The EU has heard such threats from Boris Johnson many times before, and that's the sound of laughter from Brussels at the gullibility of the UK media believing that this time he will not fold.
Remember the clauses of the Internal Market Bill breaking international law that were apparently needed to prevent border checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and how they were dropped because apparently we'd reached a deal with the EU to prevent these?
It isn't even ancient history, we are being asked to pretend that the government didn't reach a deal with the EU in December over Northern Ireland. A government utterly refusing to take responsibility aided by an opposition having taken a vow of silence.…
PS going to be hard claiming the Northern Ireland protocol is having dreadful impacts on supermarkets when some appear to have been ready #hiretradeexperts
This doesn't make other UK retailers look good (also, wider point, perhaps it isn't just the rise of online shopping to blame for the poor state of UK retail)

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More from @DavidHenigUK

15 Jan
On one hand, strong relationships between officials and others on both sides. On the other, not sure Biden has that much respect for the UK or Brexit, and Johnson shows no instinct for realistic foreign policy. I reckon the first will still prove stronger than the second.
Reckon the UK foreign office will be hoping to minimise the PM's actual engagement with the new President, being very happy to be able to return to engaging serious folk in the new administration. Who in turn respect UK officials expertise.
As for the symbolic UK-US trade deal (it has pretty limited economic value, and as many difficulties as benefits, but significant political value for Brexit) I think it could happen, once the new administration work out their approach to trade deals, presuming the UK will sign.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
There is a sense of disbelief about the new trade problems between Great Britain and the EU / Northern Ireland. Which we need to lose. This is the new normal. And we face a difficult period of adjustment - immediate paperwork needs, and to longer term uncompetitiveness.
As we trade folk might have mentioned before, outside of the single market and the customs union of the EU, problems at borders are normal. Delays common. Great job of the Brexit supporters to find supposed experts claiming otherwise, but now back to reality...
Such delays at borders were in fact part of the origin of the single market, in the days when the Conservatives didn't see a contradiction between free markets and sovereignty. Such delays weren't really compatible with a supposed common market. So, the single market...
Read 11 tweets
14 Jan
The Telegraph cannot admit that the Prime Minister broke his promise on Northern Ireland in October 2019 to get an EU deal, then broke it again in December 2020 to get another, and what is happening is a direct consequence.
A Prime Minister twice conceding to the EU in negotiations what he said no PM could concede is regarded as a hero by the media most antagonistic to the EU. That's one big tangled web we're left with.
As for Northern Ireland, we are likely to see big changes to the way supply chains work there, though something of a battle against the clock to get them ready in time.…
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
On future UK-EU relations, much to think about here @fromTGA, most importantly do both sides want the other not to succeed? (the Vidal trap). A potentially permanent negotiation (because that's modern international relations). No responsible minister.…
There are signs that the UK and EU will be a reference point for the other, which will encourage a slightly more healthy competition. Already seen in vaccination and sanctions. But the underlying attitudes of superiority on both sides will always present significant risks.
On EU risks more generally @Mij_Europe has the essential thread of the day on life after Merkel. 2020 was broadly a good year for the EU administratively. Structural issues advanced. But now comes a big change.
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan
I wanted to do other things over Christmas as well than read a treaty. But I figured that with 50% of the country's trade covered it was important. It seems very much in line with the passive approach of the UK government to EU trade that Ministers didn't do likewise.
Another example of the lax attention to detail / negligence of our government with regard to a trade relationship worth £670 billion per annum.
Sheez. Any comment from the government or opposition on this by any chance?
Read 7 tweets
13 Jan
What to say to those who ignored the warnings? Whether working in fish or concerned about Northern Ireland, or others yet to come? And still believed the fantasies even after Johnson folded first time. Some still believe them even after a second fold.
On Brexit we either seek to understand what happened or resentments will mount. It wasn't the vote, though many are still arguing about that. It was the assumption thereafter that we could have what we wanted. Never true. So what happens next?
I fear what happens next with UK-EU trade (and global Britain) is we continue as before to claim we can have it all, and it is too inconvenient for either major party for that narrative to be challenged. Scotland and Northern Ireland have a different debate. But I hope not.
Read 4 tweets

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