Lord Frost in his Lisbon speech, philosophically titled Observations on The Present State of the Nation, says UK-EU relations are "fractious" and that resolving the Northern Ireland Protocol is a "prerequisite" for them improving
Frost says going for what some people dubbed a "hard Brexit" - i.e leaving the Single Market and Customs Union - was "essential" because only that form of Brexit would give the UK the freedom "to experiment and act"
Frost says too often the debate about Brexit is "technocratic" and focused on trade, rather than democracy
Frost says while there have been criticisms of the UK's approach to the last few years, the EU "doesn't always" look like a body that wants to work together constructively, citing vaccines & shellfish. The EU looks like it doesn't want the UK to succeed, he adds. Goodness.
Frost says the Northern Ireland Protocol is "not working," has "completely lost consent" in one community in NI, and is threatening the Good Friday Agreement, not protecting it
Frost says the UK will be "really ready" to discuss the EU proposals being unveiled by European Commission VP Sefcovic tomorrow. "We'll consider them seriously, fully and positively"

But he says the Commission is being "a bit too quick" to rule out changes to governance (ECJ)
It'd cost the EU "very little" to put a new Protocol in place, Frost says. He warns Brussels it would be a "historical misjudgement" to refuse fundamental changes and that doing so would be the EU putting its processes over stability in NI. Punchy even by Frost's standards, this.
Labour's @JennyChapman, Frost's opposite number in the Lords, says rather than approaching his speech with "maturity and the spirit of cooperation," he "has effectively asked to rip up the agreement he negotiated – and the Prime Minister signed – just two years ago"
Lord Frost says based on what he's heard of the EU proposals being presented tomorrow he fears they "may not do the job on the first round"

Those remarks do suggest he'll be up for negotiating the EU's suggestions rather than rejecting them outright

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More from @adampayne26

1 Oct
New: I’m told the Home Office has changed the visa scheme so it no longer ends on Xmas Eve. Driver visas will last the full 3 months from the day work starts, industry told today. @politicshome reported this wk industry concern that the scheme would be <three months in practice.
The government believes EU workers will begin arriving in early November, as @politicshome reported. A Home Office plan shown to industry figures today says ministers expect lorry drivers to be in the UK until the end of February, and poultry workers until the end of January
EU poultry workers are expected to be here until December 31, not the end of January. The slide shown to industry earlier was wrong and has been corrected.
Read 4 tweets
27 Sep
Ministers could decide as soon as today to deploy soldiers to drive tankers

There are reports of cars tailgating lorries on the motorway amid panic buying

Meanwhile, industry was this morning still waiting for details of how the visa scheme would work politicshome.com/news/article/m…
However, industry leaders are confident that panic buying will subside in the next few days

They have also expressed doubt over how impactful bringing in the army would be, with low numbers of soldiers actually qualified to drive tankers
Downing St confirms Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay, who inherited the supply chain brief from Michael Gove, will chair a meeting of ministers this afternoon to discuss the fuel crisis
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
Confirmed: The government is delaying some checks on EU imports

Export Health Certificates, originally required from October, now not needed until July

Physical checks and safety & security decs moved from January to July

Scathing response from @Foodanddrinkfed Ian Wright, who says officials said “as recently as yesterday” checks will go ahead as planned

“Many food & drink manufacturers will be dismayed by the lateness of this substantial change… With just 17 days to go the rug has been pulled”
Lukewarm responses from the @CBItweets and @britishchambers

Summary: delaying EU import checks is sensible but government needs to do a lot more

Also worth noting the major trade bodies aren’t united on this (see previous tweet)
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
Very stark words from @Foodanddrinkfed's Ian Wright

Supply chain disruption "is going to get worse," he tells @ifgevents, with Xmas & new Brexit checks coming down the line

Just in time supply chains as the UK has known them are "over" and food shortages will now be "permanent"
The Food & Drink Federation's Ian Wright says he's been led to believe the government might announce a further delay to EU import checks as soon as this afternoon...

Here's @politicshome's exc from earlier this week on gov discussing another postponement politicshome.com/news/article/g…
Story: Food shortages will be "permanent" and the disruption is going to get worse in the next few weeks, warns the @Foodanddrinkfed's Ian Wright

The just-in-time model enjoyed by UK consumers for decades is "over" and not coming back

Happy Friday politicshome.com/news/article/f…
Read 4 tweets
6 Aug
Ministers are being urged to temporarily relax immigration rules with supply chain disruption set to get worse in the next few weeks

But government isn't budging: "We want to build a resilient domestic workforce and not rely on immigration to do this"

A long-standing HGV driver shortage is being compounded by Covid & post-Brexit immigration rules

But it's not just drivers where the UK is lacking

Crops are going unpicked due to shortages elsewhere in the supply chain, @NigelFpc tells @politicshome politicshome.com/news/article/g…
Government has relaxed drivers' hours rules and plans to speed up tests (current backlog = 45,000) in an bid to tackle the shortage

But the industry says overseas drivers and other supply chain workers should be added to the occupation shortage list politicshome.com/news/article/g…
Read 6 tweets
10 Jul
Filling in for the ace @Alain_Tolhurst on this week’s Saturday read...

I interviewed DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, who insisted he was not scared about the next Assembly election but warned it’d be “critical” for unionism. “It’s an election we must win.” politicshome.com/news/article/j…
Donaldson, who replaced Edwin Poots last month, told me the DUP would not consider supporting the UK government's move to implement Irish language legislation until/unless it delivered "meaningful" changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol

With the DUP languishing in recent polls, Donaldson said the party must be more "inclusive" and a "broad umbrella under which unionists can shelter," to get back on track

The DUP needed a more "positive & progressive" vision, he said. "We have work to do"
Read 4 tweets

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