

    Why do our leaders think we are stupid? If Sunak has said I have done the best I can, it is still not right, but it is better than what we have now, people might accept it. But to blow it up as if it is a new deal completely, removing EU laws & influence from N.I. just makes him look stupid.
    But Starmer is just as bad, the man who believes in honesty, integrity & transparency won’t say when he approached Sue Gray, or if she approached him, but it is not improper in any way. That just makes him look stupid, shifty & dishonest.
    Both are treating us with contempt!

  35. Ian B
    March 7, 2023

    “The government needs to ask for substantial improvements to the Northern Ireland deal”

    No! This Conservative Government needs to start Managing the UK for the sake of the UK, exactly what we empowered and pay them to do.

    Along with the economy, although there we just need one – not a crippled one by ineptitude, we need to leave the EU as we empowered the Conservative Government to get done. Just as with Managing the UK they are refuse to leave the EU. We are empowering this Conservative Government to stop being the EU’s puppets – and they refuse. Why?

    The EU has created a situation were the EU can export to the UK, but the have excluded all major UK Exports to the EU. A one sided deal endorsed by a Conservative Government in refusal and neglect of its point of purpose …

  36. Keith Jones
    March 7, 2023

    I agree with your analysis but out of 200 Conservative MPs at the Windsor meeting how many of them do? Andrea Leadsom says it is wonderful and marvellous and makes her feel proud of the Government. All we want back is our Sovereignty, is that too much to ask?

  37. whatsamatter
    March 7, 2023

    Wow! NI again – it won’t go away – I read where yesterday Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has appointed a committee of eight stalwarts from the old DUP day’s to help him climb out of that tree. Incidentally to remind you Sir John there are other people in NI besides DUP types, the majority, who see things differently I wish you could show them an equal amount of consideration in your remarks.

    So here’s the rub – Donaldson should really have grabbed ownership of the ‘framework agreement’ when he could and when it was fresh instead of dithering and causing all of this confusion – we all know that in the end he is going to have to decide – the pressure on him must be enormous – ‘if he goes with it now he loses and if he doesn’t go with it he loses’ – amateur stuff really and now it looks like he has run out of road.

  38. glen cullen
    March 7, 2023

    The deals in there current form, actually in any form, is workable nor suitable ….lets try the ‘no-deal’ route, let the EU on the Eire border do all the leg work, let the EU sort out there own border issues

    1. glen cullen
      March 7, 2023

      unworkable

  39. miami.mode
    March 7, 2023

    “how many VAT and Excise rules will still constrain our tax policies”

    Sounds a bit like taxation without representation which will be familiar to many Americans.

  40. Ralph Corderoy
    March 7, 2023

    A ‘unilateral exit route’ will also be useful if Northern Ireland ceases to be part of the United Kingdom.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 7, 2023

      What happened to previous ‘exit options’?
      Gathering dust…

  41. Hat man
    March 7, 2023

    It is sad that we have to rely on a foreign power for truthful statements about agreements our government has entered into. We cannot go on like this. Let the voters decide whether Sunak is fit for office.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 7, 2023

      I tend to trust the EU Commission more than the UK government because they have less need to lie.

      For example, it is true that when the EU Commission says that the EU Single Market is worth 2% of GDP they may be inclined to somewhat overstate the economic benefit of one of their greatest achievements, as they see it, but even so they have less incentive to exaggerate than the UK government which has to convince a largely sceptical and reluctant public that we should be part of the project. Hence, the UK Treasury’s 6% valuation.

  42. Delphine Gray-Fisk
    March 7, 2023

    It’s a total con – sold as a brilliant achievement involving the King, no less!

    Why on earth are those in Westminster falling for this con?

  43. Bert Young
    March 7, 2023

    The points Sir J raises are important . We must not agree with the announced compromise deal without clearing and insisting on the complete control of our own affairs . The EU cannot and must not interfere with our right to decide and rule ; being friendly with them is one thing but beyond that they must keep out .

