Retail groups backing @michaelgove calls for extension of grace periods for phasing in full export health controls... @MichaelAodhan of @the_brc says controls need to be "pragmatic" and over a "workable timeframe". /1
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc Full story hear via @FinancialTimes but interesting to note @michaelgove
change of tone now..."teething problems" line is dropped in favour of demands for material fixes to the Protocol. /2…
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes “In the short term there are a number of issues which I would not describe as teething problems — they are significant issues which bear on the lives of people in Northern Ireland, which do need to be resolved,” Mr Gove said. /3
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes There will be a meeting weds with EU's @MarosSefcovic Arlene Foster & Michelle O'Neill from Unionist/Nationalist sides to discuss tensions and threats to staff at Larne/Belfast that now risk destabilising process. /4
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic The EU's unbelievable blunder last weekend by triggering Article 16 opens the door to some - sensible - changes that might reduce the obviousness of the trade border that @BorisJohnson put down the Irish Sea as the price of #Brexit /5
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic @BorisJohnson Things like needing a pet passport and tapework jabs (£200 quid a go)...the soils issue that means NI gardeners can't get seeds/plants from UK...and then, more fundamentally, the export health certificates that start from April 1 (Feb for controlled goods) /6
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic @BorisJohnson Back in the negotiations the UK proposed a 'Retail Movement Scheme' that would have used 'certificates of conformity' and warehouse inspections to cover a product across multiple consignments for four weeks...but that was shot down by EU. Tl;dr 'The law is the law'.../7
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic @BorisJohnson Not clear if something like this could return...or if there can be much greater easements on a system that supermarkets warned risked being "unworkable" if it came in on April 1, full force. /8…
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic @BorisJohnson The UK govt is determined to keep the demands proportionate, and not let this process get out of control - threats of violence cannot be seen to get results - and the reality is that Mr Johnson signed what he signed. But it needs to work, and the EU needs to 'get' it /9
@michaelgove @MichaelAodhan @the_brc @FinancialTimes @MarosSefcovic @BorisJohnson It's not impossible - but the fact that they nearly triggered Article 16 with some really senior people who should have known better in and around the Von Der Leyen Cabinet speaks to the fact they've never properly appreciated what we're dealing with here. Time to move. ENDS

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More from @pmdfoster

3 Feb
Holding statement from @michaelgove after meeting with @MarosSefcovic - but quite different moods in London and Brussels on this. U.K. really feels need to push to make NI Protocol changes, per Gove letter. EU sees slippery slope if it moves too far.../1… Image
NI trade groups really backing need for substantial moves - and U.K. view that the Article 16 debacle really has destabilised process in Northern Ireland...EU is still sticking to script on Protocol being consequence of @BorisJohnson decisions. /2
So from EU perspective for example the six month “grace period” on say sausages coming from GB is NOT to find time for a “fix” but time for NI to sort out supply chains that reflect reality of U.K. decision to put border in Irish Sea/3
Read 5 tweets
1 Feb
UK’s £35bn fashion industry warns of “decimation” from #brexit - big names sign open letter to @BorisJohnson urging action. Many of 50,000 SMEs on the rack due to VAT, customs and work permit issues. Stay with me/1
@BorisJohnson You can read the full text of the letter here, co-ordinated by Fashion Round Table @FashionRoundTab, but tl;dr it says that #Brexit has left a "gaping hole" in an industry that relies of free movement of professionals. It's a familiar cry /2…
@BorisJohnson @FashionRoundTab The industry, already whacked by #COVID19, is now discovering that cross-border sales are a horror (VAT, Customs, long delays) and models, stylists, photographers that used to blat around Europe can't any more. They need permits, for themselves, for their gear /3
Read 18 tweets
29 Jan
Nationalist/SDLP moves to condemn @EU_Commission move to invoke Article 16 - an utterly cloth-eared move. /1
@EU_Commission A real slap in the face for those trying to make Protocol work - now UK has perfect excuse to push for those derogations that supermarkets asked for to make Protocol work. /2
@EU_Commission UK spokesperson as @michaelgove has been on phone with @MarosSefcovic to "express the UK’s concern over a lack of notification from the EU about its actions in relation to the NI protocol"...and added that U.K. "would now be carefully considering next steps"./3
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan
Fascinating. David Frost, the former UK Brexit negotiator, will no longer be National Security Adviser - MoD PermSec Sir Stephen Ludgrove gets the gig.
Which is obviously good news, since he has a background in er, defence and security /1…
Here's the appt from June 28 last year - a move which dismayed Whitehall, since his background didn't qualify him for the job. Frost, who did get a peerage for his efforts, will now be "Representative for Brexit and International Policy" /2…
Not entirely clear yet what that means, but one suspects it might be "Captain of Global Britain" or, if you were cynical, lightning conductor complaints over sovereigntist #Brexit deal that Frost negotiated, so can hardly disown /3
Read 6 tweets
27 Jan
🚨🇪🇺🇬🇧🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🇬🇧🇪🇺🚨More than 100,000 British pigs stranded by #Brexit border problems - @JudithEvans1 and me for @FinancialTimes what’s going on? /1
@JudithEvans1 @FinancialTimes So the problems are being caused by the difficulties in getting pigs to market in the EU - that means animals that should be being slaughtered are being left on farms. And that costs farmers money to feed animals that should be slaughtered & in shops /2
@JudithEvans1 @FinancialTimes So. Norfolk Pig farmer Rob Mutimer from @Swanningtonfarm tells me he has 2,000 extra pigs on his farm!

Mostly those are pigs read for slaughter (they should be killed at 80kg, but are now at 100kg) AND about 70 old sows that should be off to EU (Germany) to become salami /3
Read 11 tweets
25 Jan
NEW: 🚨🇪🇺🇬🇧🚛🚚🍤🐟🚢🇬🇧🇪🇺🚨 Building of Brexit border posts faces delays via...industry calling for delay to July 1 U.K. #brexit border roll out - my latest via ⁦
@FinancialTimes This goes back to last year, when UK gov got £430m of bids for new Border Control Posts and only funded £194m worth - and those bids that won took a 33pc 'haircut'. Result, everyone unhappy - those that got nothing, and those that won, got not enough /2…
@FinancialTimes The result is that ports looking to build BCPs to accommodate new border coming in from July 1 say they haven't got enough money. They want either delays to border on July 1, or flexible implementation. /3
Read 10 tweets

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