Tag Archives: Brexit

Above from left: UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič this afternoon


This afternoon.

Via RTÉ:

As a result of the agreement the UK will withdraw the clauses in the Internal Market Bill which would have breached the Northern Ireland Protocol, and “will not introduce any similar provisions in the Taxation Bill,” the statement said.

Following intensive discussions through the EU UK Joint Committee, which implements the Withdrawal Agreement, solutions in principle have been found on the question of food imports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland supermarkets, the issue of EU state aid rules, the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland and the question of the EU’s presence in the North.

The Joint Committee, co-chaired by Mr Gove and Mr Šefčovič, have also reached agreement principle on the question of which goods of GB origin would be at risk of crossing the border to the south and thereby potentially attract a tariff.

Agreement has also been reached on the exemption of agricultural and fish subsidies from state aid rules, as well as a list of members on an arbitration panel which will mediate on disputes relating to the Withdrawal Agreement

UK and EU reach agreement over Northern Ireland trade (RTÉ)

The U.K. was expecting the letter and the European Commission sends dozens of such notices to member states each month over various instances of alleged breaches of EU law. An exchange of letters and explanations follow, before some of these cases reach the EU’s courts.

It’s not unusual for the EU to take legal action against countries and as soon as the U.K. acknowledged that its plan was in breach of the Withdrawal Agreement, such a move became inevitable.

But officials on both sides say privately that they don’t want it to overshadow negotiations on a future trade deal. They hope that if they get an agreement on that, fuss over the legal action will quietly fade into the background.

EU to Start Legal Action Against U.K. on Internal Market (Bloomberg)


U-turn of you want to…

…Der Leyen’s not for turning.

“We will never backtrack on that. This agreement has been ratified by this House and by the House of Commons.

“It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or disapplied. This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.”

Ms von der Leyen quoted the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher: “Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for relations with the rest of the world, and bad for any future treaty on trade”.

She added: “This was true then, and this is true today. Trust is the foundation of any strong partnership.


EU chief says EU will ‘never backtrack’ on Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (RTÉ)

From top: Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan; Minister for Foreign Affairs Trade Simon Coveney; Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2.

A media briefing on the publication of the government’s 2020 Brexit Readiness Action Plan ahead of the end of the ‘Transition Period’ on December  31 and building on earlier Action Plans of December 2018 and July 2019.

Action plan here.


This afternoon.

Further to a report in this morning’s Financial Times (top) which claims sections of the upcoming UK Internal Market Bill would undercut key provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ms Ursula Von Der Leyen [European Commission President]  warned that, in Brussels’ view, the clause – which would see the British province continue to follow some EU rules while maintaining an open border with Ireland – is essential.

Senior Irish Government sources would not be drawn on The Financial Times report, with one source speculating that it was part of a stepping up of “noise” by the UK as the future relationship negotiations enter a critical phase.

EU chief warns UK must respect Brexit withdrawal deal (RTÉ)

This morning/afternoon.



You would know, in fairness.

This afternoon.

Via BBC:

The {British] government has confirmed there will be new checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK as part of the Brexit deal.

It will expand infrastructure at Northern Ireland’s ports to carry out checks on animals and food products.

The details are contained in UK proposals for implementing the NI part of the Brexit deal.

Northern Ireland will continue to follow some EU rules on agricultural and manufactured goods.

Brexit: Government confirms new checks on goods entering NI from GB (BBC)


According to an eagerly awaited paper on how the UK will implement the Protocol, seen by RTÉ News, London has also said there will be no tariffs on any goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so long as they remain in the UK’s customs territory.

The paper also says there will be no new customs infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

The document is certain to prompt further disagreements between the EU and UK over the requirements of the Protocol.

The Irish Protocol is not “codified” as a permanent solution, the paper says.

“It is designed to solve a particular set of problems and it can only do this in practice as long as it has the consent of the people of Northern Ireland,” it says.

UK publishes Brexit paper on Northern Ireland (RTÉ)






Parliament Square, Westminster, London, UK, Europe.

Brexit: countdown to the UK’s departure from the EU – live news (Guardian)

Pics: Getty


Earlier: Bernard Purcell: Don’t Dream It’s Dover

From top: a lone EU star projected on the cliffs of Dover, England; Bernard Purcell

With only a few hours left….

Bernard Purcell writes:

When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London one of his much-trumpeted achievements was the new, 21st century Routemaster Bus with three doors for entering and alighting.

From this month passengers using those buses can only enter by the driver-side door.

It means that the hugely expensive buses – they cost a great deal more than others in service and cannot be sold on – have no real raison d’etre other than as a costly gimmick to bolster Johnson’s image as Mayor.

Most of the batteries on the hybrids failed meaning that they ended producing more diesel pollution than any other bus, they get hotter than thirty degrees in summer causing serious problems for passengers, cost a fortune to repair and they cannot be sold on as no-one wants to buy them.

To add insult to injury they were built and sold by a Northern Ireland company owned by one of the DUP’s biggest backers and a massive Brexit supporter.

But London commuters are stuck with them for many, many years to come…along with the truly staggering multi-million-pound bills for Boris’s aborted Garden Bridge and island airport among others.

Don’t even mention the former Olympic stadium home of West Ham.

But Boris Johnson has moved on leaving all this behind him, and as Prime Minister, on Brexit Day, is working with a much bigger canvas.

You might ask why these are being mentioned on Brexit Day and the answer is, as a cautionary tale of what may be before us.

We know that he accomplished Brexit where others couldn’t – by betraying the very conditions about the British border in Northern Ireland that he had insisted on and said were non-negotiable.

He doubled down on that with bare-faced assertions that there would be no customs or regulatory checks between Britain and Northern Ireland even though this has been comprehensively refuted by Michel Barnier, Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar…and his own HM Treasury.

Even as this is being written there are moves afoot to banish the very word Brexit from the public discourse – led by Downing Street and some of its cheerleaders in the national media – on the basis that Boris has ‘got Brexit done’ – and the commemorative tea towel is available for Conservative Central Office.

This is despite the fact that it is only now beginning with the European Commission poised to publish its trade deal negotiating mandate on Monday and this transition period – enabled by Article 50 – due to expire in a year.

And all the indications are that this government is attaching greater weight to its deadline than the content or detail of the trade deal – no matter how much many of us might hope that common sense and pragmatic, if not even enlightened, self-interest kick in.

Meanwhile, ‘Sir’ Nigel Farage and his motley crew of ersatz poujadists are dialing down expectations for their victory gala in Parliament Square, blaming ‘the establishment’ for thwarting their promise of music, comedians and celebrations – when even the most cursory glance at the law covering gatherings would have confirmed that they, with alcohol, are prohibited in that space.

For the very many people genuinely deflated by today the former British ambassador Lord (Peter) Ricketts’ widely circulated advice has been to emulate that other enthusiastic European, Winston Churchill and raise a glass of good champagne. Because, Churchill said, ‘in victory I deserve it, and in defeat, I need it’.

Or words to that effect.

Bernard Purcell is the UK-born, Ireland-reared and London-based editor of The Irish World. newspaper.

Earlier: Brexit Rap Battle

A Limerick A Day

Top pic via Led By Donkeys