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In new Brexit turmoil, UK says it may break law in 'limited way'

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By Michael Holden and Andy Bruce

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One can’t get a little bit pregnant, as Johnson’s government can dismiss the limited manner their actions circumvent International Law

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The UK cannot be seen as a serious country with Johnson in charge.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Britannia Waives the Rules.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Britannia Waives the Rules.

Very good.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not only are they tearing up an international treaty, they are tearing up one that this very government negotiated and signed. What utter idiots.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Not only are they tearing up an international treaty, they are tearing up one that this very government negotiated and signed. What utter idiots.

Negotiated, signed and boasted about. Here's two 2 minutes of Prime Mendacitor Johnson:

https://twitter.com/jamesrbuk/status/1303242571691569152?s=20

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Jimizo,

The UK cannot be seen as a serious country with Johnson in charge.

Still insufficient context for ‘Perfidious Albion?’

4 ( +5 / -1 )

British officials say they can make do with an Australia-style arrangement. Australia is negotiating a free trade deal with the EU to improve its market access, but for now largely trades with the bloc on World Trade Organization terms.

Maybe they can have a Australia style mixed with a Canada style agreement. At least go for that. And if they also opt for a Canzuk FTA with open borders, it might lessen the impact of the divorce. But if the UK leaves willy nilly in October BJ will be taking a big risk

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What in the world is that?

Break the law in a limited way

Either you break the law or you comply with the law.

New world order made in Britain?

What a joke!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The bit they are ignoring about Ireland is a new part of the "deal" Johnson got himself. It is actually the EU's first suggestion for Ireland, and was rejected by the original UK negotiating team sent by Theresa May. May's team came up with arrangements that ended up being referred to as the "backstop", but this became a focus for dissatisfaction among those pushing for the hardest possible Brexit.

Johnson started his time as PM by illegally shutting down Parliament, so this latest illegal move is not a surprise. By allowing Brexit fantasists to take over, the UK has caused a constitutional crisis in Northern Ireland with another around the corner in Scotland. Rather than being the spark that breaks up the EU, the UK is itself breaking up.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Almost Trumpian in it's grotesque stupidity. The most right-wing government I've ever seen in the UK reveals itself to be the most incompetent and mendacious. Quelle surprise.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Still insufficient context for ‘Perfidious Albion?’

Yes. Keep up. Pathetic Albion is perhaps more suitable for those of us under 200 years old.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Perfidious Albion is very much alive:

If you now try to hold on to us against our will, you will be facing Perfidious Albion on speed

Mark Francois, vice-chair of the ERG, to European Council, April 2019.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/apr/09/brexit-latest-developments-news-theresa-may-visits-berlin-and-paris-as-gauke-plays-down-prospect-of-early-breakthrough-in-talks-with-labour-live-news?page=with:block-5cac8a7c8f08ce46f07ebd92#block-5cac8a7c8f08ce46f07ebd92

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe they can have a Australia style mixed with a Canada style agreement. At least go for that. And if they also opt for a Canzuk FTA with open borders, it might lessen the impact of the divorce. But if the UK leaves willy nilly in October BJ will be taking a big risk

An Australian style trade agreement is probably a pipe dream at this point. Australia negotiated with the EU patiently and in good faith. UK has not. If the UK abrogates any part of the existing agreement and especially if they do anything that might threaten the Good Friday Agreement they will get nothing from the EU. They may even have to face stiff retaliatory tariffs and open support for Irish reunification. The Brits would richly deserve it too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Looks like the British are stealing a page from Xi Jinping and the abrogation of the Hong Kong treaty. UK will have abandoned any shred of moral authority it may have once had if it goes forward with this plan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The UK cannot be seen as a serious country with Johnson in charge.

The UK has become a Big Johnson joke.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To appreciate the logic, I suggest and believe to be fundamentally flawed, behind Johnson’s attempt to disassemble EU-UK withdrawal agreement.

It is worth understanding/reviewing differences between the Theresa May and Boris Johnson deal.

