Deal or no deal on the Protocol

It is difficult to write about a deal where there is  no text, and where the UK government assures us there is currently no deal over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Many of us would be delighted if there is  an agreement to free the flow of goods within the UK to and from NI to GB, and even happier if there is an agreement to lift the way the EU wishes to impose its laws on NI that do not apply in the rest of the UK. So what are we to make of the fevered speculation that there is a deal in the offing?

The first scenario is I am afraid the least likely. In this the EU has at last realised its demands to have a border between GB and NI, and to require NI obeys all new EU laws does violate the first 3 Articles of the Protocol itself and prevents Unionists from returning to Stormont. They have kept their decision to make  a revision to their demands secret whilst they get buy in, but we will be pleasantly surprised and will be able to welcome the  new deal when announced. It will remove the democratic deficit , uphold the UK internal market and will look to the Uk to ensure compliant goods only flow to the EU across the invisible  Irish land border.  Mutual enforcement where the UK enforces EU standards on all exports to the EU and vice versa has always been the sensible outcome. There is then no need for a physical border into NI  nor into the EU. The UK has never proposed a  new physical border into the UK from the Republic.

The second scenario is  the EU and UK are close to having agreement on how the UK should manage an internal border, with relaxations for the bulk of goods which are internal trade within the UK. Without any agreement on EU laws and  their enforcement by the EU’s own court it is difficult to see how this could persuade the Unionists back into power sharing. Were the UK government to press ahead with this it could get it through Parliament because Labour has said it will support more or less any Agreement, but it will not resolve the larger Good Friday Agreement issues with the Unionists. It also leaves open how much electronic paperwork companies would need to produce to satisfy EU demands for data on internal UK trade and whether this will still impede our internal market.

The third scenario is there are still genuine talks underway concerning the democratic deficit issues but the EU is reluctant to move. All the time the EU insists on imposing its laws and ECJ judgements on NI the UK government should decline to settle, knowing it will not sort out the Good Friday matters.

96 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    February 19, 2023

    As you say:- All the time the EU insists on imposing its laws and ECJ judgements on NI the UK government should decline to settle, knowing it will not sort out the Good Friday matters.

    Alas I do not trust Sunak on this or anything else.

    1. Ian wragg
      February 19, 2023

      Fishy is following his orders and will sell out Northern Ireland without a backward glance.
      He will rely on liebour for votes just like May.

      1. Donna
        February 19, 2023

        +1

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        February 19, 2023

        And Johnson

      3. Milo
        February 19, 2023

        May did not rely on Labour votes. Her deal was voted down by Labour and the far right of the Conservative Party, and she had to resign. I hope Mr Sunak learns this lesson and he does a deal with Labour in the national interest, leaving the far right of the Conservative Party (who never cared about Northern Ireland and never had any plan to address it) stranded on the sidelines, where they belong

        1. Peter from Leeds
          February 19, 2023

          Indeed. Ted Heath had to rely on some (at the time the majority Labour MPs were Eurosceptic) Labour votes to get us into the EEC in the first place. Europe has always been an issue that runs across both parties.

          1. Lifelogic
            February 19, 2023

            Indeed endless lies and treachery for both parties from Ted Heath onwards.
            Blatant lies from Heath over sovereignty and he even took us in to the “Common Market” without any authority or permission from voters whose birthrights he was giving away.

      4. Lifelogic
        February 19, 2023

        +1

    2. Peter
      February 19, 2023

      A fourth scenario is that the U.K. concede to EU demands. This would be dressed up in language that may fool or mollify many. The outcome would be announced at a suitable time when it might be buried under other news.

      The government will take a gamble on handling any protests by the DUP, ERG etc.

      Sunak will take a gamble on Boris Johnson capitalising on the resulting alarm and division to make a comeback.

    3. glen cullen
      February 19, 2023

      Since the referendum every PM has been a remainer, rejoiner or supporter of the EU
      How about getting a PM that fights for the UK and only the UK

      1. Shirley M
        February 19, 2023

        +++++++++
        Do we have any patriotic politicians, or have they all been bought off with promises of one thing or another (excluding the few like Sir John, but too few to make a difference).

