The Frost review of the Sefcovic visit are in: ‘A real negotiation doesn’t mean the EU coming up with its own plans for solutions, within the framework of the existing Protocol, and presenting them to us as take it or leave it’
‘I have been a bit concerned by a couple of the comments have heard from Commission representatives in recent days which seem to suggest they might be considering this way forward.
‘The Command Paper sets out that the tests to use A16 are met. I urge the EU to take that judgement seriously. They would be making a significant mistake if they thought that we were not ready to use A16 safeguards.’
He added that some of Sefocovic’s comments didn’t dismiss the UK position but acknowledged it ‘but I also take it as a fairly clear indication that there is more to be done.’

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More from @JP_Biz

10 Sep
At his end of visit presser Maroš Šefčovič says the EU wants ‘a positive & stable’ relationship with the UK and they are trying to create ‘a constructive atmosphere.’
‘I do not need any political victory’ he adds.
About ongoing engagement he says the European Parliament is keen to set up an interparliamentary group with the NI Assembly.
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep
The EU and UK will both need to make further compromises on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the European Commission Vice President has told an audience at Queens Uni in Belfast.
He hinted that the EU will soon bring forward fresh ideas to ease the movement of goods across the Irish Sea.He also pointed to a bigger consultative role for NI’s politicians.
He said: ‘Let’s see what can be done to further ease the supply of goods. And let’s see how to involve the people of Northern Ireland in our discussions on the implementation of the Protocol.’
Read 6 tweets
9 Sep
No new ideas from DUP leader today on Protocol replacement: ‘We have deliberately not been prescriptive about the nature of the outcome we wish to see, rather we have sought to provide the space for creative solutions…we are flexible as to the precise nature of the solution’ BUT
…like the UUP he has alighted upon the concept of Mutual Enforcement. A weakness of his idea is that the EU think it unworkable but it has a Brexit pedigree we can explore.
So what it it? Basically it would focused on making exporters legally responsible, in their own jurisdiction, for ensuring any products they sent across the border met all customs and regulatory requirements of the importing territory.
Read 10 tweets
9 Sep
Interesting interview with Phillip O’Doherty on @BBCRadioFoyle who’s just sold E&I Engineering for c$2bn. One of the points is about the skills spillover from FDI. He learned his trade at DuPont before striking out on his own.
In terms of the deal they had been talking to Vertiv on & off for four years before closing at 3am yesterday. He is comfortable selling to a US corporate as ‘they tend to stay’ pointing again to DuPont & Seagate as well as the big US corporate sector in the Republic.
On employment prospects he says it was somewhat lost yesterday that they’re looking for 100 people for the local factories and have taken on 30 apprentices recently. He’s staying with the business, probably for next 5yrs when he’ll be 65. Senior management are also ‘locked in.
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
What can we expect from Maros Sefcovic visit tomorrow? Here to ‘listen to everybody’ says a senior EU official & wants to hear about the practical problems of operating the Protocol. But…
…also here to ‘manage expectations’ that the fundamental renegotiation that the UK & unionists want is not on offer.
We may hear a bit about what is possible on agrifood. There has been stalemate between UK&EU on Switzerland vs New Zealand +. But EU official suggests a bespoke arrangement for NI could be in the mix.
Read 8 tweets
12 Aug
Ireland’s Maritime Development Office (@IMDOIreland) has new stats which give us a clearer picture of what might be the permanent changes in trade patterns post-Brexit
The stats are for port volumes in Q2 21. It says Q1 was distorted by pre-Brexit stockpiling combined with strict pandemic restrictions in January & February. Q2 ‘therefore provides a more reliable insight into current volumes on ROI – GB routes.’
Overall volumes through Irish ports were pretty much back to pre-pandemic levels - down just 0.2% on Q2 19. However the composition has changed massively.
Read 14 tweets

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