The UK’s Brexit minister lord David Frost is expected to warn the EU that the European Court of Justice’s role in the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) is a “red line”. He’s also demanding “significant” changes to the NIP that he himself negotiated.
This appears to have caused a certain amount of frustration south of the border in Ireland, because the Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney reacted by tweeting:
EU working seriously to resolve practical issues with implementation of Protocol – so UKG creates a new “red line” barrier to progress, that they know EU can’t move on…. are we surprised?
Real Q: Does UKG actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations? https://t.co/4MhgEdlxAf
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) October 9, 2021
What could happen next?
Frost is to deliver his warning to the EU at a meeting on Tuesday 12 October in Portugal. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’, ‘ands’, ‘buts’, and ‘maybes’ between now and thereafter. In the event the EU doesn’t agree to Frost’s demand for “significant” changes, the UK might trigger Article 16. That would mean the UK would unilaterally suspend parts of the NIP.
Should that happen, a series of negotiations and consultations would follow to find an agreement between the EU and the UK. All of which could result in a trade war should the EU not agree with the UK’s unilateral action. This could see the EU imposes tariffs (a kind of tax) on UK imports into the EU. Tariffs could make UK goods more expensive, which could in turn make those goods less desirable for EU consumers. And this could lead to job losses in the UK. So again, a lot of ‘ifs’, ‘ands’, ‘buts’, and ‘maybes’ at this stage.
But, given the effects of the global pandemic, climate emergency, and the current food and fuel shortages in the UK, it beggars belief why anybody would want to trigger even more chaos. The Tories got this clear explanation from an eastern European truck driver that Brexit is responsible for these food and fuel shortages:
Next time the government blames someone else for the shortages, think of Tomasz
(location: central Manchester)pic.twitter.com/9bIOqA67fR
— Led By Donkeys (@ByDonkeys) October 8, 2021
While this person reminded Frost it was he who negotiated the NIP:
The idiot Frost must know that you cannot draw red lines AFTER you signed an agreement. Is he dishonest or stupid? https://t.co/gLQOjJaK6E
— Nigel corrigan (@nigel_corrigan) October 10, 2021
And then there was frustration from British people also, as tweeted by this former journalist:
Johnson desperate to keep the Brexit/EU wars going hence that ridiculous Telegraph front page with Lord Frost’s latest ‘red lines’. Oh my days, it’s not 2019. The country is not interested. People can’t afford their bills and food #BrexitShambles
— Gladstone (@shane_gladstone) October 9, 2021
While this contributor saw an agenda at play:
— Hector McGillivray #FBPE 3.5% (@HectorMcGilliv1) October 10, 2021
Brexiteers ballsed this up. We can no longer tolerate their bullshit.
Amidst all of this confusion, we must never forget the gusto with which Leaver campaigners pursued Brexit. We must also never forget the lies they told during the 2016 referendum, nor the nonsense Johnson spewed during the 2019 election about his deal with the EU being “oven-ready“.
Boris Johnson's power is driven by lies. (Location: Oldham Rd, Manchester) pic.twitter.com/XsHktie1OH
— Led By Donkeys (@ByDonkeys) October 6, 2021
But the tragedy here, as with so many decisions made by privileged members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, is that very few of them have to live with the negative consequences of the chaos they’ve unleashed. The weight of those consequences will fall, as it currently does, on less well-off people.
That is unless people take part in the Brexit fallout debate, make their voices heard, and tell the Westminster class they won’t stand for anymore feckless incompetence. This is a privileged Brexiteer mess. Let them finally take responsibility for it.
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