Most detailed (albeit unofficial sources) rebuttal to UK proposals on at risk approach to SPS under Protocol. Approach taken by EU here strikes me as a bit bizarre though not surprising. A few reasons why...1/
1st of course it isn't compatible with EU legislation as it stands, that's the point. If the metric to judge is, does it work within EU law then the Protocol itself would never have been agreed. Why use that metric now but not before? Who decided where the line is? 2/
2nd it is bit strange to leave assessment solely to DG Sante. There are much wider, more political considerations at play here. It would be like Defra alone deciding the UK's approach to NI 3/
3rd the message this all risks sending is that the precautionary principle is more important than some of the commitments made by the EU under the Protocol such as maintaining everyday life in NI as much as possible. 4/
Not placing blame at EU's door here, lots UK can & should be doing as I've set out elsewhere. Just that I don't really understand what the EU has to lose by getting into a data driven risk discussion given it has already accepted the unique circumstances of NI long ago. 5/ ENDS

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More from @RaoulRuparel

19 Jan
As I & others have said, a lot of disruption we are seeing is the result of fact UK/EU went for an FTA rather than another form of relationship. However, there is an interesting point on rules of origin, where a facilitation included in CETA was not included in UK TCA. Thread 1/
Under CETA a product exported from one party to the other then returned without any processing can still qualify for preferential tariff on return. But it can't under the UK TCA. See EU CETA guidance here 2/…
One of the challenges businesses are facing is that products moved from the EU to the UK & then back to EU are no longer eligible for preferential tariffs even if they haven't undergone processing. This may happen if they are sent to a distribution centre for example. 3/
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 20
On the day DUP voted against the deal, it is worth briefly remembering how, after voting for Brexit, they have managed to pretty much vote against every form of Brexit possible, go from kingmakers to irrelevant & harm their core cause. A true lesson in how not to do politics. 1/
As a reminder they had the offer under the previous govt at 3rd meaningful vote of entire UK in a customs union, with alignment on other areas & Stormont lock on new laws. As well as a wider econ package. They voted against it & were main reason it failed 2/
In the indicative votes process they then proceeded to vote against customs union & EEA. Often professing a desire for the sort of relationship which is now on offer in the FTA. 3/
Read 6 tweets
30 Dec 20
Off the back of the thread below, lots of people asked for one on services & financial services. So here it is. The deal is very thin in both areas, though that was expected. I don't think it amounts to making the deal unfair/unbalanced but it is a missed opportunity. 1/
First, we shouldn't look at this through the lens of UK having trade deficit with EU in goods & surplus in services. That is too simplistic. EU accounts for a large proportion of UK's goods trade so zero tariff zero quota is beneficial for UK as well for the EU. 2/
Similarly, having a very thin deal on services & financial services is also bad for EU. Belief in some quarters than business will simply move from UK to EU in these areas. But its not that simple. Will be costs & duplication while some business just won't make sense any more 3/
Read 17 tweets
27 Dec 20
As many others I'm still working through the detail of the agreement & all the annexes. But some initial thoughts based on my first read & associated documents. My overriding feeling is that it is pretty much exactly as expected in many parts & largely a balanced deal. 1/
Overall it is the thin deal I expected. The main thing it provides for is zero tariff zero quota. This is important but only a small part of the changes/costs businesses face as a result of the UK leaving the EU. This is largely because it became a pretty defensive negotiation 2/
Both sides became focused on defending their key interests rather than on their offensive asks. The UK around limiting the obligations to which it signs up, the EU by ensuring integrity of the single market. I think both have largely achieved their defensive aims 3/
Read 11 tweets
21 Dec 20
Even at this late stage there is a deal to be struck in UK/EU talks. I've tried to set out a landing zone on fishing for @POLITICOEurope. With both sides facing immense health & economic challenges a deal is more important than ever. Here is my proposal 1/…
There look to be three big areas of disagreement on fish.

1) Length of transition to new quota shares
2) Exact mount by which EU quota in UK waters is reduced
3) What happens in future if EU quota falls further or access is changed

Let me take each in turn. 2/
On length of transition. UK wants 3 years, EU 7 years. 5 years seems a fair compromise. Allows both sides time to adjust. From UK perspective, UK fleets can build up in anticipation of new quota they know they'll get. Its also a lot longer than any other sector has to prepare 3/
Read 18 tweets
14 Dec 20
Not a huge amount to say on UK/EU future relationship talks. Small signs of progress, but still tricky details to be sorted. Instead a thread on the NI agreement reached last week, on which there has been surprisingly little discussion. A good outcome given the circumstances 1/
The agreement on implementing NI Protocol looks better for the UK than I expected in many ways. Of course, there are still lots of additional challenges for business, but it could have been a lot worse. 2/
First on at risk tariffs. The most important point here is that the UK Trader Scheme will not only remove tariffs if no FTA, but essentially remove rules of origin requirements for GB to NI traders in the scheme even with an FTA. 3/
Read 12 tweets

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