    4. British Patriot
      February 19, 2023

      It is obvious that Sunak intends to betray Northern Itreland and the UK as a whole. If he didn’t he wouldn’t even be talking to the EU in the first place! Why would he be “negotiating” with a foreign power over internal UK affairs? Internal UK trade is a purely UK matter, and should NOT be up for “negotiation” with anybody else. We should just unilaterally do whatever we want. After all, that’s what every other single country in the entire world does!! The fact that Sunak believes he has to come to an “agreement” – meaning, obviously “compromise” – with foreign governments over an internal UK issue is itself a betrayal of UK sovereignty. The man is a traitor. How else can I possibly view a prime minister who gives away British independence?

  2. Mark B
    February 19, 2023

    Good morning,

    The UK has never proposed a new physical border into the UK from the Republic.

    Which is odd. Because I would have thought the same issue the EU has would equally apply here ?

    I am of the opinion that perhaps it is time the UK took a stand with regards to Irish business, investments and its citizens living and working in the UK. Perhaps it is time that the UK decided that if there is to be a border between Ulster and the UK that affects trade, then there needs to one that equally affects the aforementioned. Perhaps then both the EU and the Irish government may come to see sense.

    But the UK does not want to as this matter serves its purpose of keeping the UK closely aligned with the EU. This will lead to calls for the UK to be part of the Single Market and the Customs Union, something that the likes of David Lammy MP, although have denied, will eventually call for.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 19, 2023

      We’ve allowed stuff to come in freely across the Irish land border for three decades now, since the advent of the EU Single Market on January 1 1993, and so far there has been no strong reason why we should change that just because we have left the EU. Eventually that could change, but as yet there is no good reason to start routinely checking their stuff on the way in. The EU is in the wrong if it treats our stuff as now being more risky than it used to be when so far we are still operating on the same standards as them, they should look at Article 7.4 in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to which the EU and each of its member states are parties:

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

      “7.4 Risk Management”

    2. blearyeyed
      February 19, 2023

      Irish business with the UK works both ways for instance there are hundreds of thousands of British living in Ireland – a lot of them business people very happily working away.

      Look at it this way – if we consider Gibraltar is British but not part of the UK it doesn’t make it any the less British – but it has a border with Spain and the EU So it is different from Britain being far away for a start. But we could say the same about the Channel Islands or isle of Man- they are British but different

      Well the same can be said about NI it is different but still part of the UK – if is much more different now because of the GFA – it borders on the EU and so there may be niggling problems then we can add in ‘NI is not finchley’ and it never will be – but it is part of UK – it is different because it is regarded as being part of the EU SM for trade – and no iwhere else in UK has this advantage so it is different.

      So like the treaty of Utrecht 1713 or the GFa circa 1990 – we enter these agreements and we have to make them work otherwise? – or am I missing something

      Reply NI is constitutionally part of the UK with MP s at Westminster. Gib and Channel Islands are not.

      1. Bernie
        February 19, 2023

        Yes but nobody consulted the Irish or English people in 1801 when they set up the Act of Union or asked if they wanted to be a constitutional part of a UK – the political establishment just went ahead and did it all behind closed doors just like they’re doing right now about the protocol.

        Only problem now is that Donaldson is an MP and not an MLA he might not want the DUP to go into government at Stormont anyway where the DUP would be playing second fiddle to Sinn Fein. Such an approach mIght have consequences for the GFA and would very likely cast UK itself in z bad light – here I am thinking about our need for better relations with other countries for trade and services also with the wider world ‘ – the reputational damage would be bad.

    3. a-tracy
      February 19, 2023

      Yes, any rules must apply to Southern Ireland goods coming into the UK and EU goods coming in to the UK but start with Southern Ireland as a trial area. It is past time this was sorted out and the exact SAME rules applied to imports, we have had time to source alternatives should supply dry up. Our politicians are WEAK and ineffective on this matter.

  3. Lifelogic
    February 19, 2023

    Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times today:- “the only reason Drax is handsomely profitable is the colossal subsidies it receives. Its profits for 2021-22 were £398 million, but its subsidies, courtesy of the ministry then known as BEIS (now the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero), were £893 million.”

