🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺NEW: Revealed: the ⁦@duponline⁩ private lobbyied U.K. last year for ‘Swiss-style’ EU trade alignment - my latest for ⁦@FinancialTimes⁩ with ⁦@ArthurBeesley⁩ /1 on.ft.com/3buK6Zd
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley There has been a lot of discussion recently over whether the UK seeking adopting a "Swiss-style" approach - aligning with cumbersome EU rules on plant/animal health that are causing so much exporting headache - would fix Irish Protocol issues /2
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley Last week @MatthewOToole2
asked Diane Dodds about it but got the brush because it would result in UK "slavishly" following EU rules - tho it was later clarified as being politically unrealistic rather than ideologically unacceptable /3

@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 But now it turns - per a letter from Edwin Poots to @MPGeorgeEustice last June - that the DUP was lobbying hard for a Swiss-style approach, but this (as we know) was rejected by @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson and the UK government who wanted full powers to diverge/4
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson In his June 23 letter Poots listed his "asks" to make the Protocol bearable, including SPS alignment. “This could be achieved, for example, by dynamic alignment with relevant parts of the EU acquis and the UK joining the common veterinary area (as in the Swiss/EU arrangement)” /5
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson He also absolutely correctly predicted the problems over export health certificates and so-called "groupage" (mixed loads of goods on lorries) and asked for easements to help with this too. These didn't come either. /6
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson He warned the asks "must be met" to make the Protocol work:“We are always prepared to play a full role in making this work and it is my hope and expectation that UKG [UK government] will take a similar approach in working with us,” he wrote. /7
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson It's a very different tone now - indeed very different tone from December/January when Arlene Foster was talking about looking to “maximise the opportunities the new arrangements provide” - but now the party is looking to junk the Protocol /8
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson For now the UK Government is still on the path of seeking "workable solutions" and has the backing of business groups who are also supporting demands for easements/grace period extensions to make the Protocol function /9

@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson This week (Wednesday) following meetings with biz groups @MarosSefcovic and @michaelgove will hold a meeting of the Joint Committee to see what can be agreed to keep the show on the road as the deadline approaches for full checks after April 1 (expect that to be fudged) /10
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson @MarosSefcovic @michaelgove But as @DavidGHFrost takes over and his more confrontational style takes hold, it remains very unclear where the politics leads - Frost after all devised and backed the law-breaking strategy of last year that has helped to poison the well still further. /11
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson @MarosSefcovic @michaelgove And the Commission's disastrous mistake on Article 16 hardened the NI Politics now, to the point where the DUP and the ERG/Tory hardliners are united in looking to "address" the Protocol. And frankly their cause is helped by Commission hamfistedness. /12
@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson @MarosSefcovic @michaelgove The Commission statement on the implementation of the Article 10 of the protocol (the State Aid clause that cuts across UK policy) is further ammo in this regard for those making the case that the Protocol has to go/13

@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson @MarosSefcovic @michaelgove The concept of mutual enforcement as means of arguing that the Protocol poses no threat to the EU single market is back in the field - see this from David Trimble from last week's @IrishTimes /14

@duponline @FinancialTimes @ArthurBeesley @MatthewOToole2 @MPGeorgeEustice @DavidGHFrost @BorisJohnson @MarosSefcovic @michaelgove @IrishTimes The pressure looks set to continue - but as that Edwin Poots letter rightly identified - the solutions are in implementation that doesn't make massive impacts on NI and its consumers, but delivers the deal. Going to take flexibility from both sides. ENDS

