This vote effectively nullifies the NI protocol. They are voting to ignore the customs procedures they agreed to uphold. This is not "limited and specific". This is wholesale abandonment of the rule of treaty law.

#Brexit
Seems they never understood or didn't read the Notices to Stakeholders (below). They assumed a trade deal would remove the sea border. Now the penny has dropped and they're back pedalling.
It looks like they've ignored the NTSs, believing them to be some kind of negotiating ploy, and instead they've listened to Snake Oil Singham who bleats about mutual recognition of standards (which the EU doesn't do). They've deceived themselves and come a cropper.
They assumed the NI protocol would fall away with the conclusion of an FTA encompassing mutual recognition, but it was May's deal that replaced the backstop, not Johnsons. The only deal that would have retired Johnson's NI protocol would be the EEA agreement.
But since they're now heading for no deal they've realised at the last minute that the NI protocol remains in place, and creates a sea border, they're not in prepared for it in terms of infrastructure and Johnson said there would be no checks. This is an attempt to save face.
They hoped for a "Canada style deal" believing such a deal with mutual recognition would get them off the hook despite everyone saying it wouldn't. They bought their own propaganda and now they're trying to con us that this is just a minor procedural tweak.
They've realised that not only do the checks apply, the state aid rules also bleed over from the NI protocol with or without a deal so now they are effectively trying to legislate it into non existence without formally withdrawing from the WA.
In short, this is total banditry to cover up a major conceptual error, because they thought they knew better than the Notices to Stakeholders, and that the EU could be threatened with no deal often enough that they would cave on mutual recognition. We are ruled by morons.
This then puts the EU in the position of having to enforce the land border, which it won't do, but has the power in the WA to levy huge fines - which this government will probably refuse, at which point we'll have departed from the rule of international law entirely.
That then creates a massive hole in the EU customs frontier so we may see added checks on goods coming from Ireland into the EU, which may see calls for Irish reunification - turning a petty trade dispute into a major three way territorial dispute. Tories gambling with GFA.
This then becomes full blown trade war territory. The only way to row back from this is for the Tories to admit they cocked it up, concede on fishing and state aid and work with the EU to improve customs facilitation, improving the deal over time. But they won't.
Typically the Tories will embark on a campaign of weapons grade lying, obfuscation and blame shifting, and the Tory press will assist. The grunters will buy it wholesale, accusing the EU of refusing to accept Brexit and British sovrintee. Same old shtick. They'll take us all down
I think we're already seeing that - hence the Tory ritual of announcing to scrap the human rights act and to come down hard on terrorists. Red meat for the grunters who'll use the distraction to wrongfoot labour (who will walk into the ambush).
They'll get away with it in the polls for the interim, not least because Labour's weakness on immigration, and Barnier will be the national pantomime villain, but slowly the Tories will drown under the weight of their own incompetence and as the job losses start to mount.
We'll see much the same ineptitude as the beginning of the pandemic, with contingency planning going all to shit, total chaos of customs administration, and regulatory systems breaking down. Expect more dodgy contracts as they try to repair the damage.
Beyond January I don't see this government lasting six months. Johnson will quit before he is pushed. The EU will do us no favours at all in mitigating the self-inflicted damage, and no progress will be made on trade until Johnson is gone at the very least.
If the Tories do go down this route then any deal with the USA is dead in the water. As much as the Dems don't particularly like us, the EU will have a back channel sweetner to ensure it. With the US having an America first policy they'll deal with the EU.
This all rests now on whether the lords chuck it out. If they do, Johnson might take the window to climb down, and then weakened politically, he will have to come to terms with the EU. A deal is still possible - but he has to admit he was wrong to say no checks on sea border.

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More from @LeaveHQ

24 Sep
1. I don't like Rishi Sunak. I don't like groomed, manicured and fast-tracked politicians. It means he's sponsored by a vested interest. I don't know who that is but a man connected to Indian big business is bad news. Smells like a corporate takeover.
2. We are told he's an "enthusiastic brexiter" but there's no track record or eurosceptic pedigree. Just a collection of passionless anodyne brexitish statements. I honestly don't think he cares either way and that bothers me.
3. I dislike classical Brexiteers because they're foaming ideologues and thick as shit but at least I know where they stand. I don't know who Sunak is. He keeps his opinions close, keeping his nose clean for when the opportunity for promotion arises.
Read 8 tweets
23 Sep
Particularly it demonstrates that leavers were right in that national government are reduced to regional implementation agencies with no knowledge of, interest in, or control over regulation and external policy.
This was particularly evident in the indicative votes where Labour MPs voted for a customs union because they thought it had something to do with inspections at ports. Parliament was institutionally ignorant of the EU and little has changed since.
Remainers say we never lost control - but we certainly did by giving that control away and leaving it all for the eurocrats and civil servants to sort out - so key instruments of policy have been functioning on autopilot for decades with virtually no political scrutiny.
Read 8 tweets
22 Sep
1. When May's draft deal was published I was horrified by it. I momentarily became a no dealer. But it didn't take long to realise it was the only deal we were going to get and we couldn't afford not to take it.
2. Initially I was uncomfortable with the backstop. Though it wasn't a customs union, in conjunction with a future FTA, it had the makings of one and in so doing eroded some of the point of Brexit (if the backstop was ever activated).
3. Whether it would be is highly debatable but at least we had a loose political agreement to work towards phasing it out if it were. There was reason enough to assume good faith and it was within the realms if the possible.
Read 21 tweets
21 Sep
1. The key is and always has been effective contact tracing and enforced isolation. That system isn't working, so we're bound to lose control. One might argue that since we're never going to get to grips with it, we are as well just getting back to normal.
2. But the whole system rests on the impression that something is being done. If no official measures were being taken, people would take their own, using violence to enforce. If the state retreats, you get anarchy ... which is what we're beginning to get anyway.
3. The only credible exit plan is to be able to say we have an effective track and trace system in place, it is working, cases are declining (or will decline) so we can start to relax restrictions.
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep
What we're seeing isn't right wing authoritarianism. It's Johnsonism. A government that will go to any lengths to avoid owning up to its unforced errors. It's cowardly incompetence. If it was RWA it would at least be doing something halfway useful.
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A real RWA government would look to confront wokeism in public institutions and take on the blob in academia. They would get round to deporting illegal immigrants, abolish the London mayor, scrap the supreme court and do away with the HRA.
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16 Sep
1. Methinks the Tory no deal plan B involves junking the WA with a view to weakening Ireland's place in the single market. The #InternalMarketBill essentially grants the UK government licence to place goods on the EU single market without authorisation. ...
2. It is assumed Ireland is then forced to put controls along the border - but it won't, invested so much politically in saying that can't happen. Instead it will institute certain behind the border controls notionally for the entire union, but in practice only for Ireland.
3. More than likely this will result in more stringent checks for goods travelling between Ireland and the mainland EU, instituting a market surveillance system where trucks will be inspected on the basis of risk. They'll soon work out which regular loads are kosher.
Read 12 tweets

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