    Chopping down large forests & burning wood (young coal) is far worse in CO2 and environmental terms than burning old coal. So what drives this insanity? Total ignorance, stupid and/or corrupt politicians, crony capitalism or just pure corruption? Far better if you are burning wood at all to do so in houses as when burning it in power stations most of the energy (circa 70%) is wasted as heat in the cooling towers, processing, transport and transmission.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is as illogical & daft a name as the department for “Women & Equality” or for “Slimming and promoting excessive ice cream Consumption”, or “Fashion and Sustainability”.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 19, 2023

      So what would the market cap. of Drax fall to if the government stopped all the subsidies for this environmental and wood burning energy insanity?

      As any sensible/rational/honest government clearly would do.

      1. Mark B
        February 19, 2023

        Trees and the like are natures original, and best, form of carbon capture. Coal being proof of that. So cutting down trees and then burning them seem to be to be really rather counter productive.

        But the Great Green SCAM is nothing but that – A SCAM !!!

        1. beresford
          February 19, 2023

          There’s not too much problem as long as you allow new trees to grow in their place. The trees then function as natural batteries, ‘recharging’ from the Sun.

          1. Fedupsouthener
            February 19, 2023

            We are chopping down trees way faster than they can grow. Millions were chopped down in Scotland for turbines to replace them. With modern machinery it takes seconds to fell and strip a pine tree. Many birds and mammals list their habitat in a short space of time. Still we are saving the planet. Excuse me while I throw up.

          2. Lifelogic
            February 19, 2023

            Well they only capture carbon while growing, taking perhaps 100 years. This is then released again when they die & decay or they are burned in power stations or forest fires.

            If you really want to save carbon. Chop all the trees down, use them for building, other long term use or bury them to make new coal and plant new trees. Not that C02 plant food is a serious problem anyway. Burning them in power stations is clearly far worse than burning old wood (coal) in environmental terms.

      2. Cuibono
        February 19, 2023

        +++many
        Any sane govt. would immediately open up the coal mines.
        (Or resign actually!…Yes! Let’s have another letter!)
        Doesn’t all the green cr*p attract huge subsidies?
        It don’t work
        Windmill metal to coal scuttles!

    2. graham1946
      February 19, 2023

      While this nonsense goes on they want to ban domestic woodburners (thin end of the wedge came in last April). Presumably they want the domestic wood to go to Drax instead of the paying public in the long term. If it is not used we are going to drown in waste wood which is what we burn, not like Drax complete virgin trees. Australia had the wonderful idea of leaving the forests dirty with waste wood and ended up with out of control wild fires. That will happen here if we don’t keep the woods clean, and if it can’t be sold, we won’t. We had big grass fires last summer which will become infernos if we let the woods go because no money can be made out of it. And of course people will be cold, but what does that matter to the political class?

      1. Chris S
        February 20, 2023

        We fitted one woodburner last summer and the saving in gas has already been more than it cost to buy and install.
        We are fueling it with surplus pallets, picked up for free.

        We are going to fit a second wood burner this summer to give us a second choice of room to use in the middle of winter. Only the Aga is being run 24/7 but that costs just £5 a day on gas to heat the kitchen and do all the cooking.

    3. glen cullen
      February 19, 2023

      No subsidy on renewables – let the people, consumer and buyer decide ….let the markets decide (otherwise its social engineering)

      1. Fedupsouthener
        February 19, 2023

        EVs are social engineering too.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 19, 2023

          Indeed they cause far more CO2 than keeping an old petrol or diesel car. They are (larger) emissions but all elsewhere cars. They heavier, far more expensive, v. range limited, slow to charge and the batteries only last with decent range for circa 8 years. Plus we do not even have low carbon electricity to charge then with.

          Plus they can burst into nasty fires on ferries and in tunnels.

        2. glen cullen
          February 20, 2023

          +1

    4. Original Richard
      February 19, 2023

      LL :

      At least Drax burning wood has saved it from being explosively demolished by the President of COP26 as he did for Ferrybridge in this 2021 official SSE video :

      https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1429456184902393858/pu/vid/720×720/JwPnpycxEiyBmqVJ.mp4?tag=12

      So that when the riots start over the inevitable blackouts that are coming as a result of Net Zero policies we will have at least one coal-fired power station available.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 19, 2023

        +1

    5. Brian Harvey
      February 20, 2023

      Absolute nonsense.

      You need to learn about the biogenic and non-biogenic carbon cycles. Burning coal is releasing CO2 that has been captured and stored for thousands of years. Biomass pellets are created from thriving forests which are primarily used for timber. Using the leftovers does not add to the carbon cycle given that those trees are being cut down anyway (either for use in the timber industry or cleared under good forest management practices to prevent wild fires.

