Change the Protocol

I did not vote for the final Agreement with the EU for three reasons. The  first was all my experience of the EU taught me if you do sign an Agreement with them they ceaselessly try to enforce it selectively and in a biased way against you. It behaves badly to all its neighbours and tries to boss them as if they were member colonies of the project. Secondly I thought the NI Protocol a mistake . Thirdly I wanted to end all EU say over our fish. On fish and the Protocol the government tried to assure MPs these were provisional or transitory arrangements which would be changed. The Protocol contains a clause to allow alteration and the fishing agreement was transitional.

As I expected the EU has sought to use the Protocol as a battering ram against our U.K. Union or as a device to keep the whole U.K. prisoner of the single market and its rules. The EU always sides with the nationalists in Northern Ireland and with the Republic of Ireland as an EU member state in a way which continuously undermines the Good Friday Agreement. That  peace settlement in NI requires the consent of both the nationalist and the Unionist communities  in NI to any political development or decision. The EU claims to want to uphold that Agreement yet does everything in its power and some things beyond its legal authority to alienate the Unionist community and split it from the U.K.

Unionists now refuse to form and work in a devolved government at Stormont all the time the EU interprets the Protocol in a one sided way to throttle GB/NI trade. The EU’s bigoted inflexibility, refusing to agree that GB/NI trade should not face any internal barriers crossing the Irish Sea has damaged business in NI and made Unionists feel cut off from the rest of the U.K.

The Secretary of State for NI and the PM must now legislate in the U.K. to make clear that GB/NI trade will be governed as England/Wales or London/Liverpool trade is governed, in accordance with those statements in the Protocol to respect our internal market. The U.K. legislation should include making  it an offence to seek to pass on any goods traded under the GB/NI provisions to the EU to uphold their main requirement in the Protocol.  This will be enforced by the U.K. as we currently enforce anti smuggling measures.

 

149 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    May 9, 2022

    Exactly right.

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 9, 2022

      In the recent NI elections pro-protocol parties polled 55% of the vote, those opposed took 40%.

      This is rather more significant than the paltry 52:48 of the referendum here.

      Many posters here claim that the last GE was “all about brexit too”.

      Well, it certainly seems that the one in NI was very much about the protocol, with moderate unionists moving to the Alliance – the pro-European Liberals.

      If you’re going to claim to be any kind of democrat or localist then the policy towards NI should reflect that result.

      What is clear is that the Tories apparently care only about gratifying their teeth-grinding obscurantist peers in the minority DUP, however.

      Reply
      1. Narrow Shoulders
        May 9, 2022

        Hugely simplistic representation of voting considerations Marty.

        It wasn’t a referendum, there were more a single policy to consider.

        Reply
    2. Peter
      May 9, 2022

      Sinn Fein are now the largest party in Northern Ireland, though my post pointing this out yesterday was deleted.

      They will be more magnanimous to their opponents than the unionists ever were.

      That said, Boris Johnson will now use Sinn Fein as an excuse for continuing to do nothing. This government is big on excuses.

      Sinn Fein may have a United Ireland as an ultimate objective, however many are more pragmatic. They will use political power to redress the legacy of a sectarian state – no more gerrymandering or action prejudicial to the Catholic Community. Catholics will weigh up the pros and cons of a United Ireland.

      The Republic also have a say in a United Ireland and many would not want a poisoned chalice. The North would need to be an attractive practical proposition not just an historic objective.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 10, 2022

        As expected the DUP have spat out their dummies and taken their bat home.

        Reply
    3. alan jutson
      May 9, 2022

      Lifelogic

      Indeed the solution is so simple, I really cannot understand why Boris is so reluctant to act in the way JR describes.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        May 9, 2022

        AJ, What about asking the Northern Irish what they really think of the NIP and of its present impact on the GB/NI and NI/RoI trades? Based on Brexit NI results in 2016 and this last Stormont election the answer might not be as clear cut as what Sir John is telling us today.
        Furthermore it is clear that the DUP has been shafted by recent Westminster governments, first supporting May then believing Johnson’s promises.
        Does the 6.7% that the DUP lost relative to their previous score in 2017 indicate that some of their previous voters were fed up with the turmoil in the upper levels of that party these last five years (Foster, Poots, Donaldson, plus the Easton, Givan and Forsythe resignations)?

        Incredible that people so prompt at calling for ‘democracy’ when it is likely to follow their prejudices become suddenly reluctant about it when it might go against their interests, real, supposed or simply an image of them as it has been ensconced in their heads by years of propaganda.

        To end up, Sir John, what is the ‘way which continuously undermines the GFA’? Can you give details on ‘everything in its (EU’s) power and some things beyond its legal authority to alienate the Unionist community’? Could you give examples of EU’s ‘bigoted inflexibility’, please, in particular examples that do contravene to the NIP.
        Without detailed examples, your angry comment might just look like what I think it is: a loser’s last stance.

        Reply The overall Unionist vote held up and a large majority reject a united Ireland in opinion polls.

        Reply
        1. hefner
          May 9, 2022

          Reply to reply: Fintan O’Toole was saying today : ‘As for a united Ireland, only a fool would think it’s coming soon … It’s not coming soon because most Irish people have not really begun to grapple with what it might mean in practice’.
          As another contributor said elsewhere on this blog, it is not even clear that people in the RoI would be so keen on ‘absorbing’ NI.

          In 2018, the RoI GDP per capita was $72.6k, that of NI $29.3k.
          So maybe there is no need to panic, and even less to support a less than pleasant DUP who takes as a crime of lése-majesté their second position in the vote.

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          May 9, 2022

          Suddenly you want a referendum and respect the result.
          How charming.

          Reply
        3. Bill brown
          May 10, 2022

          Sir Peter

          Please answer some of Hefner’s questions?

          Reply
    4. Hope
      May 9, 2022

      JR, that is assuming it was not your govt’s intention by stealth to give N.Ireland to RoI and EU. Of course using someone else or another body to blame- as is your party and Govt. practice.

      The protocol also allows EU to govern the rest of GB if it wishes to trade with N.Ireland. Checks are made and ECJ applies. Therefore no Brexit gains as the UK is kept in EU orbit. Johnson lied to say there were no checks, border etc. He knew what he was saying was completely untrue. What is your party and govt actually doing other than repeating we are negotiating blah blah blah?

      The other fishing clause links EU fishing rights to EU providing UK energy from France and Netherlands! Therefore never regaining our territorial waters under your party and govt green lunacy net stupid policy, with a theoretical clause to re-examine in 2026. Johnson doubled down on it three weeks ago starting to smear those opposed to his/Carrie’s green net stupid.

      Another deliberate policy failure tried to be hidden by lies.

      Reply
      1. Old Salt
        May 9, 2022

        Hope
        I find it hard to disagree.

        Reply
      2. Old Salt
        May 9, 2022

        Hope
        I find it difficult to disagree

        Reply
    5. Lifelogic
      May 9, 2022

      Another moronic socialist policy from Michael Gove as he reveals to steal properties off commercial and shop landlords. This after his previous idiotic plan to put VAT on private school fees to strangle the sector. Parents would then have to pay four times over and not just three to go to private schools. One for others in tax, then tax on the money needed for fees, then the fees then 20% vat on tap. It would force more onto the state sector and cost government more.