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More from @pmdfoster

23 Feb
🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🐠🦴🦮🐈‍⬛🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨UK pet food industry hurt by Brexit checks and red tape - a story that illustrates clearly why SMEs are facing structural not teething problems - stay with me /1
Not another #Brexit red tape story, I hear you cry, but I'm afraid the story of pet food industry tells a thousand other stories of small businesses dealing with the Brexit border. According to @UKPFMA trade body, two thirds of members that tried to export have failed. /2
@UKPFMA Let's take one story - a Doncaster-based fish food manufacturer that uses proporietary tech to make high-end fish food (yes, it exists)..they sell to aquariums around the world, to USA, China, UAE. They are used to exporting, indeed they are good at it /3
Read 21 tweets
16 Feb
Another head-banging day for the £112bn UK creative sector that is starting to ingest how difficult #Brexit is going to make their lives - and how little the government is really willing to do to fix the lack of a 'mobility' chapter in the EU-UK trade deal. Quick update.../1
First Equity @EquityUK put out a letter to @BorisJohnson warning that #brexit was a "towering hurdle" (you'd want Brian Blessed reading that part) to UK actors plying their trade in EU - a double whammy with #COVID19 /2

@EquityUK @BorisJohnson One third of Equity members say they've seen job ads asking for EU passport holders: "Before, we were able to travel to Europe visa-free. Now we have to pay hundreds of pounds, fill in form after form, and spend weeks waiting for approval" /3
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12 Feb
It's OUT! My latest #Brexit Briefing for @FinancialTimes - examining @BorisJohnson
"buy now, pay later" Northern Ireland Protocol, why the EU-UK trust deficit is killing it, how that can be restored - because it needs to work. /1
@FinancialTimes @BorisJohnson The danger here is that lingering animus over the opportunistic nature Johnson's Faustian bargain - dividing his Kingdom in order to 'get #Brexit done' and win an 80-seat majority - is clouding judgement on both sides of the Channel /2
@FinancialTimes @BorisJohnson The facts of the Protocol are no less true for Johnson's constant denial of them - that there would be checks, that there really is a trade border that now prevents plants and pets from travelling freely from Bedford to Ballymena as M.Gove reminds us. But these are other facts/3
Read 21 tweets
10 Feb
The @MarosSefcovic
letter to @michaelgove - quick breakdown.

It starts with a list of UK non-compliance at NI ports...and says addressing these are a "prerequisite" for any other facilitations /1

@MarosSefcovic @michaelgove There is an offer of a fix on TRQs issue that saw some steel going from GB into NI attracting 25% tariffs - more deets here /2 belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/25-tar…
@MarosSefcovic @michaelgove But no offer of 'blanket derogations' on issues around export health certificates and - it seems - no fix at all on 'prepared meats' (can u send a non-frozen sausage from Brum to Belfast) - note line on new supply chain ("source them in NI or ROI in effect") /3
Read 5 tweets
10 Feb
🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺NEW 🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨the NI trader support scheme (TSS) has taken a kicking from users taking to ⁦@CommonsNIAC⁩ ...a day after ⁦@michaelgove⁩ praised it and ⁦@ShankerASingham⁩ to peers /1 on.ft.com/2Z1zb3z
@CommonsNIAC @michaelgove @ShankerASingham Back on Jan 6 the TSS (£355m set up to help traders deal with NI Protocol) was criticised to @CommonsNIAC as "simply not good enough" by @Freight_NI Seamus Leheny and others...well a month on, it's got more brutal write-ups /2

@CommonsNIAC @michaelgove @ShankerASingham @Freight_NI Stephen McAneney, managing director of @Allied_F_S Allied Fleet Services, said there was “no consistency” in the information coming from the service and advice was confusing and conflicting. /3
Read 6 tweets
10 Feb
NEW: 🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🧪🧑‍🔬⚗️🧪🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨the U.K. chemicals industry calls for common sense re-think of U.K. post-#brexit plan to build copycat EU REACH chemicals database at cost of £1bn - @GeorgeWParker @FinancialTimes scoop. Stay with me. /1

@GeorgeWParker @FinancialTimes So what's all this about? Well, no sleeping at the back there, because chemicals are in everything - from paint to nail polish, cars to contact lenses - they are key part of manufacturing base, with highly mobile pan-EU supply chains. #Brexit is a bugger for them /2
@GeorgeWParker @FinancialTimes The problem is that as part of the 'sovereignty at all costs approach @DavidGHFrost the UK relationship ruled out close links with the EU chemicals agency ECHA in Helsinki which controls the EU REACH database - a store of all the info on all the chemicals on the market /3
Read 15 tweets

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