      There is so much ignorance when it comes to the forestry industry in the UK. Scandinavia and Canada (the ones with most of the resource) understand it so much better.

  4. DOM
    February 19, 2023

    Sunak will no doubt see this issue as a political one but for most it is a matter of feeling, belonging and loyalty to the ideals of national sovereignty.

    The west is dying and those ideals it once championed like democracy and freedom are close to expiration in no small part to the scum that have infected western politics with their filthy, poisonous leftist ideology of division and subjugation

  5. Abigail
    February 19, 2023

    You should be leading the negotiations. You were right in the first place, that we should leave on Day One and then negotiate, from a position of strength. Why won’t they listen?

    1. Shirley M
      February 19, 2023

      Abigail, they do not respect democracy, or the electorate, which is why Parliament has been deliberately delaying/avoiding/weakening any aspect of Brexit since 2016. i KNEW we would be sold out when Parliament passed the Benn Act in double quick, nay, treble quick time. Basically, Parliament said we must have a deal, any deal, or remain within the EU. It was an act of self harm, and, in my opinion, a traitorous Act. Every MP who voted in support of that act should have been prosecuted as traitors.

      1. Christine
        February 19, 2023

        +1 and as one traitor leaves they are replaced by another. Until all the main parties are voted out we won’t see any changes.

      2. anon
        February 19, 2023

        I would support any party that would retrospectively try them. As they prove above they have no qualms changing the law to suit themselves.

    2. Connie
      February 19, 2023

      What would be this “strength”? We would be making enemies of the EU and the USA (which is committed to ensuring no border in Ireland and isn’t interested in silly “we won’t build one” sneers), enemies of every country that wants good relations with the EU and US, and we would have no supporters at all. As ever you Brexiters have NO plan

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 19, 2023

        Guess what, there already is a border in Ireland, and the silliness is to pretend otherwise.

  6. John McDonald
    February 19, 2023

    Sir John we have reached a point were most of us have difficulty believing anything the Government says. This would now be true of any Government , Labour or Conservative. Maybe the issue is more complicated than just a matter of checking goods that enter the Republic of Ireland are to EU standards. If the the UK dose not feel the need to check goods from the Republic, then if the EU wants to check goods from NI, Wales, Scotland and England then this is down to the Republic to do on behalf of the EU.
    You have pointed out there has always had to be electronic paperwork to account for the difference in currency and VAT.
    This is more than just sorting out simple trading between two countries. NI does not have to follow EU rules but the Republic of Ireland does. They have to check that goods from NI meet EU standards.
    What is the real problem here, yes it’s politicians again not in touch with what the ordinary citizen wants.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    February 19, 2023

    A helpful suggestion by Boris Johnson, today, that the UK should keep pressure on the EU by progessing the NI Bill. The EU, like Putin, only respects strength.

    1. Billy Elliot
      February 19, 2023

      ”keep pressure” what pressure? It is the other way around they keep it on us.

  8. BOF
    February 19, 2023

    Hopefully, the unionists in NI will oppose any ‘deal’ that does not completely remove all semblance of control by the EU or its courts to prevent any future government from using this shameful lever, the NI protocol, from being used to draw the UK back into the EU.

  9. Bloke
    February 19, 2023

    The EU conditions read like an illness owing to something bad we swallowed years ago without reading the side effects.

  10. Bill Smith
    February 19, 2023

    Sir JR

    Very well done this is the first version of a balanced presentation on the NI Protocol I have read coming from you .

    thank you

  11. Cuibono
    February 19, 2023

    Hasn’t the PM rather snubbed the ERG? ( And other groups maybe?)
    Shooting off like that!
    Heath, Brown, May and probably plenty of others..their underhand MO.
    It ain’t right and it should be called out.
    (Assuming my reading of it all is correct).

  12. Walt
    February 19, 2023

    It is way past time to be blunt: no internal UK borders, no ECJ jurisdiction in the UK. In the unlikely event that the EU insists on a border between NI and Eire they can erect it on the Eire side and be responsible for running it and all that entails and results therefrom. A fair trade deal between the UK and the EU would be welcome but if the EU will not do that without including our subjugation we politely decline.