Brexit deal: The Withdrawal Agreement

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/brexit-deal-withdrawal-agreement

The column to the far-right, highlights difference in each area.

There maybe very slight wiggle room but there are no significant differences.

The wiggle room is contained within the withdrawal act itself.

Manifested in wording and open to interpretation. However, it is sections of the Internal Market Bill that provoked a government minister to suggest/admit the legislation would "break international law in a very specific and limited way."

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis specified and quote.

“I would say to [Sir Bob Neill] that yes this does break international law in a very specific and limited way. We are taking the power to dis-apply the EU concept of direct effect required by Article 4 in certain, very tightly defined circumstances, there are clear precedents for the U.K. and indeed other countries needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change.”

Must try not to get side-tracked by implications to the Belfast Agreement (GFA), because the agenda here is to either renegotiate or repel the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. The GFA is a political football as a focus to leverage change.

Even so Johnson signed Mays deal.... And now briefing the media he intends to hollow out that agreement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WOW!!! I didn't know that it was possible to "break law in 'limited way'", interesting!

So when a burglar breaks into your house and takes the TV, he can say "well I didn't take EVERYTHING, so it is burgled in a limited way" and expect a limited punishment, like "give us a quid and off you go"!!! What a pathetic government!!! Led by a moronic PM. UKs world standing can't possibly get any lower, but I might yet be surprised...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Astonishing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An Australian style trade agreement is probably a pipe dream at this point. Australia negotiated with the EU patiently and in good faith. UK has not. If the UK abrogates any part of the existing agreement and especially if they do anything that might threaten the Good Friday Agreement they will get nothing from the EU. They may even have to face stiff retaliatory tariffs and open support for Irish reunification. The Brits would richly deserve it too.

While I agree with pretty much everything you have posted above, I do believe that a no deal would be bad for the EU (albeit nowhere near as bad for the UK) but I don't think the EU desires that. Using the OZ deal as a template might work and I don't think it is a pipe dream because the EU was open to a Canada or Norway style agreement, the former of which the May government rejected, and the latter the hard brexiters rejected. The OZ agreement might be the way to go. I don't think it is in the EU's interest to let Britain crash out, even though the impact would be far less on the EU than on the UK

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hasn't the Australian Government begun negotiating a FTA, on 17 June 2020

Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement

Why is the Government negotiating an FTA with the UK?......

The UK is one of Australia’s most enduring partners. We have a shared commitment to the rule of law and to an open and rules-based international trading system. Our common heritage, values and strategic interests mean that we work closely together across a wide range of international issues. See our United Kingdom webpage for more information on the Australia-UK bilateral relationship.

In 2018-19, two-way goods and services trade between Australia and the UK was valued at $30.3 billion, making the UK Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner. The UK is also Australia’s third-largest services trading partner, and our second-largest source of foreign investment.

https://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aukfta

Humm, that first paragraph, and the rule on law?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must try not to get side-tracked by implications to the Belfast Agreement (GFA), because the agenda here is to either renegotiate or repel the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.

The WA is there to prevent border infrastructure in Ireland. Changing this compels the governments to introduce land border infrastructure, which is throughly unacceptable, and drives a coach and horses through the GFA. .

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just make NI part of the republic and the need for negotiation is solved...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This will accelerate moves towards the ending of partition.

Sadly, it might also mean the taking up of arms again.

Oh, and it's not "the Irish border" - it's a British one - imposed on Ireland.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just make NI part of the republic and the need for negotiation is solved...

Yet we have a sizeable population in the Northeast who consider themselves just as (if not more) British than anyone in Britain, as is their right.

Brexit, which polarised communities coming together after decades of violent conflict, now threatens to dangerously escalate that situation, thanks to the Grand Prix (pardon my non-French) in 10 Downing St.

