Here is @DanielBoffey ’s article on Johnson’s claim that the EU threatens to cut off NI. And he, too, gets it wrong. So let’s be clear and concise, folks. (Thread)…
@DanielBoffey identifies two risks to the food supply to NI that are allegedly the cause for the Internal Market Bill’s violation of international law: tariffs (that’s art. 5 of the NI protocol) and listing as a food exporter (that’s a requirement under EU law)
He then claims that the Internal Market bill tackles just one of them. That is wrong. How many of these concerns does the bill tackle:
ZERO, none at all. Making it a bit unlikely that the bill was conceived for that purpose.
How can I be so sure? The Bill makes this very convenient. It explicitly says what provisions are supposed to survive a conflict with international law / the WA / EU law / UK law. Sect. 42, 43 and regulations made under 42(1) and 43(1).
Here’s the bill if you want to read the whole long sections (please do!). But I’ll focus on the regulations under 42(1) and 43(1)…
Let’s start with 43(1). Here’s the text
That, clearly, is a power relating to Art. 10 of the NI Protocol. Here’s the first two paras of it. The article is about state aid. So this one has nothing to do with tariffs or other barriers to GB->NI trade. Let’s move on.
Sect. 42(1). Here’s the text. Does it cover tariffs on GB->NI trade or listing for food stuffs in GB->NI trade?
Nope. It explicitly applies to NI->GB trade. As regulations under 42(1) and 43(1) are the only one made immune to the WA/international law/EU law/domestic law that’s it folks.
In short: this bill does not tackle either of the problems mentioned.
But the fact that even the Guardian - despite its leanings - gets this wrong shows that
1) nobody ever reads a bill. Everyone gets their information about the bill from some fancy rumour mill.
2) the concerted efforts of academia reach a readership of 4. This includes my 2 kids
Maybe this is because every time I say I’ll be concise I torture you with 15 tweets and actual legal text?
Please @StevePeers say I’m wrong. I feel like a deranged lunatic shouting at the wind - journalist after journalist keeps repeating a rationale for breaking international law that I CANNOT EVEN FIND IN THE DAMN BILL.

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More from @hhesterm

20 Sep
This would deserve a full reply, but let me just point out why the eminent QC’s point about the EU doing “the same” as the UK in Portugal v. Council is wrong - not just arguably so, but definitely so - in law.
Here’s the point made in the article. Image
Why is that point wrong? Because WTO law nowhere contains a provision ordering that Members have to give WTO law direct effect. Accordingly most don’t (the US doesn’t, the UK doesn’t etc.).
The WA explicitly says that it shall have direct effect in Art. 4.
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
Allow me to call bullshit on this one.
Because this is not how the process works. In short: this is fiction.
How does it work (a thread)
The WTO describes the process in its document WT/L/509. Available here (the WTO links it)…
The customary decision-making procedure of the WTO is: consensus. In short: nobody says no. So if China and the EU are against a candidate - fully against - that candidate won’t become DG. End of story.
Read 8 tweets
16 Sep
Today in “how can we make things worse” the Secretary of State for Justice introduces a new distinction between breaches of international law that CAN be fudged and those that CANNOT be fudged. Why does that make things worse? /1
It entrenches the prevailing myth that lawyers are willing to and somehow can “fudge” almost everything. That justice is an infinitely malleable concept. For our partners?... /2
For our partners the message is serious. The provisions in this treaty are exceptional in their clarity. Take sect. 43. It gives the secretary of state the power to make regulations “disapplying ... Article 10” of the NI Protocol of the WA. Or sect. 45 /3
Read 5 tweets
9 Sep
The problem with this is: it is demonstrably wrong. /1
First up: specific treaty content. This is from Art. 5 of the NI Protocol. It specifically states that it is the Joint Committee that determines goods not at risk. /2 Image
Second: general international law. And in fact the same holds true for contracts: they are not conclusively interpreted by one side however it wants. For treaties, the mode of interpretation is in the VCLT. Is it different for the WA?
Read 5 tweets
7 Sep
EuCo, the PM and the EP have laid down a timeline for a Brexit deal. 1) agreement by 15 October EuCo /1
2) text ready for signature for EP by the end of October
3) HOWEVER - note that all of these deadlines are a bit arbitrary. In the sense that we know time is needed to get an agreed text through the institutions. Just not HOW much time is needed.
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
An angry thread about mankind: LA today registered an all-time temperature record. 121° is over 49° C. /1…
The UK will host the COP26 “crucial climate change conference” to tackle climate change /2
We all sort of know (in the back of our heads) that this is important. But what do we do, showing mankind’s infinite capacity for messing up our priority list?
Read 5 tweets

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