Welcome progress. A deal on the protocol must be done.

Good Friday Agreement (GFA) Free From Sectarian Harassment #FuckTheDUP

No hard border, protection of the GFA, access to the single market must be maintained. Keep what works, fix what doesn’t. Then govt must get back to work. No more delay.

One person in this photo voted for the Protocol and said it was an opportunity👇👇

Fuck the DUP

Two others have been recorded praising the Protocol and openly stating it wasn’t a threat to the union

Now they’re raging because a Judge agreed with them

Welcome to unionism 👍





Taking the Devil’s name in vain: how the government may be deliberately misleading members of parliament about the legality of its Northern Irish Protocol proposals – a follow-on from yesterday’s post – The Law and Policy Blog


Reality matters very little to the DUP or Johnson


The (un)Democratic Unionist Party

Take a look at this post… ‘Protocol move ‘shows Tories can’t be trusted’ ‘.



Theresa May’s Brexit unity plea shattered by leaked WhatsApp messages

The prime minister wrote to all 317 Tory MPs yesterday

Theresa May made a desperate appeal for unity this weekend as a leader of the party’s hardline Eurosceptic wing warned that continuing with her Brexit deal risked splitting the Conservative Party.

The prime minister wrote to all 317 Tory MPs yesterday urging them to back her deal by sacrificing “personal preferences” to unite in the “higher service of the national interest”.

The letter was sent hours after The Sunday Times received leaked WhatsApp messages revealing that Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the 100-strong European Research Group (ERG), told colleagues that May’s Brexit negotiations with Brussels were a “complete waste of time”.

In a message on Friday, Baker said Downing Street and Brussels were pretending to negotiate while “working together to run down the clock to force [May’s] deal through” with few changes.

Baker said the ERG had to “insist” that the Irish backstop — an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland that could lock Britain into an indefinite customs union with the EU — be removed from May’s withdrawal agreement. The alternative, according to the leaked messages from Baker, is to “just grind towards a party split”.

Baker told The Sunday Times: “What will it take for the PM to accept that we will not accept the backstop in its current form?”

Downing Street aides are increasingly worried that May is going to lose the crucial vote on the deal at the end of this month. Cabinet sources are also concerned that such a defeat would see parliament seize control of the Brexit negotiations.

On the same day, MPs are due to vote on an amendment by the former Labour minister Yvette Cooper and the Conservative grandee Sir Oliver Letwin that would force May to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit.

A cabinet minister said it would be “high noon” for her deal, adding: “Unless the prime minister can show progress with Brussels by February 27, she will lose control of the entire process and we may lose Brexit altogether.”

With 40 days to go until the UK is due to leave the EU, Labour is equally divided over Brexit. Pro-remain MPs are furious that Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to follow the party’s policy agreed last year, which states Labour should seek a second referendum if it cannot force a general election.

The anti-Corbyn faction is planning to break away if he fails to back an amendment expected to be tabled by the Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson on February 27, which will demand a second referendum.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Tony Blair criticised Corbyn’s “destructive indecision” over Brexit. Blair said the nation was in “genuine peril” and at a “profound juncture” in its history. He called on Tory and Labour moderates to put act on the “basis of conviction and not of convenience”.

May has won the backing of one key member of the ERG: Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee, who today urges his colleagues to help “achieve a resolution” to the current Brexit impasse.

Writing for The Sunday Times, he urged compromises to ensure the country left the EU on March 29: “That means not playing into the hands of those who want to delay or thwart Brexit, and instead giving the prime minister the time and space to get the necessary changes to the backstop.”

With many thanks to: The Times The Sunday Times for the original story


March 29th is only the end of the beginning

Here are some facts. Britain is leaving a club. It is impossible to enjoy that club’s benefits outside it… Members of the club will support each other against outsiders as they have been demonstrating by backing the Republic

YOU might think from all the hype around it that March 29th or, to be precise. 11pm on March 29th, will be the end of the argument about what kind of Brexit there will be. Deal or no deal? Backstop or no backstop? World Trade Organisation rules or free trade? Sorry to disabuse you of such notions.

March 29th – and Theresa May seems determined to leave the EU on that date – is not the end. It is the end of the beginning. There are years more of this sturm and drang, a necessary and long overdue process tearing British politics apart. Divisions are so deep in England – and essentially it is an English problem foisted on Scotland and the North of Ireland – that being a Leaver or Remainer is going to be like being a Cavalier or a Roundhead in the English civil war. Incidentally, that war also sucked in Scotland and Ireland for a generation. No, if you thought the last 30 months were unbearable, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The best short description of the truth, logic and reality that Britain will have to face is contained in a little booklet by Sir Ivan Rogers. Rogers was the UK’s ambassador to the EU, an expert on EU negotiations, the ‘insider’s insider’ according to one description. He resigned in January 2017 before he was pushed. Theresa May and her ministers didn’t like hearing the truth from Rogers, such as, it will take a decade to negotiate a trade deal. His booklet, at 96 pages, is a snappier version of a lecture he gave at the University of Liverpool in December. It is called 9 Lessons in Brexit and won’t make him any more popular with the British government than he was then he resigned. JK Rowling said of Roger’s lecture: “Remember the words of Ivan Rogers the next time you see some plausible posh boy in a suit telling you no deal wouldn’t hurt at all.”

Robert Preston sid: “Rogers cuts through the guff spoken by government, ERG. Labour and pretty much everyone else.” That of course includes the DUP but then, never having had an original thought about Brexit themselves, they merely regurgitate the codswallop they hear the ERG spout. They’re an old computer programming acronym – GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Here are some facts. Britain is leaving a club. It is impossible to enjoy that club’s benefits outside it. It is impossible to have frictionless trade outside the Customs Union and Single Market because the market belongs to club members and is subject to the European Court of Justice. Members of the club will support each other against outsiders as they have been demonstrating by backing the Republic.

When trade talks begin, as they assuredly will, Rogers points out that EU solidarity will be paramount. “Solidarity will be with the major fishing members, not with the UK,” he says. Solidarity will be with Spain, not the UK, when Madrid makes Gibraltar-related demands in the trade negotiation endgame. “Solidarity will be with Cyprus to avoid precedents which might be applied to Turkey.” The idea that the EU will always make a deal at one minute to midnight is a fantasy. That may happen when EU members are negotiating with each other, not negotiating with a third country which the UK will be.

A UK team will not be in the room negotiating with the EU27. As Rogers points out: “Brexiteers fantasize about a style of negotiation which is only available to members of the club.” The UK will be facing a position agreed by the EU27, which is what is happening at present. After March 29th, whatever the outworking of the English politicians negotiating with themselves as they have been now for 30 months, the UK will enter a state of permanent negotiations with the EU as an opponent, not a partner. Last week the EU’s trade agreement with Japan came into operation after six years of negotiation. On March 29th the UK falls out of that agreement along with 50 other agreements the EU has made with third countries. Why does anyone think the UK will be able to seal a better deal than the EU has done with Japan, or anywhere else? Ask the DUP or get real.

With many thanks to: Brian Feeney and The Irish News for the original story

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