  44. Martyn G
    March 7, 2023

    Sir J
    You say ‘…any more than Unionists in Northern Ireland wish to find their laws and taxes in part come from the EU where they have no vote or voice’.
    Well, it seems to me that the sale and use of red diesel (especially concerning river and canal craft) in NI is governed by UK HMRC legislation specifically written to comply with the EU directive on its use.
    Thus NI has to mirror EU law applicable to all EU countries and the Stormont Assembly will have no power to change that.

  45. XY
    March 7, 2023

    Another remainer stitch-up incoming.

    Sunak and Hunt… what could possibly go wrong?

    They’re destroying any chance the Conservatives have of winning an election any time soon. There’s no coming back from a bad deal with the EU.

    One thing to note with trade-related treaties though. The ILC (who interpret the VCLT) are clear that exiting treaties varies according to the different *types* of treaties.

    Trade deals are seen as the easiest to exit – especially if notice is given. They note that they only apply as long as the arrangement is in the interests of all parties and that most treaties that have existed are now lapsed.

    A treaty on where a border is drawn is different, or one on rights – to the extent that when N. Korea tried to exit the treaty on human rights and refuse inspections, the ILC told them that they could not do so. Even N Korea accepted this.

  46. Wanderer
    March 7, 2023

    You might as well put Mrs May back in charge. The current PM is no tougher on the EU, and was not even elected by the population or his Party members.

  47. Carlk
    March 7, 2023

    They were never going to get things completely right with NI agreement there will always be loose ends so better get on with what we have now and see how it goes. The time has gone for DUP forever saying No! – it’s not going to work this time and we have to think about our economy and to do that our relationships with EU and US matters if we are to make progress – besides most of us are thoroughly fed up with listening about NI and the DUP – I believe their voting strength amounts to only about 25 per cent in the province – so time to get real – time to turn a page

    1. rose
      March 7, 2023

      All the unionist parties in NI are against the NIP. They make up a majority in the Assembly. The majoriy of unionists voted to leave the EU. It is not in our interest on the Mainland to scoff and sneer at them. If the EU controls them, it controls all of us, because it can reach back into the Mainland and litigate against us on the assertion we are affecting NI. The EU is very aggressive in litigation and we should not allow their court to hold sway in any part of our country. You may of course think this is boring and you don’t want to hear about it. I am sorry to have to say, that is supremely decadent, to let part of your country be taken over by a foreign power because it is boring to stop it. And to be taken over in such a way that you go on paying for it, and are also subject to that foreign power.

      1. Kar
        March 8, 2023

        Unionists do NOT have a majority in the Assembly. Sinn Fein is the biggest party, unionists are a minority

        1. rose
          March 8, 2023

          No, Kar, Sinn Fein is the biggest single party; the DUP are very closely the second biggest single party. All the Sinn Fein votes are concentrated in that one party, whereas there are several other unionist parties and independent unionists. Together they make up the majority. If they all voted for one unionist party you would see the point.

          1. headland
            March 8, 2023

            Rose yes but sinn fein with SDLP the other nationalist party also Alliance well top the combined unionist total vote. Latest census figures show the total nationalists have just eclipsed the total unionist and that is the problem for the DUP unionists now- they were never going to be happy to play second fiddle to Sinn fein in the assembly.. it was not meant to be like that.. my my how times have changed.

  48. Richard1
    March 7, 2023

    Well Steve baker seems to think it’s ok and he’s as brexity as it gets. This seems to be a material improvement on Boris Johnson’s deal and is probably as good as can be agreed with the eu, given that the NI protocol bill route would not have worked. That would have led to successful legal challenge and to a trade war. Of course if we dial back to 2016 / 17 it would have been better to say to the eu we will either sign a good deal for the whole of the U.K. or leave with no deal. But we didn’t. Following the May-Robbins backstop, the surrender act and then the Johnson oven ready deal, there is no longer a no deal option. So the choice is accept a deal which as good as possible and work for a Conservative victory at the election, or squabble for another year or so, let Starmer in and then really see what surrender looks like.

