It is quite revealing that the only thing the UK and EU can agree on with regard to Northern Ireland is wrong. Time isn't running out. True, tensions will rise. But this can carry on for a long time, as for both sides the cost of walking from the table is too high.
And to repeat (until we're all very bored of this if we aren't already) the Northern Ireland protocol cannot be solved by technical fixes, it has to be solved at a political level. It isn't, at the end of the day, about sausages. It is about clashing identities.
Still this. And still the UK government particularly unaware of how bad its conduct has been by making treaty commitments it didn't intend to meet, but the EU is not blameless either (not inflexibility, but tendency to make the political into technical)
It is only the prospect of a US trade deal that keeps the UK government in any way in the range of acceptable behaviour with regard to Northern Ireland. And that isn't a great place to be. Meanwhile the great EU machine will carry on. Help us Joe...
File under: Things that have to be discussed but are definitely not going to happen.…

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More from @DavidHenigUK

10 Jun
So the greatest deal ever turned out to be a disaster but the same people who proclaimed triumphant negotiating success seem curiously unwilling to now look again at whether those who claimed success might in some way be responsible.
Meanwhile those of us who twice said that's not a triumph that's a retreat are once again seen to be some sort of enemy within while the people who applauded great triumph and have now changed their minds are the true patriots.
Amnesia and bizarre logical twists in which those responsible were not responsible appear to be side effects of Brexit. It is useful to understand the latest painful logic, not much in understanding what has to happen next.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jun
Two things -

One - this is not normal. The US is having to go further that it would like because the UK government is not listening

Two - the timing of the story is presumably not coincidental after yesterday's poor UK-EU meeting
Pig headed "it doesn't matter that the world is against us" reactions, which we see in the media, some MPs, and indeed in Number 10, are incredibly dangerous. The western world believes we are wrong over Northern Ireland.
A slight humblebrag that I think this article in the Irish Times about Johnson's desire for a US trade deal explaining the UK government's approach to the protocol may have travelled to Washington.…
Read 14 tweets
9 Jun
As we look forward to the G7 summit this weekend it seems to scarcely have been noted that the Trade and Finance Minister meeting outcomes were dominated by US objectives.

The Corporation Tax deal last weekend the case in point. A Biden proposal to benefit the US economy.
The Trade Minister summit was even more startling. One third of the text is devoted to what are essentially China issues (market distortions, transparency, forced labour), far more than that devoted to WTO reform and agreements.…
All of which is the subject of my @BorderlexEditor Perspectives column this week - the US has returned to the international fray, but with a very specific agenda focused on delivering its domestic priorities. For now other G7 members are acquiescing.…
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Hate to say as I predicted but... actually I don't hate to say it. Exactly as predicted.
This. We're at stalemate in terms of the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol. Might roll out the single transferable tweet again.
Read 15 tweets
9 Jun
Sparked by some recent media articles I've been thinking about the appeal of our Prime Minister and the difficulty opponents have in taking him on. My thinking is he has turned his biggest weakness, as a bringer of chaos, into a strength. (1/7)
Firstly, lets admit Johnson has star quality. Many politicians have charisma in private settings, thats why they get to be successful in that field. Fewer can pull it off through TV as he can. Blair could, Cameron to an extent. Johnson in spades. A great showman. (2/7)
Johnson also has a gift for communicating simply in words, surprisingly hard for many politicians. Levelling up, build back better. But he also communicates well non-verbally, seems sympathetic. It doesn't have to be genuine for people to think he's on their side. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
The case is the UK signed up to EU rules, and this is what EU rules say. "Purist approach" thus presumably means implementing what was agreed.

I would be amazed if there were not UK government documents from October 2019 that analysed the impact of the protocol.
Does the UK government think a reasonable defence for committing a crime is that someone didn't expect the police to take such a 'purist approach' to enforcement of the law?
An FT article on sausage exports from October last year. Featuring a Defra quote, so they were presumably aware of the issue then.…
Read 4 tweets

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