This behaviour deserves the unreserved contempt of the international community.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It would be amusing to see how this shameless "Boris wheeze" would work with the UK's notoriously authoritarian and supercilious "hanging judges" if anyone threw themselves on the "tender mercy" of the court by pleading they only broke the law "in a limited way" (But I only let 'im 'ave 'alf a pound o' puff on tick, M'lud!). You couldn't make this nonsense up (unless you were a xenophobic Tory).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Toasted Heretic, I think it is important to clarify the term partition in respect to the GFA and how the peace process has evolved.

Diarmaid Ferriter: A history of partition and Europe’s role....

The British establishment lacked consistency while the Free State washed its hands

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/diarmaid-ferriter-a-history-of-partition-and-europe-s-role-1.3014508

Then their is still an ingrained sectarian divide.

Sectarianism 'remains institutionalized' across the north, report finds..

https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/02/18/news/sectarianism-remains-institutionalised-across-the-north-report-finds-1845125/

The UK Government will not erect any border, that is the point in question.

This is the fag end of/to the most toxic form of "politicking". And gauges how low the EU-UK negotiations have sunk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The UK has become a Big Johnson joke.

There are rumblings on the Tory benches in reaction to Johnson throwing away a 26-point lead over Labour. Starmer has been kicking his arse at PMQs.

Hopefully the joke will be a short one.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

EU say noooooooo, no hesitation

No tears and no hearts breakin'

No remorse

Nooooooo congratulations

This is your Brexit divorce

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So now "Johnny Foreigner" knows how the battles fought by "Perfidious Albion" in the past were "won on the (unequal) playing fields of Eton". The unspeakable rotters, bounders and cads simply moved the ruddy goal posts!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think the UK Governments response, and continuing failure to collude/endorse a coherent strategy to combat Coronavirus (COVID-19), combined with contradictory expert guidance and support is/could be the underlining reason why the public has and will continued to lose confidence/faith.

Matt Hancock, Dominic Raab, and Grant Shapps are a utter shambles, to describe their actions as incompetent, insults the meaning of clumsy ineptitude.

The danger here is the whole process of UK-EU finalization of/to their future relationship, adds another dimension to politically distract the public from the more critical tasks at hand,and blatant failures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the brexit cheerleaders gone, even the Russians. Heh kinda sez it all as the British ship wreck gets away in earnest under lunatic control...

Invalid CRSF how many years now?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kurisupisuToday  12:12 pm JST

Just make NI part of the republic and the need for negotiation is solved...

Who would do that, and how would they do it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No Mickelicious, not at all, some of my closest friends, are from the provinces Connacht, Leinster.

16 of UK employees from two of the nine counties Derry,  Fermanagh.

It is a process of listening , and learning.

I am British by birth and a Catholic. My skills are in accountancy and finance, not theology or interpreting the sectarian divide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I want to be clear Mickelicious, so there is no confusion, 272 EU citizens to date from 18 of the 27 EU member states are employed at our Brighton UK subsidiary.

I may have started the company some years back, but these engineers and developers etc have built the business.

So, I have a vested financial interest in their well-being, a duty of care to make sure their years of loyalty are rewarded.  

That is why I have a HR team tasked to bring me up to date on changes the UK government is attempting to implement that ultimately could effect the status of these employees.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My skills are in accountancy and finance, not theology or interpreting the sectarian divide.

Thanks, itsonlyrocknroll.

For context, I grew up in Troubles Belfast, and have known former 'combatants' on all sides. I also have a great affection for Blighty and her people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mickelicious, This whole a sorry awful charade, has presented a nightmare for EU citizens employed in the UK from beginning to end.

I given them all my solemn word there jobs will be protected. Most have applied and been accepted under the EU Settlement Scheme.

If Johnson was to disassemble the withdrawal agreement, the implications for these employees would/could possibly entail a change of nationality. The lawyers are working on this one.

I have my own opinions and views on the EU, Council and institutions. More a political opinion on the meaning of federalism, democracy, that stay on this forum and in the Izakaya.

I don't hold a British passport anymore.

I was once given a intense lecture by one protestant UK member of staff at a Christmas party, in/for her admiration of Irish Protestant nationalist politician Pierce Charles de Lacy O'Mahony. Staff of both denominations don't communicate at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Staff of both denominations don't communicate at all.