      Another dire fake Conservative MP. Let us hope this gimmick is killed too.

      Reply
    6. Everhopeful
      May 9, 2022

      +++many
      JR is always right.

      Reply
    7. Atlas
      May 9, 2022

      Agreed as well.

      Reply
  2. Freeborn John
    May 9, 2022

    The time for action on the NIP is long overdue. This incompetent government has to show it can do something or be replaced.

    We have to get NI out of the single market. Nothing else will solve the problem as it would leave the EU able to cause trouble at no cost to itself. All history shows that is a recipe for the creating perpetual strife. This government has to solve this problem decisively or be replaced. And it has to do it now.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      Correct, that aspect is often forgotten. Attention is concentrated on the checks on all the goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain but all the goods produced in the province must also conform to EU Single Market standards, lest some of them are taken across the border, and therefore every individual and business must potentially be subject to EU checks. That is because the protocol demands EU checks on goods imported into the province from outside, when the focus should be on the goods exported to the Republic. The EU and the Irish government only have a legitimate interest in what comes into their territory across the land border, not in what comes into or is produced in or circulates in Northern Ireland.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 9, 2022

        Only 40% of the NI vote agree with you Denis. 55% do not.

        Some democrat you are.

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          May 9, 2022

          What has that got to do with one aspect of the protocol often being forgotten? Nothing.

          Reply
      2. a-tracy
        May 9, 2022

        Denis, so this agreement is so poor that NI can’t move anything grown or made over their invisible border with Southern Ireland?

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          May 9, 2022

          Under the protocol everything produced in Northern Ireland must conform to EU standards, whether or not it is destined to be taken across the border. That is because the protocol refuses to distinguish between goods which will stay in Northern Ireland and goods which will be exported to the EU; all imports must comply with EU requirements – that can be checked at the points of entry – but so too must all goods produced in Northern Ireland – which obviously cannot be checked at the points of entry because they do not pass through the points of entry, they are locally produced and therefore enforcement of the EU Single Market rules to those goods must rely on checks away from the borders. That is the fundamental flaw in applying EU checks and controls on imports into Northern Ireland which should properly be applied to exports to the Irish Republic.

          Reply
          1. Gary Gray
            May 9, 2022

            The Protocol doesn’t “refuse” anything, it’s just a bit of paper. What you are describing is what Boris agreed as his oven ready deal, what he called excellent and what won him a General Election. The UK freely accepted all of this, please stop complaining

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      For example, it is forgotten here today:

      https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2022/05/david-gauke-picking-a-fight-over-the-northern-ireland-protocol-would-be-a-mistake.html

      “Not doing checks on goods going from GB to NI does not solve the problem, it merely shifts it. The fundamental difficulty is the Northern Ireland trilemma which resulted from Brexit. We might want regulatory divergence from the EU, no border between GB and NI, and no border between NI and the Republic of Ireland but as a practical matter we can only meet two out of three objectives. If we are diverging from the EU a border has to go somewhere. Scrapping border checks in the Irish Sea means they have to be performed elsewhere.”

      But EU checks on the goods produced in Northern Ireland will have to be performed elsewhere, across the extent of the province away from any border; obviously it cannot be expected that they will be taken out of the province to sea and then brought back in so they can be checked at the sea border; therefore by the same token EU checks just on those goods heading towards the land border and into the EU Single Market could also be carried out at a range of sites away from the land border, including business premises.

      Reply
    3. ColinB
      May 9, 2022

      I didn’t agree with signing either the Protocol or FTA but we are where we are.
      It’s about time the UK govt started using the safety clauses built into the Protocol and started being assertive of the rights they have under the agreement and to interpret the Protocol to the advantage of the UK and NI. Inform the EU of our decisions and provide them with a clear timetable of implementation and stick to it. The UK then needs to ignore all protests from the EU. Provide Boris with a backbone and appoint ministers who are prepared to get the job done. I’ll put your name forward Sir John.
      The EU have threatened a trade war but they are in a weakened economic state and may not have the political backing of the countries within the EU. Would it not be prudent for the Govt to write to all major companies to ask them to ensure that they have alternative sources of materials and products in the event of the EU kicking off on the grounds of national security, especially in food. Don’t we have trade deals with other countries – then use them and expand them as alternative sources of materials.
      It would be nice to hear what is happening with the new trade link with Morocco. I imagine this largely involves trade in food.
      What incentives or instructions have the UK govt given to farmers. Why are we still importing far to much food from other countries. The UK could nearly be self sufficient in food production. I believe the UK has circa 30% of the sheep population in Europe, we must be exporters – surely, as well as supplying the majority of lamb etc for the UK ?
      Why do we rely on Denmark and Germany for imports of bacon and pork. Our farmers need to produce more pigs. If it’s the secret and underhand subsidies the EU is giving their farmers then the UK govt needs to resolve that problem by fighting fire with fire.
      Why do we have a shortage of farm vets. In part a good number must be pulled into bio-security checks on all the animal imports from other countries. Producing more ourselves will ease a lot of problems including the balance of payments issue.
      Can the Govt please join up the dots !
      Has the Govt formulated a plan for our fishing industry to cover the next 4 years covering increase of fishing boats and the skills and infrastructures to service the increased fishing fleet. Immediately prior to Brexit it was calculated that the fishing industry was worth in excess of £6 bn to the UK. So we will be taking back a further 25% to 75% of our fish, won’t we ? I can hardly bring myself to mention taking back control of our fishing grounds and banning 100 metre long vessels in our waters. Let the EU jump up and down. They are our waters. Threaten to make every boat fishing in UK waters to clock into a UK port before they start to fish and for all fish to be landed in the UK.
      The list goes on but we just need a determined set of top quality ministers who don’t just tinker around the edges and really get on with the job.

      Reply
  3. Thicko
    May 9, 2022

    Can someone tell me in one sentence what the Protocol is ?
    I and the rest of the Plebs have not the faintest.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      Yes, it is an absurd agreement based on an absurd premise adopted by the Irish government that “any checks or controls anywhere on the island would constitute a hard border” and therefore could provoke a resurgence of Irish republican terrorism, but in reality designed to gradually split Northern Ireland off from the UK.

      Reply
      1. Shirley M
        May 9, 2022

        I doubt the EU wants Irish re-unification. If they do, then they are more stupid than I thought. If NI joined Ireland, then the EU’s hold over the UK has disappeared. The EU wants trouble in NI, but they want the UK to be blamed for it, and pay for it. The EU wouldn’t want the blame, the disruption, or the expense. But then, the EU really are stupid so they may well put pride before all else. In their pique they alienate one of their best customers and lose their trade as well as their money and fish.

        Reply
      2. Bill brown
        May 9, 2022

        Dennis Cooper

        Changes need to be made but your interpretation by the way proposed by Boris is totally distorted and a misunderstanding

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 9, 2022

          Tell us why bill.

