Oops. I must confess to being baffled by Johnson picking a fight with the EU and US rather than presiding at his summit over a common front with regard to China. And baffled won't even start to describe what they think of him.
The EU and US get another summit next week. But this was Johnson's one go at being a host. He appears to have completely blown it in failing to listen.
Of course it may all have been focus grouped. That what would really go down well in the Red Wall is inviting the new US President plus EU leaders, and then picking a fight with all of them in the name of sovereignty.
But I think more likely that the PM is simply angry that the EU and US are not believing a word he says on Northern Ireland, and is doubling down because he isn't used to this. This is, again, personal. The future of the UK rather less important than the future of Boris Johnson.

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More from @DavidHenigUK

13 Jun
I think a little comparison between Gibraltar and Northern Ireland may be in order, because both were widely predicted as Brexit flashpoints, but so far only one of them has been. The reasons, I believe, come down to confidence and leadership more than history. 1/n
Obviously there are similarities and differences between Gibraltar and Northern Ireland. Both have sensitive borders with the EU, but Northern Ireland has the legacy of the troubles while Gibraltar is more singular in views about being British. Even so, enough to compare... 2/
In terms of the Brexit aftermath Gibraltar and Northern Ireland look similar on the surface - checks on goods coming from Great Britain, relatively open borders to the EU. But very different in the acceptance of this - Gibraltar happy, N Ireland not. Why? 3/
Read 14 tweets
12 Jun
A splendidly clear and concise exposition of the Brexit and Northern Ireland issue. Not one suspect that this will lead to any changes of mind from those whose mind is made up to blame the EU come what may.
And you wonder if the UK government anger that led to Boris Johnson sabotaging his own summit was in large part a deflection from his own failings. theguardian.com/world/2021/jun…
I know he's a good actor but seeing this it is also possible that the PM has really not grasped that his triumphant Northern Ireland protocol actually contains within it numerous checks on trade into Northern Ireland. Oh dear.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun
"Boris Johnson says he will do "whatever it takes" to protect the territorial integrity of the UK, after talks with EU leaders over Northern Ireland."

Does differing regulation threaten territorial integrity? Not in the US.

And if so, why did you sign?
Perhaps someone could ask the PM whether his goal for the Northern Ireland protocol is no checks at all or proportionate checks. But I don't think they would get an answer - because I don't think he knows.
The complaints about the way the EU is implementing the protocol cover up that the UK government either does not know or does not want to admit how it thinks the protocol should be implemented.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun
Should we be worried by the EU threats of trade war?

No for the actual short term trade impacts.
Yes for the investment impact.
Yes because the threat of our nearest neighbours with the consent of our self-proclaimed greatest ally shows our government failing.
Basically with regard to the Northern Ireland protocol some members of the UK government have lost contact with reality and urgently need to find it again. A UK government being lectured at our own summit by members of our core alliances?
The US and EU are asking for the UK government to stop their dangerously short sighted rhetoric over Northern Ireland and act as a responsible country. Hopefully beneath the bluster the Prime Minister recognises this - but we can't be too confident.
Read 10 tweets
11 Jun
This isn't quite right from the New Statesman Morning Call. It would have been uniquely the US trade deal that might have caused the UK to change agricultural standards - no other. The US have now removed that excuse for not aligning regulations with the EU.
It then comes down to a stubborn refusal of the UK to consider any form of alignment with the EU because we don't like the EU, and because a handful of sympathetic think-tankers have wildly different views on product regulation to the rest of the world.
Northern Ireland isn't just stuck in a game of conflicting identities, but also in the UK government's attempts to deny global regulatory reality. You don't have to align on everything, but to refuse to align on anything at whatever cost is simply dumb.
Read 5 tweets
11 Jun
A showman hosts a summit. Expect a good show.

But the messages have been given. The EU and US intend to resolve some differences to take on China. If the UK keeps its current approach to Northern Ireland it will be not be welcomed by its allies.
This is a very different US administration to that we've seen in many years, prepared to resolve Boeing / Airbus subsidies and other long standing issues with the EU to focus on China. Prepared to consider a trade deal with the UK without food to help resolve Northern Ireland.
If the UK government snubs Biden by now refusing to make its own compromises with the EU over Northern Ireland then it is writing itself out of the US international picture. A problem not a solution. No trade deal, no warm visits. Over to you PM. What comes after the show?
Read 6 tweets

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