    1. Brian Cowling
      February 19, 2023

      +1

    2. oldwulf
      February 19, 2023

      @Walt

      Yes.
      This is what should have happened from the outset.

    3. Shirley M
      February 19, 2023

      +1

    4. Original Richard
      February 19, 2023

      Walt :

      Agreed.

  13. The Prangwizard
    February 19, 2023

    And if your government concedes will you resign from the party and in future oppose it because of its destruction of UK sovereignty?

  14. Cuibono
    February 19, 2023

    Why doesn’t the govt. want to get re elected?
    Scrap 25% corporation tax.
    JUST STOP extension of ULEZ and come down VERY hard on local councils trying to impose 15 min cities.
    AND denounce ANY party that is pushing these lunacies.
    Sorted! Apart from NI, Brexit and the little boats.

    1. Julian Flood
      February 19, 2023

      ULEZ becomes unnecessary if exemptions are given to ICE vehicles fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG). This fuel emits undetectable (by current MOT testing systems) particulates and NOX, and also emits much reduced levels of CO2. Too easy, of course. Cheap, clean, easy for motor manufacturers.

      As someone above asks, do the Tories not wish to make a fight at the next election?

      JF

      1. Original Richard
        February 19, 2023

        JF :

        Agreed.

        The conversion for ice vehicles to use CNG is relatively cheap and easy and there is also available green methane which has net zero CO2 emissions and thus should be taxed at the same rate as electricity for evs.

        But the reason for evs is not to reduce NOx or even to emit less CO2 (which they don’t when everything is taken into account) but to be able to control and reduce the use of the car through the use of smart meters. i have just read there are already plans in place to restrict car use by restricting how much evs batteries can be charged.

  15. Dave Andrews
    February 19, 2023

    Please stop blaming the EU for the NIP. This is an insanity contrived by the UK government. Pull down the custom posts at NI ports and allow the British citizens their rights to travel freely within our country. The government seems quite prepared to stand up to Putin, but backs down in the face of Brussels, and they don’t have nuclear weapons.

  16. Cuibono
    February 19, 2023

    Excuse me for asking …
    But WHY in the names of sanity and Heaven have govt.s spent the last 30 odd years MAKING people travel for necessities?

  17. agricola
    February 19, 2023

    The desire of the EU to punish the UK is evidenced in their arachnoid creation of a web to divide the UK and ultimately at the behest of the Irish government, Biden and Sien Fein to create a united ireland. They have no idea what they are wishing for. The situation is exacedbated by the incompetence of May, Robins, Johnson et al in signing up tothe NIP in the first place. On that decision Johnson ended any pretence to being PM yet again, good though he may be in other respects.
    The solution is that the EU have absolutely no jurisdiction within NI. For trade UK/NI/EU it is confined to trusted operators and administered electronically. If the EU want a physical border they can have one, but only in Southern Ireland. End of story, keep it simple.

  18. Donna
    February 19, 2023

    Sunak’s Puppet Masters won’t let him do anything which will eliminate the EU’s control over NI (and therefore the UK).

    I think their goals are:

    1. Over the longer term, to reunite NI with Eire
    2. To keep the UK umbilically attached to the EU and closely aligned, so the UK can be taken into the outer tier of Associated Nations (outside the Eurozone) which Macron recently proposed …… echoing the proposal Cameron made to Merkel, which she rejected.

    Steps will be proposed to reduce the EU’s monitoring of trade flows between NI and rUK ….. with the British Government doing it instead and reporting back to its Overlord in Brussels.

    The DUP won’t fall for it and I doubt if the ERG will, but the Establishment will get what it wants because the rest of the Westminster Uni-Party will vote it through.

    1. agricola
      February 19, 2023

      Donna,
      Ref your last paragraph, should this be the result, then you have all the explosive ingredients for a return to civil disorder. There are enough idiots on either side for a return of the troubles, a fine mess we could be heading for.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    February 19, 2023

    JR: “what are we to make of the fevered speculation that there is a deal in the offing?”
    Sunak is about to agree to whatever the EU demand. He cares more about them and Ukraine than the people of the UK.

  20. ChrisS
    February 19, 2023

    The problem we have been facing continually since 2016 has been the overwhelming number of Remainers in the Civil Service. Any minister wanting to introduce policies that support and push forward the principles of Brexit must be faced with entirely negative position papers, driven by the principle of maintaining parity in the hope that a future government will take us back in. It is why so little progress has been made.

