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David Henig @DavidHenigUK
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Ok, time to subject the Commission's response to the UK's backstop proposals to a little bit of scrutiny

(Spoiler alert. I'm not impressed) 1/…
Page 2. A reminder of relevant clauses from the December 2017 report. Except not including para 50 on barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. That's poor stuff - is the EU saying this para isn't important to the discussion? 2/
It doesn't get better. Page 4 is unnecessarily provocative. Yes this is only a customs proposal. But the UK does acknowledge a regulatory proposal is needed. So you could have said "no UK proposal YET" or "UK proposal to follow" 3/
Page 5, and we have the EU's backstop. Northern Ireland is going to be part of the EU for customs and regulatory purposes (including supervision). But remember folks para 50, about the UK ensuring no new regulatory barriers... 4/
Cherry picking a little, slide 7, trade policy. The UK's ask is a tad ambitious. But in these issues listed aren't the first two also problems for the implementation period? 5/
Slide 8, VAT, not my area of expertise. But again N Ireland under EU supervision and exact VAT alignment is looking a little (!) provocative 6/
Governance. Particularly problematic. In the Commission version Northern Ireland is under CJEU supervision unlike rest of UK. But doesn't get a proper say except a joint committee - far less than for example EEA members 7/
And now we also quote para 50. How is the EU document consistent with the UK imposing no new East west regulatory barriers? An NI business could import a product from France with no check, but from Scotland it would face checks? 8/
Similarly in order for an NI business to face no new checks exporting to the rest of the UK, the rest of the UK would have to essentially follow single market rules. With no say, and under no supervision from the EU. 9/
So as demonstrated on this infographic the Commission is proposing that Northern Ireland and an internal UK travel route comes under EU supervision, with no consideration of the East-West section of the December report whatsoever 10/…
Coming on top of Barnier's press event on Friday this simply looks utterly provocative, to many in Northern Ireland, and probably to any UK Government. If they stick to these lines the chances of no-deal rise dramatically 11/
Consider - the Commission rejects the UK's long-term customs plans, has rejected initial UK backstop plans, doesn't want transition extended. Almost saying please choose where you want a border. It's irresponsible and not helping anyone reach a solution. 12/ ends
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