          Reply
      3. thicko
        May 9, 2022

        Thank you and to Ian Wragg. I’m pushing my luck here but can anyone give me a one liner on article 16.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 9, 2022

          It’s a convoluted mess caused entirely by brexit, and exactly as the Remain campaigns predicted .

          Reply
    2. Ian Wragg
      May 9, 2022

      It’s a device to keep the UK aligned with EU single market rules hence Tricky can’t remove VAT on fuel because he would need Brussels permission for NI.
      May wanted this to apply to the whole of the UK thus keeping us permanently in the EU.
      The civil Serpents still want this so it won’t be repealed.

      Reply
      1. Thicko
        May 9, 2022

        Ah. So does this apply to removing green tax etc on gas/elec
        or does “fuel” cover gas/elec ?

        Reply
      2. glen cullen
        May 9, 2022

        It would open a can of worms if VAT was reduced in GB but not the same reduction in NI…..so this government will not alter VAT unless the EU authorise a Union wide alteration or relaxation of VAT – we’re a vassal state

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          May 10, 2022

          why would it open a can of worms glen, they can devolve vat as they have taxes? Northern Ireland seems to want it all ends up, well I suspect they will be given a choice soon because people in the rest of the UK will have enough of this uneven handling of Ireland – common travel areas and the like when they take the mickey at every turn. Their goods should have the same checks going into N Ireland and the RUK than they apply to the UK and our ministers have let us down as they always let England down.

          Tuition Fees for the English only
          Prescription charges for the English only
          Hospital parking for the English only

          WERE GETTING MIGHTY SICK OF IT>

          Reply
        2. hefner
          May 12, 2022

          The whole VAT saga is a joke: as shown in ‘VAT rates applied in EU countries’, in europa.eu ‘VAT rules and rates’, last update 21/04/2022 the various VAT rates differ from country to country within the EU27.
          Some countries just have a standard rate (DK), some have an additional Reduced rate (also varying with country), and a few (E, F, IRL, I, L) have a Super Reduced Rate, and there’s even a Parking Rate in five countries (A, B, IRL, L, P).

          So my guess is that if the UK including the NI wanted to change the VAT rates, provided that the same rates were to apply in all parts of the UK, it could be done.
          If it is not done now, it’s because HMG does not want. I am not sure the EU would object one way or another.
          Can somebody confirm whether it is the case. Thanks in advance.

          But, of course, the VAT ‘nightmare’ is such a useful story that politicians keep on telling to keep the crowd of ‘angry voters’ on their side.

          Reply
      3. Pauline Baxter
        May 9, 2022

        Ian Wragg. Did Tricky really say that?
        Is every member of the present government thick and incompetent, or do they just blithely carry on, believing we are thick?

        Reply
    3. agricola
      May 9, 2022

      Yes it is a means of perpetuating EU control in NI, of splitting the Union, and of creating a united Ireland. You are mirrored by numerous government Thickos abetted by civil service Thickos with their own agenda for appeasing the EU. It has to go now before all the anti unionists get comfortable and create more mayhem.

      Reply
      1. thicko
        May 9, 2022

        Thanks Agricola. It’s good to educate us thickos rather than demean.

        Reply
  4. Peter Wood
    May 9, 2022

    Of course it’s correct, it’s been correct for at least 6 months, but has Bunter and his bunch done anything about it? How many times has the NI secretary threatened to use the dreaded Article, and then done nothing.
    If Bunter does get off his arse and DO something about it, I’ll ‘eat my hat’!

    Reply
    1. Donna
      May 9, 2022

      He’s far too busy playing at being a wannabe Churchill over Ukraine to do anything to protect the integrity of the UK.

      Reply
    2. turboterrier
      May 9, 2022

      Peter Wood

      If he does I send you the mustard and relish

      Reply
  5. DOM
    May 9, 2022

    Hear, hear but I fear we have reached a point of no return and that momentum now rests with SF-IRA and their determined push towards reunification. At that point, GB will be surrounded on all sides by EU member states.

    Trump was an Anglophile, Biden-Obama Anglophobes. The latter now back in power collaborating with the EU will be full square behind Sinn Fein’s push towards a UI.

    One could argue that Johnson will do what is expected of him by Washington and Brussels. He isn’t going to upset the apple cart for to preserve UK integrity or for the unionist community.

    It seems those who pursued the path of thuggery and intimidation have been rewarded while those who sought a democratic and collaborative agenda punished but as we have seen with BLM and other terror groups, the Socialist political State will exploit any agenda for gain

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 9, 2022

      Trump was so much of an Anglophile that he slapped thumping tariffs on UK steel.

      Biden has lifted them.

      Reply
      1. Pauline Baxter
        May 9, 2022

        Nottingham Lad.
        But we can not produce any steel can we? due to Bojo’s carbon neutral fantasy.

        Reply
    2. Dave Andrews
      May 9, 2022

      SF-IRA dream of reunification is just a romantic fantasy. The only time it existed was when the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom.
      Given that’s what is means, then what a laudable aspiration. A United British Isles would achieve the object of SF-IRA in a united Ireland and satisfy the Unionist wishes to remain part of the United Kingdom.
      There we are, the Irish question solved. Don’t thank me, just get it done.
      Just need to persuade the Irish Republic of the idea.

      Reply
    3. Bill brown
      May 9, 2022

      DOM
      Interesting, but have you been able to distinguish a socialist from a liberal and a socialdemocrate

      Reply
    4. Ed M
      May 9, 2022

      Lots of Catholics in the North wanted to remain part of the UK.
      And even more in the Republican of Ireland don’t want a united Ireland (not because of politics but because of the cost involved). But IF the North does join the South it will have happened ultimately because of Democracy not the Gun. The Gun failed (and always fails in the long-term in such cases).

      Reply
      1. Ed M
        May 9, 2022

        ‘Lots of Catholics in the North wanted’ – sorry, WANT not wanted

        Reply
        1. Curious
          May 9, 2022

          Hey Ed M.
          What do you make of JRM always calling the Pope “The Holy Father” ?
          The ONLY people I’ve ever heard call him that are very, very old Irish ladies whilst crossing themselves with their rosaries.

          Reply
          1. Ed M
            May 9, 2022

            Hi, I don’t have any time for all that ‘Holy Father’ / ‘Your Eminence’ stuff.
            If I met the Pope, I’d call him ‘Sir’ like I would to a member of the royal family or the Prime Minister and try and be warm and friendly like to any other human being!
            There is a lot of pious nonsense in The Catholic Church that makes me want to reach for the sick bag … (and by that I do NOT mean the The Catholic Magisterium, The Sacraments and the lives of the great saints but stupid, sentimentally-pious traditions outside The Magisterium).
            Part of me has GREAT sympathy for the Protestant Reformers. I just think they went too far in coming up with their own doctrine and leaving The Church. Whilst I’m also sickened at what SOME Catholics have done in history, including the way they persecuted Protestants. Best.

      2. glen cullen
        May 9, 2022

        Has anybody asked Eire if they want Northern Ireland

        Reply
        1. Ed M
          May 9, 2022

          Not objectively, like in a referendum. But I think looking at things subjectively, yes (what Irish journalists reports about ordinary people in the south regarding the north etc. The Southerners see the Northerners – the Catholics not just the prods – as being culturally quite different as well even though they may all play hurling etc .. There is a similar cultural divide between Dubliners and country people. Some / a lot of country people think that Dubliners look down on them. But I think the difference is greater between Southerners and Northerners).