    To their credit, Labour politicians are ruling out rejoining, but, faced with the same blizzard of pro-EU position papers, it is easy to imagine Starmer coming to the dispatch box saying that they had not realised just how damaging Brexit really is to the future of the UK, and that he has no choice other than to rejoin !

  21. Javelin
    February 19, 2023

    The Government are not resisting Balkanising of the UK.

    With such a large immigrant population in London the ULEZ is also balkanising the UK.

    Why do ministers just sit on their hands?

    1. Cuibono
      February 19, 2023

      +100
      I hadn’t thought of that.
      ULEZ and 15min cities are, of course, balkanisation on stilts!
      By the back door some might say.
      I guess it is what ministers want…to do the bidding of EU/globalists?

  22. Denis Cooper
    February 19, 2023

    Could the “democratic deficit” extend beyond local politicians in Northern Ireland having no say on changes to the EU rules applying in the province to all UK politicians effectively abdicating responsibility in that sphere?

    Googling for “unconstitutional abdication of responsibility” references pop up from around the world, such as:

    https://columbialawreview.org/content/abdication-and-federalism/

    “States abdicate many of their federal responsibilities to local governments … ”

    How could MPs of any party, other than the separatist parties, knowingly and with good conscience vote for UK citizens resident in Northern Ireland to be left exposed to possibly adverse changes in EU laws which no longer apply to UK citizens resident in Great Britain, with no direct recourse to either the UK or EU political systems?

    If Labour supports this, do they expect that when an MP elected in Northern Ireland tells a constituent with an EU law problem that it is nothing to do with him, or with anybody in the UK government or civil service, then said constituent might do better to contact a TD in the Irish Parliament and see if the Irish government would extend its good offices to helping him out? They behave as if the province was a kind of Irish protectorate.

  23. beresford
    February 19, 2023

    I’ve just seen a GB News presenter apologise on-air for using the word ‘retarded’ in a piece before the commercial break about how his son had been told off at school for using the ‘inappropriate’ word during a lesson, even though he had told his son he shouldn’t use the word. This follows the success of OFCOM in removing Mark Steyn from national TV for things like reporting the fact that a set of data implied that triple-jabbed were more likely to catch Covid than jab-free, and exposing the grooming scandals that the our leaders have tried to cover up. Sadly GB News is on its way to becoming just another paid Establishment mouthpiece.

    Apparently the Government have tried to dismiss the role of OFCOM in trying to stifle public debate. Do we need a Ministry for Propaganda?

    1. Christine
      February 19, 2023

      OFCOM needs to be disbanded. It is in bed with the WEF as is clearly stated on the WEF website.

    2. rose
      February 19, 2023

      Colin Brazier and Mark Steyn removed and in their place come lightweight lefties like Mark Longhurst and Catherine Forster. Mark Dolan loves to say “we don’t do boring” but it is getting boring now GB News are fearing a Starmer administration would remove their licence. How long before Mark White and Doug Beattie are removed?

    3. Diane
      February 19, 2023

      Beresford …. And the presenter made it perfectly clear & gave us an advance ‘warning’ before mentioning the word to exemplify the situation, coming up after a google search had been made. How was the child to know. How are any of us able to fully keep up with the multitude of changes & cancellations within our use of language. It was discussed, the child was corrected & learned from his ‘mistake’, as we all do throughout our lives.

  24. ChrisS
    February 19, 2023

    It is clear that any settlement over the Protocol HAS to remove the ECJ from being the final arbiter of the law in NI. Yet it seems that Sunak is moving towards a “deal” that leaves the ECJ, and therefore Brussels in the driving seat over a part of the UK.

    The compromise suggested recently in the newspapers was that the UK courts would retain the ability to refer a matter of interpretation of EU law to the ECJ for them to rule on it. This seemed an eminently sensible compromise and certainly nothing like the kind of breathtaking fudge that the EU have used before to overcome difficulties. However, everyone in Brussels immediately pronounced that this was completely unacceptable !
    It seems to me that nothing has changed, Brussels will accept nothing other than complete surrender.

    We definitely need to keep the Protocol bill in play because I fear it will be needed.

