Special reports and Brexit editor, The Economist. Author of "Unhappy Union" and reports on the EU's future (March 25th 2017), and Brexit (October 17th 2015)
Joined on 2 May, 2017
Tory Brexiters claim it's possible to have a functional open border between NI and Ireland, despite one being in the EU and the other not.
Tory Brexiters claim it's not possible to have a functional open border between England and indie Scotland if the latter were in the EU.
Tory after tory standing in the commons saying that all the kids in their areas have laptops provided means 1 of 3 things, 1)they have had preferential treatment over schools in our areas, 2)they haven't actually checked with them 3)they are lying.
The UK prioritised regulatory autonomy and the ability to independently pursue trade agreements with new partners over frictionless trade with the EU. Hence, trade barriers with the EU. That was the decision.
And the consequences of this for GB to NI mvnt of goods was also a UK Govt decision.
The fundamental choice Johnson made was to prioritise minimal GB ties with the EU over everything else.
It was his choice to make. Hence the revised Protocol. Hence the thin TCA.
There is a sense of disbelief about the new trade problems between Great Britain and the EU / Northern Ireland. Which we need to lose. This is the new normal. And we face a difficult period of adjustment - immediate paperwork needs, and to longer term uncompetitiveness.
UK workers’ rights at risk in plans to rip up EU labour market rules
We have to wait for detail before drawing conclusions. But if it meant scrapping the 48-hour week, it would very likely count as a breach of the non-regression clause within the EU deal. And, if proven to have impact on trade with EU, it would entitle Brussels to impose tariffs.
The DUP spent years saying no to every reasonable attempt to soften Brexit - no one believes their blame game now.
We need to work with businesses, and with the EU, to mitigate the impact of the Brexit that others have delivered.
@ClaireHanna pressed Michael Gove on this today.
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