          Reply
    5. Ed M
      May 9, 2022

      ‘Trump was an Anglophile’ – not really. Maybe when he puts on his dinner jacket to to go the Palace. I really don’t think Trump is that loyal to the UK in any shape or form. It’s all surface deep. He just couldn’t really care. Not bovered. And I don’t think Biden has particularly strong views about the UK or Ireland either. He seems to have trouble just staying on cue with more pressing things to do with the USA (‘more pressing’ for the USA at least).

      Reply
      1. Pauline Baxter
        May 9, 2022

        Ed M.
        When Trump was eventually allowed a State Visit he behaved impeccably.
        However, that is really beside the point.
        Why would anyone in USA care about us?
        Trump avoided war. Biden has gone all out to cause wars.
        He succeeded in Ukraine and through NATO has dragged us into it.
        What is more, if anyone presses that ‘red button’ I guarantee it will be Biden not Putin that does it first.
        U.K. should have abandoned any idea of a special relationship, long ago.
        U.K. (including Northern Ireland) should look after U.K..
        AND Bojo, stop posing on the international stage.

        Reply
        1. Ed M
          May 10, 2022

          Pauline,
          ‘When Trump was eventually allowed a State Visit he behaved impeccably’ – I should hope so!
          ‘Why would anyone in USA care about us?’ – True.
          ‘Trump avoided war’ – True.
          ‘Biden has gone all out to cause wars’ – Really? (I’m no fan of Biden, I think he’s useless. Although the only good thing about him is that he doesn’t pour fire on Pootin’s already existing nut-case / lunatic fire that’s eating him up).
          ‘He succeeded in Ukraine’ – What?
          ‘NATO has dragged us into it’ – That’s the kind of thing the Russian propaganda machine say. This war is primarily down to a (dangerous) nutcase in Moscow whose got major insecurity issues / hasn’t grown up.
          ‘What is more, if anyone presses that ‘red button’ I guarantee it will be Biden not Putin that does it first’ – God forbid.
          ‘U.K. (including Northern Ireland) should look after U.K’ – I agree. By first building a Laser Defence System to defend us from the threat of dangerous, sophisticated drones, hypersonic missiles and nuclear warheads (God forbid).

          Reply
        2. Ed M
          May 10, 2022

          Also, it’s really the CIA (and US Military) we should be relying on right now.
          This is what the CIA was really created to do and people in it born for: to help protect USA and the world from this dangerous lunatic in Moscow. (The CIA will have endless records of Pootin’s psychological state. Including being bullied as a child. All of that to many other psychological sides to him. This is all way beyond Trump or Biden. And then the CIA will have detailed insights about what makes Pootin tick politically. And so on).
          God bless the CIA (and US Military). May they please keep us safe.

          Reply
          1. Ed M
            May 10, 2022

            Hiter was bullied / beaten black and blue by his father. You can be sure that so much of his anger on the world was really a childhood projection of his anger on his father + PTSD from WW1 + Psychopathy + Narcissism and evil in general. These are the kinds of psychological insights you can be sure the CIA have of Pootin. And way beyond the understanding of most of us including Trump and Biden. I think.

  6. Mark B
    May 9, 2022

    Good morning.

    I am remined of the old saying; “Act in haste, repent at leisure.”

    Getting BREXIT done simply meant getting it off the table. The HoC and other parties worked tirelessly to either stop BREXIT or to water it down. After the EU Parliament elections where the Tories got trounced and Theresa May MP had to resign, suddenly for many MP’s it became real – The people wanted OUT of the EU !

    I mentioned here long before the final agreement the problems we might face over the NI / RoI border. It was one reason why I prefered the EEA Agreement but many here, including our kind host, did not want that. It is old ground and there is no point in going over it, but we are now in a position where we are still not satisfied with what has been done.

    Compare all that to when India left. It took two years and they are now an independent country. That is not to say they do not have their problems but, I am amazed when I compare to the both the manner (no if’s or but’s) in which they left, and the speed. For them, LEAVE really meant LEAVE. But then, they had politicians who believed in themselves, the people and the future of an independent country.

    It is high time our political class and Establishment drew inspiration from one of our former colonies by showing the EU that we are no loneger a colony of them !

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      But the Irish government rejected even the “light touch” border arrangements of the “Norway” option.

      From May 18 2021:

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/05/18/sort-out-the-gb-northern-ireland-trade/#comment-1229829

      “I can hardly believe that three and a half years on I’m still having to refer to people to this Sky report:

      https://news.sky.com/video/is-the-norway-sweden-border-a-solution-for-ireland-11141058

      “Is the Norway-Sweden border a solution for Ireland?”

      As far as the Irish government was concerned the answer was “No”, because:

      “We have been very, very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.”

      Later they moved on to the idea that even if checks were performed away from the border that would still amount to a hard border, and Boris Johnson was prepared to swallow that nonsense as well.”

      Reply
    2. Sea_Warrior
      May 9, 2022

      And Singapore too!

      Reply
  7. Denis Cooper
    May 9, 2022

    This is a message that I have sent in the direction of Boris Johnson:

    “Prime Minister:

    If you meant what you said about “one United Kingdom” in the debate on the Queen’s speech last year [1], then you will ensure that this year Her speech includes words such as:

    “My Government will explore an alternative to the Northern Ireland protocol to protect the integrity of the European Union Single Market without undermining the economic and territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.”

    With the first hopefully uncontentious step being the passage of the laws designed to protect the EU Single Market contemplated in paragraphs 43 and 62 of the Command Paper issued last July and bearing your signature [2].

    No doubt by now it will be obvious to you that it would be a mistake to expect the EU to either agree to significant changes to the protocol or to consider any alternative arrangement, so the only answer is to go ahead and do it.

    Dr D R Cooper

    [1] https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-05-11/debates/A73F9E62-E76C-4188-9742-E84C55ACC435/DebateOnTheAddress#

    “Everything we do will be done as one United Kingdom, combining the genius of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – joined together by blood and family tradition and history in the most successful political, economic and social union the world has ever known.”

    [2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1008451/CCS207_CCS0721914902-005_Northern_Ireland_Protocol_Web_Accessible__1_.pdf

    43: “We also stand ready to bring in new legislation to deter anyone in Northern Ireland looking to export to Ireland goods which do not meet EU standards or to evade these enforcement processes.”

    62: “Once again we are also ready to put in place legislation to provide for penalties for UK traders seeking to place non-compliant goods on the EU market.”

    Reply
    1. Hope
      May 9, 2022

      +1
      The party and govt has no intention, hence why no action but a mere sham.

      Reply
    2. Pauline Baxter
      May 9, 2022

      Denis Cooper. You don’t seriously expect our present government to read and understand all that do you?

      Reply
  8. Sea_Warrior
    May 9, 2022

    Many of us here will be wanting firm action from your spineless PM. My guess is that the words of Truss in the run-up to the elections were nothing but spin. The loyal people of Northern Ireland deserve better.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      May 9, 2022

      Is he spineless, or complicit?

