The Brexit Blog

The Brexit Blog
News and comment on the Brexit process, as Britain tries to leave the EU.

Friday 29 October 2021

Donnez-moi un Break - French Ambassador Summoned To The FCO


In response to French threats over fishing etc, the French ambassador to the UK, Catherine Colonna has been summoned to meet Britain’s Europe Minister Wendy Morton this afternoon at the FCO.

The fact that a junior minister is informing the French of the displeasure of Her Britannic Majesty's Government may, or may not, be taken as a sign that the UK doesn't want to escalate this too much or may in fact be taken as a slap in the face to France's dignity.

Thursday 28 October 2021

France Throws a Hissy Fit


France is none too happy with the UK and has decreed that it will introduce extra controls on boats and trucks coming from the UK, in retaliation for what it says is Britain’s failure to honour its commitments on fishing rights, the government announced Wednesday.

Bizarrely it has also threatened to disrupt the UK’s energy supply if Britain fails to address French concerns over fishing licenses. London branded the proposed moves "very disappointing."

From November 2, it will ban British fishing boats from landing at designated French ports and introduce systematic security controls of British boats as well as reinforced health and customs controls, it said Wednesday. It will also reinforce checks on trucks headed to or coming from the UK.

It said “a second series” of measures was also “being prepared.”

Unsurprisingly, David Frost was unimpressed.

Monday 25 October 2021

Poland Ups The Ante


Wednesday 20 October 2021

EU Declares War on Poland - This Won't End Well!


Brussels has vowed to punish Poland for its challenge over key elements of EU law.

Ursula von der Leyen said the EU had three ways of hitting back at Poland, and “will act.” 

In response to von der Leyen’s threats, Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki told the European Parliament he rejected “the language of threats.”

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Poland Threatens EU


The European Union risks collapse or becoming a dictatorship if it continues to blackmail Warsaw over fears of "Polexit", the Polish prime minister said.

Friday 15 October 2021

Luncheon is Served


As Brexit Minister David Frost heads to Brussels for a lunchtime summit with his European Commission opposition number Maroš Šefčovič, the Remain camp are having to eat some humble pie.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Brexit - Fudge or Lemon Sours for Christmas?


Brussels last night made a significant move by proposing a compromise that would see a major reduction in checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

However, whilst the UK has welcomed the concessions and a reopening of talks, there are sticking points; not least the thorny issue of the European Court of Justice's oversight of the Northern Ireland protocol.

The talks will doubtless go on for weeks. As to whether they will end up serving fudge or lemon sours for Christmas remains to be seen.

We are reaching a point where the people of Northern Ireland may need to consider unifying with the South, in order to resolve this once and for all.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

European Commission Proposals Coming This Afternoon

The European Commission will this afternoon present its proposals for easing the onerous checks on businesses trading across the Irish Sea while still keeping the single market and customs union safe from unwanted imports.

As to when the UK responds, either substantively or generally, is not known. However, Lord Frost has indicated quite clearly that the major bone of contention will be the ECJ.

The Brexit story will continue for some moths yet, before there is any real sign of a genuine resolution or total breakdown.

Friday 8 October 2021

Poland Sticks Two Fingers Up To The EU


Monday 4 October 2021

Lord Frost Threatens To Trigger Article 16

Lord Frost said the protocol - put in place to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland - was "not working and needs to change".

He said he worried the UK's proposals would not be agreed by the EU.

Lord Frost said triggering Article 16, which would suspend part of the deal, may end up as "the only way" forward. 

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, Lord Frost said the government "knew [it was] taking a risk" when it agreed to the protocol in the autumn of 2019, claiming his team were "worried right from the start that the protocol would not take the strain if not handled sensitively".

But he said the arrangements were "going to come apart even more quickly than we feared", and support for the protocol had collapsed across Northern Ireland.

"We can still solve these problems," said Lord Frost, pointing to proposals he sent to the EU in July.

"We still await a formal response from the EU... but from what I hear, I worry that we will not get a response that enables the significant change we need," he added.

"So I urge the EU to be ambitious. There is no use tinkering around the edges. We need significant change."

The EU has sent its own proposals to the UK on changes the protocol, but Lord Frost did not mention them in his speech.

Instead he said if the two sides did not come up with a solution, "using the Article 16 safeguard mechanism to address the impact the protocol is having in Northern Ireland...may in the end be the only way to protect our country, our people, our trade and our territorial integrity, the peace process and the benefits to this great UK".