  25. […] Different scenarios on the Northern Ireland protocol deal – John Redwood […]

  26. Julian Flood
    February 19, 2023

    The EU has a system in place to monitor goods which, having entered VAT-free, are moved to their final destination where VAT becomes payable, a system that included the UK intil we left. The same system could be reactivated and would eliminate the need for a NI/ROI customs border.

    The EU is being deliberately obstructive.

    JF

  27. oldwulf
    February 19, 2023

    ” …electronic paperwork companies would need to produce to satisfy EU demands for data on internal UK trade …”

    Really !!

  28. Ian B
    February 19, 2023

    Northern Ireland, as with England Scotland and Wales is 100% part of the United Kingdom.

    Having a Foreign Political Court were the Laws, Rules and Regulations are created by the unelected unaccountable Politicos of the European Union having any jurisdiction as to how the UK operates internally, is an insult to peoples freedoms and democracy.

    What this week Socialist Government is saying you the people of the UK are the puppets of a foreign power and for us(the UK Government) to even countenance such a proposition, is your Government kicking you in the teeth.

    Under this Government much has been done to remove freedoms, democracy and ignore the Country, its People and its future.

    The Conservative Party has gone to far this time

  29. Ian B
    February 19, 2023

    Any Court or Institution wishing (just wishing) to impose the Laws Rules and Regulations on a whole population without democratic ove- site – is simply a Dictatorship in action.

    So far the Conservative Government has shown it doesn’t care ‘two-hoots’ for Democracy, Sovereignty or the People of the UK. Everything gets trashed on personal ‘ego’ whether it is Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak, and there predecessors.

    The Conservatives, the Conservative Party have gone AWOL

    1. brendan
      February 20, 2023

      Yes Ian B that’s what we Irish thought – any court or institution wishing to impose laws, rules and regulations on a whole population not wanting them them is simply a dictatorship in action – that’s why we threw the british out following the general election 1918 when Sinn fein won 73 seats which was an overwhelming majority for the whole of ireland. What did the british govetnment do then? well it created the border. So what’s that new?

  30. Ian B
    February 19, 2023

    After 13 years the message to the Conservative Party and its Government(the whole of the House of Commons for that matter) – give the people back their Country!

    Stop pretending we have left EU Control and give the people of the UK their true Independence. Stop working for the WEF and let the Democratic process chose the UK’s Direction. The WA was nonsense it only pertained to what the EU would send to us(or in fishing take from us) but refused trade from the UK to the EU, after 6 years of talks the UK is still excluded from its previous(even pre EU days) trade in services etc. with the EU.

    Some of us might not like the outcome of real freedom, but it will be our outcome our freedom.

  31. glen cullen
    February 19, 2023

    The UK people voted in a referendum for full sovereignty, no deal, certainly no outside or foreign courts
    The NI people expect the same; otherwise there isn’t a union
    Maybe NI should go for independence as they’re getting no support from Westminster

    1. Karl
      February 19, 2023

      Glen, you are wrong. Nothing about deals or foreign courts was on the ballot paper. We have left – as the ballot paper required – and everthing else (the deal, the foreign court) is what our Parliament agreed to. And Brexit was about letting our Parliament agree to what it wants (and changing it if we don’t like it), right? So stop complaining

      1. glen cullen
        February 20, 2023

        ”stop complaining”
        Are you suggesting that we should just agree to everything that our lords & masters say !

  32. Bryan Harris
    February 19, 2023

    The EU is, let’s face it, as likely to come up with a realistic solution to NI as it is to refund the UK for even some of the investment we made in the EU.

    They will continue to punish us in any way they can, whether it is by being difficult or simply ignoring the rule of law when it suits them. They have never been a friend.

    It’s about time one of our PMs stood up to the EU and got results – the current PM is not going to achieve anything with his secret talks.
    Oh for a PM that has the gumption and balls to actually stand up for Britain.

    1. miami.mode
      February 19, 2023

      We have recently paid the final instalment of £2.3bn to the EU for criminal activity:- “the EU’s anti-fraud office said British authorities had allowed criminals to evade customs duties by making false claims about clothes and shoes imported from China” as they were below “the lowest acceptable prices”. Have they treated any other country the same way or are they having us for mugs?

  33. rose
    February 19, 2023

    How do we remove the concession to the EU on data? It should never have been given, and foolishly allowed them a foot in the door.