      Many UK politicians were complicit in destroying the UK’s negotiating power and handing it to the EU. As we have seen, many politicians claim (lie through their back teeth!) to support Brexit at election time, and once elected do all they can to help the EU instead of the UK.

      Reply
    2. Pauline Baxter
      May 9, 2022

      Sea_Warrior. +1

      Reply
  9. MPC
    May 9, 2022

    There are three upcoming decisions that will define whether there is any point voting Conservative in the next general election: 1) the NI Protocol 2) fracking 3) permission for the Cumbria coking coal mine. Does anyone have any confidence that the right decision on each of these will be made by the government?

    Reply
    1. turboterrier
      May 9, 2022

      MPC
      For a lot of us there is a fourth which is just as important.
      The ongoing increase in economic migrants. I still cannot understand why we cannot send them off shore to a British Territory in the South Alantic.
      How with such a large majority they achieve nothing is beyond comprehension. It would appear the situation as is, is what they ŕeally want.
      No point in voting for any of them.

      Reply
      1. MWB
        May 9, 2022

        Glad that the penny has now dropped.
        The government want immigration.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 9, 2022

          Commerce and enterprise want immigration.

          And the Tories say that they are the party of commerce and enterprise.

          Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      May 9, 2022

      MPC. Without beating around the bush, no. But then to be fair I don’t think any of the 3 main parties will do it either. They may as well form a coalition. Reform is the only party capable of anything sensible but they stand no chance with our present system.

      Reply
    3. SM
      May 9, 2022

      Sadly and unfortunately: NO.

      Reply
    4. Pauline Baxter
      May 9, 2022

      MPC. I think there are more than your three. The whole carbon neutral ‘thing’.
      Invest in nuclear power – fast. As well as fracking and North Sea.
      Why stop producing I.C. vehicles? Let E.V.’s spring up separately.
      Illegal immigration, is another.
      Fishing, as well as Northern Ireland.
      Alleviate the cost of living crisis.
      Reduce taxation to encourage growth.
      Get out of Ukraine.
      Just a few ‘off the top’
      But no, none of it will be done by Bojo’s government.

      Reply
    5. anon
      May 10, 2022

      UK Production of Coal and a large stockpile to run our coal plant throughout winter should be kept as a precaution for national security reasons. We should utilize nuclear/coal output to save gas to send to the EU. I think this is a driver behind the recent energy flows.

      Reply
  10. DaveM
    May 9, 2022

    Meanwhile, in the midst of a cost of living crisis, Johnson finds another £1.3 Bn to send to Ukraine. Clearly determined to lose the next GE.

    Reply
    1. Sea_Warrior
      May 9, 2022

      The money coming from ’emergency reserves’ – and therefore being additional expenditure – rather than from the bloated Foreign Aid budget.

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      May 9, 2022

      Yeah but the ‘cost of living crisis’ only disproportionately effects the working class…so not of any real concern to this government – Boris is busy spending his extra revenue on HS2 and more Wind-Turbines

      Reply
  11. David Peddy
    May 9, 2022

    Get on with it !

    Reply
    1. Sea_Warrior
      May 9, 2022

      For some reason I’m now thinking of that St Augur cheese commercial.

      Reply
  12. BOF
    May 9, 2022

    Quite correct and this is exactly how the situation should be handled.

    But, we have the most courage free PM since Cameron, and Brandon Lewis, another left over from the disastrous years of May government and EU aperatchik. It looks like an uphill struggle.

    Reply
  13. Donna
    May 9, 2022

    The Protocol must be scrapped entirely. Northern Ireland is British and its trade with other countries, including Eire, should be on the same terms as the rest of the UK.

    If that means we have no trade deal with the EU, then so be it.

    Reply
  14. Peter Parsons
    May 9, 2022

    This was the “oven ready deal” that would “get Brexit done”, the implementation of which was agreed and signed off by Michael Gove.

    It’s high time leavers started owning the responsibility for what they willingly signed up to and stopped continuing to blame the EU for decisions taken by the UK government.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      May 10, 2022

      Peter, you were on this website most of us didn’t want that agreement signed with this NI catch, we were told it was negotiable with a special clause. There were many people here saying leave without a deal at all and make them come to the table properly.

      There are gains from leaving that remain supporters don’t want people to discuss and the newspapers don’t reflect. A lot more jobs in the Midlands especially and other previous low unemployment areas as manufacturers re-site here and new production facilities are opening. Pay has increased in these jobs.

      The left say not enough is being spent on Health yet health spending has rocketed from 1997 £60bn to £270bn.

      Reply
  15. The Prangwizard
    May 9, 2022

    Why has the Boris you support so much, and under any circumstances, repeatededly promised the people of NI and their MPs and Britain, to correct tbe problems with the Protocol and the EU and repeatedly cheated on them?

    He is a coward and a deceiver of everyone but the EU who know he will bow to their demands and destroy the UK.

    Reply
  16. James
    May 9, 2022

    Ah! I don’t know – the Unionists of NI have been mollycoddled for far too long it’s about time they faced up to their responsibilities in this fast moving world. Crying wolf everytime a decision or circumstance doesn’t suit is not going to wear in the long term. The Protocol is not the problem – brexit was and is the problem – if we mess further with the Agreement then we may find ourselves in the firing line with cross channel trade or with the Financials. Treaty agreements especially International ones should be supported by all otherwise if we upset one then who knows what else could be upended.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      Nope, the problem is with the protocol.

      Reply
      1. Gary Megson
        May 9, 2022

        There was no need for the Protocol before Brexit, so obviously the problem here is Brexit. And to be precise – the problem is that you Brexiters want Brexit but hate every model of it that is suggested. And that is because Brexit is always going to come with nasty costs (here, the need for a border between NI and GB – also all the red tape our exporters now face but didn’t before Brexit, also that we can’t anymore send refugees back to EU states etc). You kidded yourselves Brexit would have no costs but the real world has caught up with you. You don’t like it but you better get used to it because Brexit ain’t going to get any easier or better

        Reply
        1. Pauline Baxter
          May 9, 2022

          Garry Megson. Rubbish!
          BREXIT is the only good thing this government has ALMOST done.
          Are there STILL Remainers out there hoping to go back in?

          Reply
        2. Denis Cooper
          May 9, 2022

          There is no need for the present protocol now; the Irish government and the EU wanted it and Boris Johnson gave it to them because he wanted the near worthless “Canada style” free trade deal that he had promised as part of his bid to take over from Theresa May. Go back to November 26 2017 and the threat from the Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan that the Irish government would veto any trade deal unless at least Northern Ireland was kept under the thumb of the EU:

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ireland-border-brexit-latest-theresa-may-customs-union-phil-hogan-northern-a8076271.html

          “Theresa May is facing fresh pressure to change course over plans for the Northern Irish border after Brexit as Ireland’s EU commissioner stepped up threats to veto trade talks.”

          “Mr Hogan, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, said Ireland would “play tough to the end” over the border issue, and said it was a “very simple fact” that “if the UK or Northern Ireland remained in the EU customs union, or better still the single market, there would be no border issue”.

