A propos of the integrity of the UK and the NI Protocol. This is the very first Article of the Protocol, which is legally binding on both sides:
This Protocol is without prejudice to the provisions of the 1998 Agreement in respect of the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the principle of consent, which provides that any change in that status can only be made with the consent of a majority of its people.
2. This Protocol respects the essential State functions and territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.
3. This Protocol sets out arrangements necessary to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland, to maintain the necessary conditions for continued North-South cooperation, to avoid a hard border and to protect the 1998 Agreement in all its dimensions.

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More from @tconnellyRTE

22 Sep
Some potentially conciliatory remarks by Irish foreign minister @simoncoveney on the Internal Mkt Bill standoff, following today's General Affairs Council in Brussels:
1/ Coveney said the interim between when the Bill leaves the Commons and is concluded by the Lords could allow both sides, through the Joint Committee, to "address the issues" the Bill professes to address
2/ "There’s likely to be a break of a number of weeks between the Commons consideration and the Lords consideration of this legislation.
Read 13 tweets
22 Sep
The German Europe Minister Michael Roth says Germany is "really, really disappointed" in the results of the Brexit negotiations so far.

Arriving at the General Affairs Council in Brussels he also issues a plea to "our friends in London" to "stop the games"
He says the Internal Market Bill is "extremely" worrisome, as "it violates the guiding principles of the WA, and that is totally unacceptable for us..."
He says there are two key signals: first, "strong support for Michel Barnier and his team". Second, "we will reaffirm our strong commitment for a fair deal based on trust and confidence between the EU and United Kingdom."
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
Breaking: EU official says EU is "neither intimidated nor impressed" by Boris Johnson's Internal Mkt Bill. However, "breaking international agreement is extremely worrying."
2/ Statement follows meeting between European Council President Charles Michel and chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Official says the latest Brexit situation will be added to the agenda of next week's summit in Brussels.
3/ Official says the EU is "firm and steady"

Official adds: "There is a need to fully implement the withdrawal agreement, no question about it. EU is neither intimidated nor impressed but breaking international agreement is extremely worrying.
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep
Did @BorisJohnson give himself a ladder to climb down when responding to @hilarybennmp's question if he believes the EU is acting in bad faith?

Johnson replies: "It is always possible that I am mistaken [that the EU is acting in bad faith].
2/ "Perhaps they will prove my suspicions wrong, and perhaps they will agree in the Joint Committee to withdraw some of the extreme suggestions that I've heard and all will be well.
3/ "But until such time I prefer to have protections guarantee the integrity of this country and protect against the potential rupture of the United Kingdom..."
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep
Breaking: @MichelBarnier has told EU ambassadors that legal action against the UK remains on the table, but will be used only at the "appropriate time"
2/ During a briefing this morning it's understood EU ambassadors registered "cold fury" at Boris Johnson's move to overwrite the NI Protocol. However the message was to continue with the trade negotiations, and to separate the work of the Joint Committee (on the WA) + trade talks
3/ However, member states told Barnier that strong vigilance was needed on governance - ie, dispute resolution - for both the WA and the future relationship.
Read 19 tweets
16 Sep
.@vonderleyen on Internal Market Bill

“This WA took 3 years to negotiate and we worked relentlessly on it, line by line, word by word. And together we succeeded. And the result guarantees our citizens’ rights, financial interests, the integrity of the SM, and crucially the GFA
“The EU and UK jointly agreed it was the best and only way for ensuring peace on the island of Ireland. We will never backtrack on that. This agreement has been ratified by this House [EP] and by the House of Commons.
“It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or disapplied. This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.
Read 5 tweets

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