  34. , George Brooks.
    February 19, 2023

    It is your last paragraph, Sir John, that I am sure spells out the current position of the talks and the EU is hoping that the PM will finally give way to a long winded fudge which changes nothing.

    He needs to stand firm and when the talks collapse he should publish all the detail in order to clear illustrate how the EU is deliberately misinterpreting the NI Protocol.

    The EU should be made to understand that this is their last opportunity to reach a reasonable agreement or the current bill negating the Protocol the ECHR and the EU Court of justice will be passed and enacted.

    This is the UNITED KINGDOM not an out-post of the EU.

  35. George Sheard
    February 19, 2023

    Let’s get it right this time
    we won’t be able to negotiate again
    keep NI part of Britain and the devolved NI government No EU laws in NI
    Let’s not sell NI out for a second time like Johnson and grove did No compromise
    Thank you

    1. Diane
      February 19, 2023

      Indeed it needs to be right. What we have now is not only wrong politically and constitutionally but morally. Foreign laws and hundreds and hundreds of pieces of new regulation hitting N I on an ongoing basis, with no say or veto and imposed by a foreign legislature in our own territory. Cringeworthy that one headline recently states …. ” as he (i.e. PM ) rushes to get an agreement over the line ” How did that work out last time …

  36. mickc
    February 19, 2023

    We all know that Sunk will capitulate…why he and his like even bother to pretend otherwise is a mystery..

  37. derek
    February 19, 2023

    Why is the Government so averse to activating Article 16 of the WA? And why has it been “threatened” so many times but never enacted? Isn’t this clause, astutely insisted upon by back benchers, our Ace card in all of the NI talks? What are Downing Street afraid of? Losing face? Or are they being controlled by the whims of those in their ‘back offices’?
    In the Private Sector none of this procrastination would have existed for so long. As true professionals they would have played their ace way back.

    1. Diane
      February 19, 2023

      Derek: Liz Truss as Foreign Secretary was put down back in 2021 when she told her EU counterpart Mr Sefcovic in the absence of compromise she would not drop Lord Frost’s ‘threat’ / Article 16’s safeguard mechanisms to suspend areas of the deal. That was considered to be ” an enormously disruptive element in the negotiations” “You try to achieve something together and – boom – there’s the threat of Article 16 again” He went on to raise the prospect of the EU ripping up the entire post Brexit trade deal, that it would be detrimental to N I as they were doing much better than the rest of our “regions” / protocol considered to be the foundation of the whole deal / A16 to be prevented at all costs / would have serious consequences for EU – London relations etc., etc., ( As reported in DT 30/12/21 )

      1. derek
        February 20, 2023

        Hmm and who was PM at that time? So much for “getting Brexit done”!

    2. Philip P.
      February 19, 2023

      Did you mean ‘Article 16’ of the WA, Derek? It appears to be about residence rights.

      1. derek
        February 20, 2023

        Not WA, my mistake, it was the NI Protocol.

  38. Michael Saxton
    February 19, 2023

    I just hope the Unionists stick to their guns, this is a wobbly Prime Minister. He will be judged by his actions, however I’m not holding my breath.

  39. Paul ANDREW TOWNSON
    February 20, 2023

    Dear John,
    Why can’t all goods going to Ireland go direct to Ireland via Dublin from Fishguard or Holyhead? This would stop all the problems of shipping to Belfast.
    I am looking forward to hearing you at the Wokingham Conservative lunch next Friday.
    Kind regards
    Paul Townson
    Lower Earley

  40. mancunius
    February 23, 2023

    “a generous policy towards inwards migration and difficulties in stopping illegal arrivals”
    You mean, a generous policy towards the CBI-linked tory MPs who are determined to maintain cheap labour via immigration, and minsters’ difficulties (or reluctance) in stopping Home Office civil servants from slowing their work rate to processing one (in figures, 1) asylum application per week. And the Cabinet’s inability to stop the Prime Minister from lunatic ideas such as an amnesty for all illegal migrants from five countries – a move that will merely multiply the number of mendacious claims from migrants who will have ‘lost their passports and ID’ – the Albanians will suddenly all become ‘Syrian’, and every African will be an ‘Eritrean’.
    Pure PPE-poltroon idiocy.

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