You may know this:
UK #InternalMarket Bill has arrived @UKHouseofLords.
But prob. no debate til after crunch EU Council, i.e. week after next.

But what you may not know:
It looks quite different to way it did before, inc. *big* amendments to part on N.Ireland #Protocol...
1/8 Picture of Part 5 of the UK Internal Market bill first page
Eagle-eyed viewers among you will have spotted the first change.
The clauses have different numbers #⃣
Part 5 now starts with 42, not 40.

So the contentious clauses (which, "yes, do break international law") are now:
44 [export declns],
45 [state aid]
& 47 [law? schmaw!].

The amendments made in @HouseofCommons (covered here) were proposed by the UK Govt.

Clause 42 (GB to NI) no change.

Clause 43: changes to allow new checks to occur NI to GB for certain purposes.

These amendments allow such checks for
* VAT & Excise
* GB biosecurity

On VAT & Excise, it's making sure a [new kind of] 'check, control or administrative process' can be used for these purposes, e.g. preventing double taxation, collecting duties.

#Protocol sees EU rules on VAT on goods apply in NI but revenue goes to HMRC

Anyway, moving on...
On Biosecurity:

Pests and diseases aren't great respecters of #borders, even watery and unfettered ones.

This amendment allows new checks, controls etc. on NI to GB movement of goods in order to deal with a threat to biosecurity in GB, inc (hypothetically) from NI.


But that isn't even the exciting part!

We come now to clause 47.

"Notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international or other domestic law"

Just take a look at what's new here...

The amended clause specifies that Section 6(1)* of #HumanRights Act 1998 does not apply in relation to Cl. 44 & 45 (the ones to breach the #Protocol).

That section requires acts of public authorities to be compatible with ECHR rights.

Why explicitly disapply it here?
Further, legal routes for questioning the 'validity or lawfulness' of Clauses 44&45 are expressly curtailed in several ways.

All this exacerbates suspicion as to intention/scope of this clause.

⚠️& none of it sits easy with commitments to Human Rights in B/GFA & Protocol⚠️


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More from @hayward_katy

17 Sep
First reaction to this UKG statement on the 'Notwithstanding' clauses:

It is quite the opposite of reassuring.

TL;DR Less of a climbdown than a feint.


The statement shows the UK Internal Market Bill was only the half of it...

At the end it promises more such moves to come in the Finance Bill,
"inc. the same Parliamentary process that the Govt has committed to for the UKIM Bill" to related to "tariffs on GB-NI movement"...

This is a statement for those not familiar with the NI/IRL Protocol - i.e. it is aimed at MPs who may still have niggles about the whole 'putting law-breaking into law' thing.

It is certainly not one intended to address the key matter, or to rebuild necessary trust with EU.

Read 8 tweets
13 Sep
N.Ireland is once again the rope in the UK/EU tug of war.

(we've been here before, several times 🙄😩)

Both claim to be acting on the grounds of the Good Friday/Belfast 1998 Agreement.

Both have a point…

But it’s complicated.

A twitter thread.
#Brexit #GFA
The Belfast/Good Friday #Agreement has 3 strands.

These strands represent the lines of division that gave rise to the #conflict:
* unionist/nationalist within NI,
* north/south across the border, &
* British/Irish.

The B/GFA formalised cooperation across these lines.
Crucially, all are #interdependent.

Underpinning it all is the British-Irish relationship

That relationship was improved & became closer as a result of being ‘partners in the EU’ 🇪🇺

The EU was also a go-to model for some of that cross-border & multilevel cooperation.
Read 13 tweets
7 Aug
The #Brexit #Protocol Press Release from UK Gov today was titled
“Major £650 million investment for Northern Ireland” 💸
Which is one way of putting it.

Another might be: “This is costing us a pretty packet… & we’re only warming up”.

Thread (containing a beautiful SLIDE!)
Most of that £££££ is to fund a Trader Support Service #TSS to help businesses manage the new regime for getting goods into NI from GB & RoW.

The TSS is "new & unprecedented".

See @AnnaJerzewska's razor sharp analysis of quite what that means.


Never been done before.
It's only being announced now.
Still at procurement stage.

Yet UKG promise it will be operational in September.

Movement of goods from GB-NI will be depending on it come 1 January 2021.

Let’s just say, we are cutting it fine.

Read 8 tweets
16 Jul
The UK Govt is publishing a white paper today on the UK #InternalMarket

Press release 👇talks about powers going back to the #devolveds & jobs being protected

This isn't quite how the devolved govts see it 🧐

Here's a quick overview of the challenge:
The European single market enabled frictionless trade within the UK even as devolved pwrs grew

#Brexit opens the possibility for growing divergence & internal barriers to trade.

It's a knotty challenge to meet, given serious economic, policy & political differences.

How can the #UKIM challenge be met?

@UKandEU @McEwen_Nicola
@DanielWinc & I outline 4 poss. approaches (& strengths, weaknesses, likelihood)

UKG White paper is option 1, but with elements of 2 & 3 included.

It's ambitious.
& bound to be contentious.

Here are the 4 options:
Read 11 tweets
19 Jun
So what's happening to views on Irish unification in NI?

More from @ARK_info #NILifeTimes survey #nilt2019 📊

This incl. long-standing Qs plus some new ones about whether certain things would encourage or discourage people from voting in favour of a #UnitedIreland.
#NILifeTimes (face-to-face, random sampling) has different results from internet polling e.g. @LucidTalk re: proportion wanting Irish unity.

It's reasonable to say our figure (c.1/4) prob. too low, theirs (c.1/2) prob. too high, & the 'real' figure is somewhere in-between.

The great value of NILT is that it is a time series survey, ie. same Q & method over 20+yrs.

Overall, there hasn't been a dramatic surge in support for Irish unity.

Devolution remains preferred long-term policy (even though it wasn't functioning when Q asked).

Read 7 tweets
17 Jun
So here goes...
The 1st of 4 threads on political attitudes in @ARK_info NI Life&Times Survey #nilt2019 #NILifeTimes @UKandEU

This one is on *Brexit & Irish Unity*

TL;DR: #Brexit means differences between Unionism & Nationalism aren't just about aspiration but expectation.
The slight majority see #Brexit as having made a United Ireland more likely.
But the absolute majority see it as making no difference to when they're in favour of a UI.

Decline since 2018 in those thinking Brexit makes a UI less likely (10%) & makes them less in favour (12%)
There are interesting party differences here, which fall not so much on unionist/nationalist lines as pro-Remain/Leave.

Majority of SF, SDLP & Alliance supporters believe Brexit makes Irish unity more likely.

For SDLP this = a 25 point & SF an18 point increase since 2018.

Read 9 tweets

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