  49. rose
    March 7, 2023

    The Editor of the Daily Telegraph cannot be un homme serieux, or he would not have let the Hancock fragments eclipse this supremely important subject just when we need to be discussing it nationally.

  50. glen cullen
    March 7, 2023

    I see that we’re staying under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and the ECHRs ….nothing to see here, no change

  51. forthurst
    March 7, 2023

    We are de facto in EFTA including free movement with the EU without showing or possessing a passport.
    We even agree to sustain such free movement travellers at our taxpayers’ expense indefinitely. All this has been agreed by the Tory Party on our behalf although they have received invaluable assistance from a Civil Service, legendary for its patriotic zeal.

  52. The Prangwizard
    March 7, 2023

    The Tories are good, indeed they are experts at the betrayal of the UK, particularly England and the true population. The upper layer of the party’s establishment and their helpers ought to be removed from office, they despise us and almost none have done any real work in their entire lives. All this can be seen in the recent release of communications.

    I am not a socialist but I want a revolution.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 7, 2023

      It usually gets triggered by those who claim they want a revolution!

    2. The Prangwizard
      March 7, 2023

      I think I should exclude Suella Braverman from my criticisms. She has demonstrated courage and the willingness to risk herself against opponents in parliament.

  53. glen cullen
    March 7, 2023

    What’s the difference between the new Home Secretary Suella Braverman Immigration Bill and the current Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ….nothing, absolutely nothing – just like the Windsor Framework, we’re being sold another pup

  54. Pauline Baxter
    March 7, 2023

    Yes well, your present party leader has failed to solve the Northern Ireland situation.
    Now he is turning his attention to the small boats cross channel invasion.
    Where it is obvious he will also fail because he does not have the courage to get out of the E.C.H.R.
    Meanwhile we still have all the stupidity of going carbon neutral and also sending all businesses abroad by imposing high taxes.
    Is there anything your Party have got right since being in power?

    1. rose
      March 8, 2023

      The ECHR isn’t really the point. We don’t have to accept its rulings. David Cameron didn’t over prisoners’ votes.

      We already have the international and national powers to repel unwanted visitors from entering our waters, which is much more sensible than letting them land (or rather ferrying them to land) and then trying hopelessly to deport them. Repelling them before they land preempts the charade of their claiming asylum and staying for endless taxpayer funded litigation and accommodation.

      It might mean sometimes taking them in proper boats back to France, or giving them seaworthy boats to go back to France. It might also mean withdrawing the French fishing licences. (Two birds with one stone.)

      All that is needed is a PM, Cabinet, Parliamentary majority, and civil service who want to do it, regardless of the nasty things opponents will say. (Ditto for taking back N Ireland.)

      1. Gary Megson
        March 8, 2023

        Rose, France used to give permission for the UK to return migrants, but Brexit (which you voted for) means that arrangement came to an end. So when you say “It might mean sometimes taking them in proper boats back to France”, you are advocating that the UK invade sovereign French territory.

        1. rose
          March 9, 2023

          How many illegal immigrants got returned to France under your theoretical agreement?

  55. Mickey Taking
    March 7, 2023

    OFF TOPIC – but you may need a torch to read this.
    Britain fires up back-up coal plants for first time ever.
    Coal power will help keep the lights on across Britain tonight as the National Grid fired up back-up plants amid plunging temperatures.
    One of EDF’s two West Burton A coal power stations in Lincolnshire will begin generating electricity today after the grid failed to secure an adequate buffer to keep the lights on.
    Earlier, National Grid issued a second-stage warning that the margin between electricity supply and demand would be tight today. Demand has increased after a cold snap hit the UK just as generation from Britain’s wind farms fell to 14pc of national output.
    People in the north of England and Scotland woke up to snow as temperatures dipped to minus 7.6C in the Scottish Highlands overnight.
    Tonight could be the coldest night of the year so far with the mercury plunging to minus 15C in some isolated Scottish glens. People in southern England and South Wales can expect to wake up to snow on Wednesday but it is unclear whether it will settle, the Met Office said.
    Shiver.!

