Jeffrey Donaldson disputed Michael Gove's claim that Northern Ireland supermarkets are not experiencing serious supply chain disruption or shortages
Gove tells John Redwood that if further legal steps are needed to ensure free flow of goods then they would be (another reference to Art 16 of NI protocol)
Julian Smith aks Gove if he will set up joint working group with EU (level below joint committee) and use his negotiating skills and relationships with EU to try and extend grace period for NI supermarkets to whole of 2021. Says he will find EU is "up for it"
"Alternative Arrangements" still being raised in House of Commons by conservative backbenchers...
Sammy Wilson says NI people will be amazed by complacency shown by Government to the damage being done by the wrecking ball of the protocol. Asks why Irish govt could set aside some elements of Protocol, but our govt says must obey every rule
Gove says he knows Sammy Wilson will do as other have done and supply him with granular information on companies hit by rules, so govt can take action
Several conservative MPs praising Irish govt for their "pragmatic light touch" approach to delays at Dublin Port, Gove says he wants MPs to bring him specific problems so he can act as an "administrative Dyno-Rod" to clear blockages.
Stephen Farry says NI business not asking for Art 16 - says only solution is UK and EU working together. Also asks if EU NZ SPS agreement might be introduced to ease plight of import/export trade.
Hywell Williams asks if there is an economic impact on NW Wales of reduction in Irish exports going through Hollyhead because of direct freight routes. Gove says only minimal diversion of trade due to new direct routes to France from IRL
Michael Gove says he will visit NI "at the earliest safe opportunity". (Covid)
Ian Paisley asks "what did we do to be screwed over by this protocol. It has ruined trade in NI". says need to extend grace period by 12 months, train GB officials, and follow easements of Irish Govt. Claims woman moving house to NI turned back as van contained personal goods
Simon Hoare says we must make the protocol work well, says problem is late agreement, leading to confusion and lack of knowledge among GB businesses exporting to NI. When GB business knows what it needs to do it will do it well - govt depts need to tell them. Gove agrees.

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More from @seanwhelanRTE

13 Jan
Ian Wright of Food and Drink Federation says transport will get worse - trucks corssing short straits now about 2,000 - normally 10,000. Also Irish sea volumes very light, system not stressed but will be
Was Covid crisis a dress rehearsal for Brexit? Supply chais for food and medicines kept running. No, says Ian Wright, because there was no paperwork. Says Covid health checks at Dover was more of a dress rehearsal. Says backlog from that was still being cleared on NYE
Andrew Opie says Covid food supply was internal challenge, not external. Learnings from Dover: problem is often empty food lorries going back to Fr, ESP etc - about 1/3rd going back empty - being prioritised to keep food supply going
Read 31 tweets
13 Jan
Prof Valsamis Mitsilegas tells NI committee that the agreement on JHA is dynamic, as EU values UK inputs, and EU law will evolve over time, and value of system to UK will mean adaptation
Prof Steve Peers of Esssex Uni. Tells NI cttee that deal keeps 3/4 of previous arrangement, missing quarter is SIS II and some other capabilities in data exchange. Says quite a lot has been preserved by two sides, esp compared to no deal situation
Simon Hoare MP - is the deal adequate to challenge of policing NI, and IRL: Dr Gemma Davies (Northumbria law school). Says Data Protection issues v complex, PSNI/AGS co-operation might be better facilitated by specific agreement (not going beyond EU agreement, but clarifying)
Read 14 tweets
8 Jan
London has the best medical services in the UK. Today the Mayor of London declared a "major incident" fearing the health service will be overwhelmed by a surge in Covid cases. He says the virus is out of control. In some parts of the city 1 in 20 are infected.
Sadiq Khan says he wants to see compulsory wearing of face masks, including outdoors
London Ambulance Service is taking up to 8,000 emergency calls a day, compared to 5,500 on a typical busy day.
Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
Whitty says risk of “escaped mutant” virus increases with pressure from more widespread vaccination programme (i.e. not giving second dose 3 weeks after first, but 12 weeks - to double numbers getting first dose of vaccine)
Says the risk of the escaped mutant is sufficiently small when weighed against the benefit of vaccinating twice as many people asap. Vallance says all vaccination programmes put pressure on virus, and mutations increase as numbers vaccinated increases
Vallance says this will lead to requirement for new vaccines down the road, as mutations increase. Says benefit of mRNA vaccines (like BioNTech and Moderna) is that they can be produce very fast in response to mutations
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