This is a highly misleading article by BBC. There’s no UK-India trade deal (and there won’t be one for a good while). What is being announced are various business export deals which may or may not add up to £1bn.…
This is really upsetting. We need to be clear about the facts. The fact is that India and the UK have drawn up a list of companies which may be investing in each other’s countries in the years to come. And that list can be found on the GOV.UK website.
And, alongside this, are being announced 4 unilateral measures by India and the UK – the type of measures which would be typically be done on a bilateral basis with many other countries around the world

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More from @AntonSpisak

16 Apr
It's impossible for an independent Scotland to have simultaneously frictionless access to (a) EU single market and (b) UK internal market, unless (i) the UK re-joins EU SM or (ii) EU gives up control of its external border for Scotland.

The Scottish Border Impossibility Theorem.
Because the UK government isn't going to rejoin the EU single market anytime soon (i), and

the EU isn't going to threaten the integrity of its single market for Scotland (ii),

an independent Scotland joining the EU SM will mean erecting a barrier between England and Scotland.
(One day l might do a mathematic formulation of this Impossibility Theorem, but today is not this day)
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
The answer is no. But what if the British exporters into NI, who have to align to EU SPS rules anyway, are verified to meet relevant standards within the UK. Requires HMG to create a certification & surveillance system, but avoids E-W checks for major exporters. Just a thought...
I worry that, in discussing the UK-EU SPS agreement or its equivalent, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

1) The objective shouldn’t be to eliminate all divergence on SPS between GB and NI/EU. There’ll inevitably be some friction as a result of (i) the UK internal market &
(ii) what has been the all-Ireland SPS/epidemiological zone for some time. The objective should be eliminate the *need* for as many checks as possible.

2) This doesn’t require an agreement for whole-UK alignment on EU SPS. The key here is actually the UK Govt providing assurance
Read 8 tweets
9 Apr
Sputnikgate continues in Slovakia. Slovak govt, openly contradicting its national regulator, today asks Hungary's drug agency for the review of safety & effectiveness of Sputnik V.

This whole episode tells us something about the sad state of Slovakia's public institutions /1
Let's rewind a bit. In March, Slovak then-PM, @i_matovic, flew to Moscow on a whim to secure 2m Sputnik doses. He bypassed his coalition partners, causing a major govt crisis.

Matovic eventually stepped down on the condition that he would stay in govt. /2…
He then swapped the position of PM with his finance minister, @eduardheger, a political novice with less than 5 yrs of experience in public life and less than a year in a ministerial position.

Meanwhile, 200k doses of Sputnik were delivered to Slovakia and waiting to be used. /3
Read 15 tweets
30 Mar
Was Greensill ever on the payroll of No10/Cabinet Office as a Spad? If not, how on earth did he get the secure No10 phone line and email address? This is pretty extraordinary.
His name is certainly not on any of the special advisers' lists during the Cameron government.
But looking at the register of ministers' and senior officials' meetings, it turns out Matt Hancock might know something given his meeting with Greensill in October 2016 Image
Read 8 tweets
15 Mar
In a strongly-worded letter, the European Commission has now started legal action for *two* breaches of the Withdrawal Agreement by the UK.

Some thoughts on the letter from Sefcovic to Frost, and on the next steps (A thread)…
The first thing to note is that the EU is launching two separate disputes.

One is with respect to the breach of substantive EU rules which the UK has decided to unilaterally disapply - by extending the grace period on products of animal origin and on parcels until 1 Oct 21.

The second dispute relates to a breach of the "good faith" obligation in the WA (Art 4).

This is because the UK resorted to unilateral action without prior consultation. In doing so, according to the EU, the UK "acted in breach of the mutual trust and spirit of cooperation".

Read 19 tweets
12 Mar
A new piece by me on Brexit, Northern Ireland, and the future of the Protocol.

NI Protocol is being tested to the point of destruction. That won't change unless the UK & EU decide to change tack and look at the structural tensions.

(A long thread)…
As we have seen in recent months, new impediments to trade in the Irish Sea have increased political tensions within NI, and between London and Brussels.

True, some are a direct result of adjustment by businesses. But the political reality reflects deeper structural tensions. /2
We shouldn't put all the blame on the Protocol itself. The first big problem is the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement doesn't meaningfully cover SPS measures.

This dictates very strict requirements on agri-food goods moving from GB to EU and, by extension, from GB to NI. /3
Read 27 tweets

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