          For myself I would expect there to be a protocol about Northern Ireland and its relations with the Republic in our treaty with the EU, not least because when we were in the EU there were protocols around that in the EU treaties to reconcile the special UK-Ireland common travel area provisions with the general provisions in the treaties, but not this protocol.

          Reply
    2. Pauline Baxter
      May 9, 2022

      James. You are wrong there. The protocol is not an International Treaty.
      Ask Lord Frost.

      Reply
      1. James
        May 10, 2022

        Pauline Baxter.. the Protocol is an appendix to the WA, but in fact if the Protocol were not part of the WA then all of our problems would have been solved long before now.. so don’t you think that Lord Frost knows that very well.. and that’s one of the reasons he has left the scene – the whole thing is a mess and comes right back to No.10’s mismanagement of the brexit negotiations

        Reply
  17. Denis Cooper
    May 9, 2022

    For more than six decades Tory politicians have been greatly exaggerating the economic importance of special trade deals with our European neighbours. And probably the pinnacle of that chronic deceit was reached on Christmas Eve 2020 when Boris Johnson went on television and laid claim to:

    “the biggest trade deal yet, worth £660 billion a year, a comprehensive Canada style free trade deal between the UK and the EU.”

    That would be about 30% of GDP, when according to the EU the deal is worth only 0.75% of GDP to the UK; and although that number is from the EU it is nonetheless fairly credible, given that a back of the envelope extrapolation of the projected benefit to Canada of a “Canada style free trade deal” with the EU suggested that a similar deal would be worth between 0.7% and 1.6% of GDP to the UK. Five government departments – trade, business, Treasury, foreign and cabinet – have all responded to Freedom of Information requests by denying any knowledge of the value of such a deal to the UK, so the 0.75% of UK GDP estimated by the EU is as good as we have got.

    Also according to the EU even with this deal the UK will suffer a longterm reduction in economic output equivalent to 2.25% of GDP, while without the deal it would have been 3.00%. That 2.25% loss due to increased trade friction is actually close to the 2.13% one-off benefit of the EU Single Market, according to a 2012 report from the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier. However a German source calculated that while this was indeed the average economic benefit across the EU member states the benefit was not uniformly distributed, and for the UK it was only 1%. Which suggests that the current EU projection also overstates the UK’s loss due to no longer being in the Single Market, and it should really be more like a 2% long term erosion of economic growth if we had left on WTO terms.

    That 2% would in turn tie in with advice given to the German government in 2017 by another research body, that if the UK left the EU without any special trade deal, simply defaulting to the basic WTO treaties, then that would cost us 1.7% of GDP over the long term.

    Given that the long term trend growth rate of the UK economy is 2.5% a year it seems unlikely that in 2040 many people would be saying:

    “Oh, if only we had voted to stay in the EU back in 2016 we might have reached the current GDP level eight or ten months ago.”

    This is what is has always been about; UK politicians, Tory and others, being prepared to sell our birthright for a small mess of pottage, and while it is hard to believe that the government of Canada would ever be prepared to sell out one of its provinces for the sake of a low value trade deal that is what Boris Johnson has agreed to do with Northern Ireland.”

    Reply
  18. turboterrier
    May 9, 2022

    The biggest problem is that we all know whether you loved or hated her Mrs Thatcher with a 80+ majority would never had tolerated the situation we find ourselves in. Fed up with hearing about how Boris is a winner when in truth the only team he is playing for is himself. Change the laws that cause the problems and invoke Article 16. No more words and excuses from the cabinet just start doing what they were elected to do. Or prepare for a long time out of office.

    Reply
  19. Gary Megson
    May 9, 2022

    It is simply false for you to claim that ” That peace settlement in NI requires the consent of both the nationalist and the Unionist communities in NI to any political development or decision”. If that were true, Brexit would never have happened because it was not supported by both communities. You voted for the Withdrawal Agreemnent which contained the Protocol, face up to what you have done

    Reply
  20. Keri
    May 9, 2022

    So you are angry about the deal agreed by the Conservative Party, which was the basis for theConservative Party,s General election win and which you and every other Conservative MP voted for in Parliament in January 2020. Will you Conservatives ever take responsibility for what you have done to Northern Ireland?

    Reply
  21. Narrow Shoulders
    May 9, 2022

    Why don’t we just enforce the protocol selectively?

    Oh yes, the reason we needed to leave in the first place, our Civil Service, working for us apply and enhance all rules handed to us by external parties (UN. WTO, EU, COP) with no regard to how it affects our competitiveness. Other nations apply those rules as they benefit them.

    Until lour Civil Service is capable of looking after its own people we should avoid membership of any of these groupings.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      May 10, 2022

      NS – do you know which types of businesses this is still affecting now? Aren’t most businesses that ship goods over sea compliant anyway with the EU rules and regulations? Wouldn’t it be just healthier to help businesses that want to ship to get the certificates required and then help them to open up their market into the full EU?

      Reply
  22. Will in Hampshire
    May 9, 2022

    I’m not convinced that the Republic of Ireland can afford to unify by integrating the six counties. I doubt that the Irish government is actively asking for the European Commission’s assistance in achieving that. The costs of unifying Germany set various governments in Bonn back significantly.

    Mrs O’Neill of course has no option but to talk about unification but I expect there will be echoes of Saint Augustine’s parody of complacent adolescents (“make us unified, but not quite yet”).

    Reply
  23. Lester_Cynic
    May 9, 2022

    The local election results seem to have spurred Bunter into a great flurry of activity

    Fool me once, shame on you

    Fool me twice, shame on me
    Too little, too late

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 9, 2022

      We’ve been fooled since 23rd June 2016

      Reply
  24. Everhopeful
    May 9, 2022

    With JR’s super-kind indulgence?
    One of those pretty useless petitions…a link.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/signatures/125598283/signed

    Might help?

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      May 9, 2022

      Oh sorry!
      About the PANDEMIC TREATY.

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      May 9, 2022

      I’ve just signed but I don’t think the question posed was unless…its perhaps the follow-up Westminster political debate and response which is pretty useless

      Reply
    3. Pauline Baxter
      May 9, 2022

      Thanks Everhopeful. I have signed it. Got the info from Independence Daily.
      It has climbed a lot since I signed!

      Reply
  25. Bloke
    May 9, 2022

    SJR provides an excellent statement of the situation and its solution.

    We, as the UK, shall now act in favour of our own interests. What the EU does in the convoluted muddles of their own making is a matter for them. We have left and shall shake off the worthless remnants of their shackles.

    Each day the marks increasing heal, adding strength in our regained freedom.

    Reply
  26. Bill brown
    May 9, 2022

    Sir JR

    When you start using words like colonies and prisoners about the protocol rational conversation on the subject is gone out the window.
    We proposed this solution.
    According to the Economist your so-called solution will cost us more and will not promote the peace agreement as you emotionally state.
    I would re-write this piece if I were in your shoes

    Reply
  27. Sea_Warrior
    May 9, 2022

    Political algebra test. Which is greater? Multiple Beergates + obfuscation or a solitary Currygate + hypocrisy? I wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson surviving and Starmer resigning. An interesting weekend ahead, methinks.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      May 9, 2022

      SW no Keir already knows his police are going to let him off for the same type of workplace event, like I said that the time Boris and Sunak should have appealed.

