sheldrake wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:33 pm
Cardinal Fang wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:26 pm
As a result of the protocol, NI has in effect remained in the EU's single market for goods
(England, Scotland and Wales have left the EU's single market for goods).
You see those innocuous words 'in effect' ?
NI isn't in the customs union or single market.
NI still follows SM rules and regulations, and is subject to the oversight of the the ECJ pertaining to SM rules. Which is why goods can move freely from RoI to NI (and from RoI to the rest of the EU), whilst goods between GB and NI (which are outside) are subject to customs and phytosanitary regulations like any other 3rd party country if there's a risk they may then be moved into the EU (i.e across the border into RoI). But apparently following the rules of the single market and abiding by it's legal oversight somehow means it's 100% different from the single market in all respects.
Okay. Got you
sheldrake wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:33 pm
Cardinal Fang wrote:
The "special circumstance" was the NI Protocol. Which the Conservative government signed, told us how amazing it was, fought and election on - and are now telling us how bad and unworkable it is (and which, if you believe Dominic Cummings, is something they never intended to keep in the first place)
The NI Protocol was contingent on the EU making best efforts to ensure the customs integrity of the UK and subject to democratic re-ratification after 5 years. The EU failed to do make said best effort. Article 16 exists in the deal precisely to allow its suspension when one party isn't satisfied that the other party is upholding it's obligations fully.
The EU has issued proposals to make the NI Protocol work by offering a high degree of flexibility in customs enforcement and regulatory checks, effectively applying a lot more benefit of the doubt so that many more goods can cross from Britain to Northern Ireland unimpeded. They've offered things basically unprecedented. So how Quitlings can still suggest it's the ebil EU's fault for not doing all it can to "ensure the customs integrity of the UK", when they've bent over backwards and then in a full circle to try and make things work. Even when, on the day the EC was to publish it's proposals, the UK's chief negotiator dropped in a grenade (i.e. the ECJ demand) that, if agreed to, would destroy the very foundations of the deal. And even though some EU27 members are uncomfortable with the plan. Let's note again that it was the Conservative government that dropped the grenade. Not the EU. So who's really the ones not making "best efforts"?
The EU proposals though are dependent on a couple of things: 1. The UK government accepting them (unlikely as it looks like they want to continue their nationalistic posturings instead of conducting rational and reasoned negotiations like adults); and 2. The UK government abiding by not only promises they've made previously but not implemented, but also the updated agreement. The UK has consistently failed to adhere to it's pledges about data sharing, or about implementing previously agreed rules (instead unilaterally moving "grace periods" arbitrarily and seemingly without end, for example). The new proposals require not only proper data sharing, which the UK has failed to do to date, but also extra safeguards to prevent products from GB crossing into the Republic of Ireland without proper checks (e.g. clear labelling of items intended for the NI market only on packaging). If the UK government won't implement existing agreements, can it be trusted to implement further things?
Part of the problem is that what the UK government is demanding is basically that the EU just trusts them to ensure that UK businesses selling into Ireland will keep to the rules, without actually specifying how they'll do it (just vague references to intelligence-led enforcement mechanism based on full transparency of supply chains without ever explaining how it would work in practice). But why would the EU do that when so far the UK has repeatedly failed to demonstrate it can be a trustworthy partner. Aside from the UK Internal Market Bill, which contained clauses that would have broken international law in "specific and limited" ways, the UK has not fulfilled obligations it has already signed up to. The problems with the NI Protocol should not be a surprise to the UK government, whose impact assessment accompanying the implementing legislation anticipated much of what is now playing out on the ground. By asking (nay demanding) the EU to renegotiate the treaty because of problems they anticipated and knew about before they signed, the UK government is either saying it completely misunderstood the deal, or is admitting that it only agreed to the terms to get a deal over the line – and was never willing to implement the protocol in full. That's bad enough, but to then say that it's all the EU's fault that there are problems and therefore it needs to be binned and started again - that's probably a textbook definition of bad faith.
The Conservatives have also suggested an equivalence regime on sanitary and phytosanitary standards is established where the parties could mutually recognise each others' standards on a product-by-product basis, even though without a common legal and institutional framework (like the Single Market) it would be almost impossible to maintain equivalence permanently, especially when the Conservatives have already said they plan to loosen certain regulations to allow trade deals with other countries who's standards don't meet EU ones. But they pinkie-swear that NI won't be used as a back door to smuggle things in to the EU that don't meet their regulations, even though there wouldn't be a border between GB and NI, or NI and RoI under their plans, and obviously any checks would be bad.
Article 16 won't save the government. Here - LSE's explanation should interest you as to why it's not the Hail Mary the Quitlings think it would be: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021 ... quick-fix/
. You'll notice, for example, that the "exceptional circumstances" that permit triggering of A16 cannot be long-predicted and preventable. And the Conservatives were warned about these problems before they signed the deal, limited the ability of our sovereign elected Parliament to scrutinise it, and then sold it to us as "Oven Ready" and a fantastic deal. If they try to implement A16 in bad faith - and let's face it the entire approach by the Tories has been in bad faith, then the EU can retaliate with tariffs and so on. And as we're a tiny island with supply chain issues, an energy crisis, and very few trade deals to our name, going up against a trading bloc of 27 countries is not a trade war we're likely to win.