That's awful. Where's this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This behaviour deserves the unreserved contempt of the international community.

It does and it is. The US has given the British a dressing down.

"The United States is a guarantor of that historic peace accord, which was approved by the people of Ireland, north and south, in an unprecedented referendum. Since the landmark peace deal was reached in 1998, the 310-mile border in Ireland has remained frictionless and invisible. Every political party on the island opposes a return of a hard border. I sincerely hope the British government upholds the rule of law and delivers on the commitments it made during Brexit negotiations, particularly in regard to the Irish border protocols."

https://waysandmeans.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/chairman-neal-statement-uk-eu-brexit-negotiations

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-trade-deal-boris-johnson-us-trump-eu-b413813.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The OZ agreement might be the way to go. I don't think it is in the EU's interest to let Britain crash out, even though the impact would be far less on the EU than on the UK

My guess is that if UK violates the existing signed agreement there will be pressure from some important EU members to punish UK with punitive tariffs and, depending on what happens with Irish cross border rules one may see a hard border re-established there. Once a hard border goes up the fun begins.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe they can have a Australia style mixed with a Canada style agreement. At least go for that. And if they also opt for a Canzuk FTA with open borders, it might lessen the impact of the divorce.

They can't "opt" for CANZUK, because it requires the agreement of three other countries, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Any of those countries might take exception to the idea that their wish to participate has been taken for granted. I would suggest Canada in particular as a country that has grown well apart from the UK in the 20th century (culturally, politically, socially), but I wouldn't be betting on Australia or NZ either. Britain isn't quite the blessing to them that it seems to imagine.

Nick Cohen writing in the Observer this week dealt with (and dismissed) CANZUK in about 3 lines, describing it cruelly but accurately as an "Anglo-Saxon Narnia". And basically CANZUK, which seems largely a creation of CANZUK International, is the dream of a handful of rightwing politicians in all four countries. Most people have never heard of it; most politicians never mention it.

On the idea of a Canada-style agreement with the EU, or indeed "Australia style mixed with Canada style":

With almost no time left on the clock, it's time for British politicians and the deluded public to stop talking as if they are going to be selecting from a menu. The EU has already flatly rejected a Canada-style agreement, and is not going to suddenly buckle and offer one. If British people don't understand why they can't have one and won't get one, that's not actually the EU's problem. There's been four years of hubristic crap talked by British leaders and negotiators, who don't seem to understand or accept that they are in a very weak position in relation to the EU. They are certainly not going to be dictating terms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once a hard border goes up the fun begins.

Yeah, the Troubles were hilarious.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Once a hard border goes up the fun begins.

Yeah, the Troubles were hilarious.

@Mickelicious,

While understandable, I think your retort to Desert Tortoise is a little unfair. The troubles had not so much to do with hard borders but with circumstances within the North.

There are groups in NI (and here in central Scotland) who it's easy to class as being more British than the English. It seems to mean something different to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, the Troubles were hilarious.

Sigh. Sarcasm. I'm fully aware of how violent the Troubles were. I hope the English don't re-ignite those fires again but suspect their pride combined with arrogance is going to blind them to the dangers they are creating. My strong suspicion is that Bojo's new laws will force the EU's hand and a hard border will be established again on the Irish/UK border and that will probably lead to a resumption of sectarian warfare. Bojo has the blinders on and it's full speed ahead.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The "Law" in question, would appear to be a work in progress agreement between the UK and Europe, and in someways begs the question why it should be considered as being a "Law".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The UK has NOT left the EU yet. The present arrangements allow the UK to remain as a member of the EU until the 31st of December 2020. At the moment the UK trades with the EU as usual and the Brits can travel and work in the EU without a problem.