    1. glen cullen
      March 7, 2023

      Shiver Indeed …..thank the lord for fossil fuels

      1. rose
        March 8, 2023

        I thought we were always having to fire up old coal fired power stations. Every time we had a cold still night?

  56. mancunius
    March 7, 2023

    It has been obvious since the ‘Stormont brake’ was mentioned, that this is Art. 16 under a different name, but gravely weakened and – with ECJ input and EU Commission threats – rendered impossible to apply reasonably.

  57. glen cullen
    March 7, 2023

    I see 27 Tory MPs stepping down at the election ….sinking ship perhaps

    1. rose
      March 7, 2023

      No, rats.

  58. glen cullen
    March 7, 2023

    How could the NHS remove the word ‘women’ from its website without sanction and authorisation from the Health Minister ….is this a new government policy

  59. Harmon
    March 7, 2023

    Strange to see so many in parliament, themselves cleary of immigrant stock, some by only one or two generations, now pulling the ladder up on others who might also want help. Bravermann Sunak and Priti Patel to name a few should hang their heads.

    1. Diane
      March 8, 2023

      Harmon: Very strange reasoning. I would say that if you don’t either pull up the drawbridge, or the ladder, even in the short term, then we UK taxpayers will neither be able to help ourselves to flourish and so not be able to provide to those incomers the necessary levels of assistance that you clearly feel they are entitled to without question or without addressing the very real day to day issues which are as plain as the nose on one’s face. Unless of course you are one of the lucky ones not affected in any way by what is actually going on.

    2. a-tracy
      March 8, 2023

      Harmon, there are thousands of people getting genuine help to get here and get jobs and homes from Syria and elsewhere. There are on-line procedures for applying. If you arrive in a boat without any paperwork whatsoever as 98% are then seriously what do you expect that we just house them all, forever.

      It is ironic that the Guardian reports of a ‘ heartbreaking..catastrophe that has consequences for all of us’ that half of Britain and Irelands native plants have declined in over 20 years as though it is a bigger problem for plants that non-native plants are more numerous – they’re only now considering all the implications for insects and Britains eco systems of them importing and planting so much flora.

      But Britains that worry about the decline of naturalised Brits in our Cities and taking in so many financially needy immigrants and want the government to do something about it are bad people, beyond awful. The new home office policy is likened to Nazi Germany by Gary Lineker and say we take in far fewer refugees than other European Countries.

      John can you please give people the actual statistics of how many we take in legitimately, Nationality of asylum seekers and refugees
      Between 2014 and 2020, 20,000 Syrians were resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. In 2021 and 2022, nearly 21,400 people from Afghanistan were resettled or relocated to the UK through various schemes.1 Mar 2023 UK parliament.

      GOV.UK
      https://www.gov.uk › government › statistics › how-m…
      24 Nov 2022 — The latest available published statistics show that between 2015 and September 2022, 447,510 people were permitted entry to the UK via.source https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2022/how-many-people-do-we-grant-protection-to

      1. a-tracy
        March 8, 2023

        There were 72,027 asylum applications (relating to 85,902 people) in the UK in the year ending September 2022. This is over double the number of applications in 2019 and the highest number for almost 2 decades.

  60. Denis Cooper
    March 8, 2023

    In further answer to Gary Megson’s nonsensical claim that checks must always take place at the actual border:

    November 13 2021:

    https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/ni-protocol-dublin-called-out-over-hypocrisy-of-its-new-cross-border-customs-checks-3456803

    “The Irish government has been challenged to explain how it intends to carry out what it suggested was impossible – reintroducing customs checks on the land border with Northern Ireland.”

    “However a spokesman for the Irish Department of the Environment insisted that while the checks on fuel coming in from NI would take place, the goods would be inspected by local authorities after arrival in their various jurisdictions – and not on the actual border.”

Comments are closed.