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.
It isn't really about sausages... though they may be easier to understand than the clashing identities, treaties and trade rules at the heart of the issues behind the Northern Ireland protocol.
There will be a swift, firm and resolute statement from the EU if the UK takes unilateral action again (but the UK extending the sausage period is probably, er, baked in)
The EU is not coping with the UK's strategy regarding the Northern Ireland protocol. Because it is contradictory in not wanting GB-NI checks to keep unionists happy, and wanting them to keep a US deal alive. Not surprisingly this makes for difficulties.
Just to be clear the EU doesn't particularly want to take retaliatory action against the UK for Northern Ireland protocol breaches but to threaten in the hope that will be enough. Just like the UK doesn't really want to take unilateral action or walk away. Hence, stalemate.
And for those hoping for Biden intervention on Northern Ireland - not yet I suspect. He has other priorities, starting with cooperation against China. Arguably he should appoint an envoy, but presumably still hopes EU and UK can get somewhere.
The fear on the UK side that this would be the thin end of the wedge with regard to UK-EU relations, to be followed by more. Got to remember that pure Brexit is the article of faith, no matter the consequences.
I mean I presume the UK government would accept that following treaties and laws is normal global practice? Or perhaps not...
It is emotional blackmail and has been for months. It also isn't working because you can clearly see the UK government doing little to stop unrest. It is also very silly to suggest loyalists are rioting because of sausages.
Sorry for more Northern Ireland tweets. Serious issue. TL:DR, nothing whatsoever has changed at meetings today as far as we can tell. Stalemate. UK and EU talking past each other, mostly to the media. No sign of sufficient outside pressure to resolve anything.
Finally read this @AntonSpisak piece on the Northern Ireland protocol and it is definitely one of the better contributions in bringing out the issues and the fact a solution is going to be a bit messy. My main reservation being how we get to his solution. prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/how-t…
I think this view from Brussels on Northern Ireland is as I'd expect. An uneasy and rather fragile stand-off rather than a dramatically worsening situation. And both sides wondering how far to push the unilateral measures / retaliation.
No mutually acceptable technical solution providing all the answers to the NI protocol, no higher level political process, neither side wanting to go too far in their own measures, no sign of imminent outside intervention from the US. As we were.

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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. irishtimes.com/opinion/desire…
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. gov.uk/government/new…
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. borderlex.net/2021/06/09/per…
Read 4 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
9 Jun
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)
Read 5 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. ft.com/content/a6b205…
Read 4 tweets

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