      Reply
      1. Bloke
        May 9, 2022

        Many folk pronounce ‘Sir Keir’ as: Sekkir.

        Sekkir is a Norse word meaning: Sack.

        So, saying ‘Sir Keir Starmer’ sounds like an imperative: ‘Sack Starmer’

        Reply
  28. glen cullen
    May 9, 2022

    What’s the fuss – Boris got the protocol he wanted and agreed…has anyone asked him if he’s unhappy with it. We must face facts, the protocol isn’t going to change without a change of PM….a bit like net-zero – Boris isn’t for turning

    Reply
  29. The Prangwizard
    May 9, 2022

    Sir John is watering down his view on what should be done. A weak negotiating start will lead to submission. Typical.

    Reply
  30. William Long
    May 9, 2022

    What you say must make sense but why are we told that while the Foreign Secretary wants to press on with invoking the get out mechanism, Messrs Sunak and Gove are standing in her way? Surely is is apparent to all;, even members of our spineless Government, that the only thing the EU understands is action; mere words count for nothing.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      May 10, 2022

      Long – Gove has also overturned English laws for English devolved matters, why would this Scot do that?

      Reply
  31. Original Richard
    May 9, 2022

    You are correct, Sir John.

    The question surely is why our PM, who acts like a lion when it comes to Russia/Ukraine, transforms into the cowardly lion of the Wizard of Oz in dealings with the EU, whether it be the NIP or fishing.

    What is the threat and from whom does it come?

    From the EU or the US or Ireland/the IRA or from the Civil Service?

    I think the PM should level with us.

    Reply
  32. Original Richard
    May 9, 2022

    In the light of EU intransigence isn’t the only way forward to hold referendums in both Ireland and N.I.?

    BTW, if there becomes a united Ireland, will that mean that Ireland will be treated as all other EU countries?

    So Ireland will no longer be part of the CTA and Irish citizens will no longer be allowed to vote in the GB GE?

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      May 9, 2022

      That could be a bonus for the UK, plus for Ireland and the EU to finance NI, and any ‘troubles’ they may instigate. I would be very happy for the CTA to go. As with the EU, it benefits Ireland far more than the UK.

      Reply
  33. Mark Thomas
    May 9, 2022

    Sir John,
    The timing of the signing of the agreement (just before Christmas), the speed at which it had been agreed, and the description of an “oven-ready deal” all filled me with dismay. The Prime Minister seemed so eager to achieve this and trumpet his success that the subsequent and foreseeable consequences were ignored.

    I would have preferred that there had been no agreement. Leave first and then negotiate.

    “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 9, 2022

      Negotiating from a position of a total blockade on trade with the European Union and no access to its ports, roads, airspace and other infrastructure would not have been from the strongest of positions, seeing that the UK only produces a bit over half of the food that it needs…

      Try to think now and then.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 10, 2022

        Yes, NLH perhaps they do need to set up the alternative food supply lines first. I believe Morocco has had a boost from the EUs position with the UK.

        Reply
    2. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      Hilary Benn and fellow traitors took away that option.

      Reply
      1. Bill brown
        May 10, 2022

        Dennis

        Sometimes you should look up the words before you use them

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          May 10, 2022

          Says a man who cannot see how to spell my name even when it is in front of his eyes.

          Reply
    3. glen cullen
      May 9, 2022

      “No deal is better than a bad deal.”
      I think I’ve heard that somewhere….now who was it ?

      Reply
  34. X-Tory
    May 9, 2022

    I vehemently disagree that we should legislate to protect the EU’s single market from UK goods. Do we do this for any other country? Of course not. Why should we do these Britain-hating scum – who have done everything they can to harm us – any favours? This will simply be taken, and rightly so, as a sign of weakness.

    Our preferred solution to ALL trade between the UK and the EU is for both sides to accept that the other’s standards are EQUIVALENT. This would mean that no checks are necessary, while maintaining our freedom to have different rules and regulations. We should take the opportunity of Ireland’s desire not to have a border to IMPOSE this solution, by simply eliminating all checks. We should TAKE CONTROL. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to do this.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      Bear in mind that legislation will be required and it will have to get through the House of Lords.

      Reply It may be a money issue with privilege

      Reply
    2. Denis Cooper
      May 9, 2022

      We have been over this before, and I would repeat an earlier post:

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/09/29/the-eu-mr-biden-and-northern-ireland/#comment-1263957

      “That is why we need to put in place better alternative arrangements to protect the EU Single Market before we scrap the existing unsatisfactory arrangements.

      As the EU will reject that idea out of hand we should do it unilaterally and invite them to do the same for their part of the long proposed collaborative scheme.

      From August 2019:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-49488844

      “Brexit: Backstop plan by Sir Jonathan Faull dismissed by EU””

      Reply
    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 9, 2022

      Your second paragraph is completely self-contradictory.

      And how do you compel the other independent party to accept anything at all anyway?

      You don’t seem to grasp this “agreement” stuff one bit, do you?

      Reply
  35. a-tracy
    May 9, 2022

    John, “the EU vice-president Maroš Šefčovič said it was also keen to find solutions. We need the UK government to dial down the rhetoric, be honest about the deal they signed and agree to find solutions within its framework,” he said in a statement. “The EU has already shown a lot of flexibility by proposing impactful, durable solutions and we stand ready to continue discussions.” guardian “The Irish taoiseach, Micheál Martin, claimed the flexibility shown by the EU “has not been reciprocated”, suggesting its recent threats over unilateral action to disapply some of the checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea had “made the EU more cautious”.

    Why won’t the EU fulfil Article 6 of the Articles of Union? Shouldn’t your government be clear to the public about what you want to change in this protocol and why? Do we allow Southern Ireland to export to us without any checks at all? Isn’t it time to just reciprocate and do the exact stoppages to the EU, what is wrong with your government that Rees Mogg just bends on that decision.

    Reply
  36. MFD
    May 9, 2022

    I spent fifty years of my life in Northern Ireland, but when Blair started to mess on behalf of the Republicans. Followed by his lies ( Speach) in the Ulster Uni with his promises all set out on a black board, later to be dusted off and denied. I knew it was time for Action!
    I promptly sold up and moved to Devon, that was over twenty years ago but my decision was correct , I suspected a sell out and now that looks very likely. Britain has fought all over the world, why do our
    Government act like cowards and not fight for the British population FIRST?
    While sitting in glorious Devon I sometimes think of those still enduring a battle to stay BRITISH!

    Reply
    1. ukretired123
      May 9, 2022

      @MFD Yes Blair undermined many people with their noble aims leaving others to clean up after him from Ireland to the Middle East expecting others to fall under his spin sadly. The brave people of Northern Ireland deserve much better and the spirit of the Good Friday should trounce any EU “initiatives” especially when Blair have his advice to them expecting to be EU President.

