Two options for Frost today: present a new plan for NI Protocol, or repeat old lines

So how would those play out?

New plan is unlikely to fly, mainly because the ground has been very thoroughly worked over during the past 4-5 years

But let's imagine someone's had a bright idea

A necessary precondition for that new plan would be to show how it ensures all EU needs are met at least as well as now. Otherwise it's a non-starter

Ideally, the new plan would work within current NIP text, in which case UK would also need to show how it is rigorously trying to fulfil its commitments

Which would be a sea change from now

Much more likely, any new plan will fail to meet these conditions, in which case it'll be much like the second option of rehashing old lines

Why do that?

Two elements here, one domestic, one foreign

Ending Parliamentary session with maintenance of high opposition to NIP would keep up profile of 'not selling out' on Brexit to voters and (more imp) backbenchers

Absent a coherent EU strategy ('things we don't like' still doesn't count), posture has to suffice

Let's ignore the longer-term problem with it for now

The EU element is to keep things unstable, ideally to extend grace periods/exemptions long enough that they become effectively permanent, this reducing the problem a bit

This is also not a long-term solution

Summary: UK needs a EU strategy to get to an NIP solution

It's not going to get one today


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More from @Usherwood

21 Jul
Right, a first reading of Cmnd Paper on NI Protocol

tl;dr is tl;dr [sic]…

Cmnd Paper follows logical structure:
- how we ended up here
- how we tried to make it work
- why it's not working
- how we want to fix it

Each have issues

Section 1 rightly points out this is a super-complex situation and that no easy options work for all involved

However, it did ultimately sign up to the Protocol, with recognition that implementation would need jt work

Read 20 tweets
18 Jul
Earlier this week, the DUP set out 7 tests for any new arrangements on the NI Protocol. But does any model work, especially if you throw in the UK & EU's red lines?

Huge thanks to @DPhinnemore @LisaClaireWhit1 for their help in making this work

The key point is, perhaps obviously, to point out that there is no option that can both satisfy all the DUP's tests and be acceptable to the EU and London, even before we get to anyone else in Northern Ireland
Which suggests that as long as everyone's policy preferences remain as they are, there is not going to be a stable equilibrium and tensions are only going to continue
Read 4 tweets
8 Jul
Only a limited number of ways this could go

Most benignly, the govt offers to work fully within the NIP, with the EU to resolve issue, and leaves it at that

This is unlikely, esp. given that mention of a 'new balance'

Option 2 is to say they'll stick with the current text, but work to build further extensions/grace periods/non-applications to smooth the path

Again, not very likely

Read 11 tweets
23 Jun
Since I've written a lot about #Brexit (and for longer than 5 yrs), I thought I'd share some content that speaks to the bigger picture and that might still be of use now

tl;dr it's gone about as well as I thought/feared

This, from Nov 17, tries to explain how Brexit is an exercise in apportioning costs…

In July 17, I ran through some good practice on negotiating, which still all holds…

Read 8 tweets
14 Jun
A quick Monday morning run-down of where the UK is on the Northern Ireland Protocol

tl;dr yes it creates problems, but those are ones of the UK's choosing

This weekend's G7 was very much at the worse end of possible outcomes, with much digging into positions and a degree of opportunity cost to UK on the actual agenda of the meeting

A lot of the annoyance seems to have come from Macron's remarks on NI being apart from the rest of UK. Johnson's response (above) is true, but misses a key part of the picture - he agreed to NI being apart from the rest of UK

Read 12 tweets
9 Jun
Today sees the first meeting of the TCA's Partnership Council, as well as the WA's Jt Cte: worth noting their distinct remits, powers and the different dispute settlement mechanisms they have access to
And just so you have them, more info on those dispute settlement mechanisms

In both cases we're still right at the start of these, but they both contain significant scope for penalties for infringement of treaty obligations
And here's a couple of graphics about options on the Protocol

Tl;dr here is that it might be problematic, but it's a lot less problematic than the alternatives
Read 4 tweets

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