      Reply
  37. Freeborn John
    May 9, 2022

    I hope the British government will swiftly disabuse the French President of his strange notion that we would want to join a “European political community”. We know how that will end up. Quite why he thinks we want freedom of movement, security “co-operation” etc is beyond me but this an idea that has to be nipped in the bud immediately.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      May 10, 2022

      Actually John I don’t have a problem with working migration, no benefits, no housing benefit, no free NHS. The Doctors have voted not to charge foreigners on the NHS well then they must volunteer their time and pay the hospital fees to provide this service free out of the goodness of their hearts because British people are dying because they’re not being seen, I had a 70-year-old friend die recently hadn’t seen a doctor once for a health check for 5 years.

      Reply
  38. Pauline Baxter
    May 9, 2022

    Change the protocol.
    Very good Sir John.
    BUT
    Will YOUR Government do it?

    Reply
  39. glen cullen
    May 9, 2022

    I see on the Sky news report today, that the illegal crossing of the English Channel has restarted apace with 900 this week…who do we blame if one girl is raped, a grandparent is mugged, ones home is burgled, and person is stabbed or taxes increase
    Just like the NI protocol this government blames everyone else for its own misgivings

    Reply
    1. Mike Durrans
      May 9, 2022

      Misgivings? Glen, Its their mismanagement that is the problem

      Reply
    2. Diane
      May 10, 2022

      Government’s own figures on their daily updating site is as follows between Sun 01 May & Mon 09 May inclusive:
      01/5 – 254/7 boats. 02/5 – 293 / 9 boats. 03/5 – 149 / 4 boats. 04/5: Zero. 05/5 – 65 / 2 boats. 06/5 – 116 / 4 boats. 07/5 – 169 / 11 boats. 08/5 – Zero. Yesterday 09/5 – 51 / 2 boats. Total 1097 / 28 boats. Where are they now.

      Reply
  40. a-tracy
    May 9, 2022

    Keir Starmer – laughing out loud. I think what you and Rayner did in Durham in the evening, is not different to what Boris and Sunak did in Downing St at lunch, in fact I think what you two did with a big group of people you don’t normally work with is worse.

    I don’t think either event is a resigning decision and I think you made too much of it.

    Reply
    1. turboterrier
      May 9, 2022

      a-tracy
      Aĺl of it a bloody great con treating us like fools. The police investigating Starmer have already stated they will not issue a FPN. Its just another cheap trick to force Starmer to look honourable. Can’t be done.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 9, 2022

        Thing is turbo most of us true conservative types hate the witch hunts the lefties regularly carry out, bullying, ganging up and cancelling people who thing differently to them. They are weak so their strength is in the pack of beta woke types. Just watch how they come out to protect their own now, the very same people baying for Boris and Sunak’s jobs and presence, will now defend their socialist boss. It just makes me sick, I saw it in the classroom and playground and they never grow up.

        Truth is Boris fecked up with his deal, I can’t decide whether he was in on the trap or not. I’m more narked with him for persuading people to trust him than I am for a ‘between work lunch birthday cake’ that apparently they didn’t even eat, and the same socialists that condemned that will say the Durham police aren’t Charging Keir nothing to see here, look the other way – total and utter hypocrites, they don’t see that they further weaken themselves, no integrity whatever the chief lawyer says he knows he’s in the wrong.

        Reply
  41. James
    May 9, 2022

    If they are not going to form a government then stop their pay.

    If there’s no assembly and no government formed then Commissioners should be appointed instead to run the various departments all answering to the Secretary of State with a border poll to be held in say seven years time – the rest is BS – all of this fuss for to manage 1.8 million people is wrecking my head

    Reply
  42. hefner
    May 9, 2022

    O/T: Macron in Strasbourg introduced the idea of a European Political Community, which non-EU countries might one day want to join. Scholz said it was an interesting idea, and thought that Ukraine and the UK might one day be interested. (Liberation, 09/05/2022, 18:15)
    13 EU countries have already said they are sceptical about the idea (France Info).

    Reply
  43. Denis Cooper
    May 9, 2022

    This is almost beyond belief:

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/ministers-close-to-northern-ireland-protocol-decision

    “A Whitehall source said one of the reasons Gove was leaning towards keeping faith in negotiations with Brussels was that he felt “protective” over the Northern Ireland Protocol, having negotiated it in his former role as chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster.”

    I think I may have mentioned before that I decided long ago that he is not to be trusted. Oh yes …

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/05/23/the-last-days-of-mrs-may/#comment-1022743

    “I haven’t trusted Michael Gove since I read this article in June 2004 … “

    Reply
  44. anon
    May 9, 2022

    Post the election. The NIP should have been scrapped and we should have left on WTO terms without any agreements if needed. Boris had plenty time as the EU were still debating it.

    Perhaps we should just move to WTO viz the EU. Ditch the Common Travel Area with Ireland. Then seek a referenda in N Ireland on its status within the Union. Specifically the choice being the EU or the UK union.

    The US/EU are driving UK policy. Boris seems a closet remainer. Like the rest of the establishment. This is why voting LibLabCon is a problem. Boris position on UK and Ukraine sovereignty must be an uncomfortable ride, but again i would guess its driven by Brussels and Washington.

    We need to lance the threats from the US and EU by leaving AGAIN but on WTO.

    Reply
  45. Bill brown
    May 10, 2022

    Peter 2

    Be part of the debate or safe us from your irrelevant remarks

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      May 10, 2022

      If you started posting more than petty one liners and put them in the correct position, then perhaps I might Billy.

      Reply
  46. Lindsay McDougall
    May 10, 2022

    No, don’t change the protocol. Get rid of it. The Republic are owed the courtesy of advance notice when goods are about to cross the border into their territory. Only a small proportion of goods going from the UK to Northern Ireland are forwarded to the Republic. The remainder of goods crossing between England, Scotland and Wales are purely internal to the UK and are none of the EU’s of the Republic’s business. Companies exporting from the UK mainland to the Republic should be advised by HM Government to ship them to Dublin or use RoRo ferries.
    We need to recognise that the Republic of Ireland has coveted our territory in the North for 100 years and as such are a hostile State. The Good Friday Agreement was a profound mistake, creating an absurd confusion as to which nation the Six Counties belong. Scrap it, abolish the Stormont parliament and cede Sinn Fein voting territory in the western counties of Northern Ireland to the Republic. This applies particularly to Londonderry west of the river Foyle, an area which includes the Cregan and Bogside estates. Local government in Northern Ireland would consist of county and/or district authorities, with direct rule from Westminster. People of Republic opinion living reluctantly in Northern Ireland, for example the population of West Belfast, would be urged to Go South. We might even pay them to go,

    Reply
  47. Freeborn John
    May 10, 2022

    The U.K. has to act this week to repudiate the Northern Ireland Protocol. If the EU responds with a trade war while continuing to buy Russian oil and gas, it has to be made clear that there is no question of the U.K. ever coming to the defence of EU member states even if they are in NATO. We cannot be going to war to defend countries that are waging a trade war against us. This should be made clear to Finland and Sweden and they should be told tomorrow that the U.K. will block their NATO membership applications unless they campaign successfully within the EU to block a trade war and the EU accepts the permanent end of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Reply

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