As for the global prestige, what prestige are we seriously speaking of here? The EU, US, UK did not abide by the nuclear deal they signed with Iran. In terms of the Mediterranean gas reserves and r the ights of Turks in the EU, neither the UK nor the EU abide by the treaties they signed with Turkey: London, Zurich and Ankara...So the current crisis betwen the UK and EU is nothing more than "the pot calling the kettle black" situation...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

MickeliciousSep. 9  07:38 am JST

Britannia Waives the Rules.

wunnnderfuuul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mickelicious, best not go into to much detail. The issue started after a weekly team building visit to the pub, Years back.

There had been tensions before, over NI press reports, gossip and sectarianism are potent mix.

HR has to intervene and since never the twain shall meet.

The most disappointing aspect, all were my generation, millennial's.

I can only imagine the fallout from Johnson Government agenda

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While understandable, I think your retort to Desert Tortoise is a little unfair.

My response to Desert Tortoise was to amplify what they have been saying, and repeated today, about the very real risk of a violent response to border infrastructure being imposed.

The troubles had not so much to do with hard borders but with circumstances within the North.

Yes and no. The 17th century Plantation of Ulster was England's way of finally subjugating the most difficult to control, Gaelic and Catholic province. Stolen lands were granted or leased to planters who had to be English-speaking, Protestant and loyal to the king. Sectarian enmity and occasional violence has existed ever since.

The hard border split communities, fields, houses, pubs, schools, and churches, and was politically, psychologically and logistically the biggest manifestation and reminder of the partition of Ireland.

The removal of the border was the biggest determinant of the Irish Peace Process, with people finally free to travel unimpeded. Catholics had already educated themselves into a much better position in northern society. With shifting demographics and gerrymandering removed, they had more political power, especially in Belfast and Derry. They were more-or-less comfortable being in the UK, too, before Brexit.

Reimposing any sort of border on Irish soil rips the scab off and pours salt into an unhealed wound. Brexit has already horribly polarised communities that had learned to tolerate and started to appreciate each other.

The Troubles had everything do with hard borders, physical, political and psychological.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The most disappointing aspect, all were my generation, millennial's.

That's a very worrying trend for me, too. Those who remember the Troubles are less easily radicalised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All, whether Protestant or Cathodic, well educated, intelligent, insist they are afforded leave time to attend there chosen dates for Parade and Marching season.

The GFA is essential so the poison is not passed through the generations.

Twelve things you should know about marching season in Northern Ireland on 'The Twelfth'

https://www.irishpost.com/uncategorized/twelve-things-know-marching-season-northern-ireland-94314

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a tradition for all of us to take the 'Twelfth fortnight,' which conveniently aligns with friends and family's availability. Nothing sinister to it, but holidaying in August instead (for example) would be seen as strange.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brutality put on one occasion, pints of beer were lunched across tables, accompanied with the slurs of Tadhg toe-rag, Fenian slum, and that's only the women.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The "Law" in question, would appear to be a work in progress agreement between the UK and Europe, and in someways begs the question why it should be considered as being a "Law".

Nice try.

『*Following comments by the Northern Ireland Secretary that a new Bill to amend the UK's Brexit deal with the EU will "break international law in a specific and limited way", *Chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto QC said:

“We share widespread concern about the Government’s stated intention to break international law in publishing new legislation on customs rules in Northern Ireland today. It should not need to be said that this country is built on, and subject to, the rule of law. Undermining this vital principle will fatally puncture people’s faith in our justice system, both at home and internationally. Someone committing a crime in a in a "specific and limited way” nonetheless commits a crime, and an admitted breach of international law in a "specific and limited way” is nonetheless a breach.”

ENDS

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/resource/bar-council-responds-to-government-s-intention-to-break-international-law.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The last gasp of washed-up nationalism that clings desperately to nostalgia for a long-ended empire. Nothing but the bluster of an old fighter who’s refuses to accept that their prime is long since behind them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If a positive emerges from the breakup of the UK, perhaps it'll be investment in those neglected English regions which, ravished and radicalised by Cameron/Osborne austerity, proved the political dynamite for Brexit.

I do hope their lot improves, although the cynic in me knows Brexit's architects don't give a rat's sphincter, and will continue to enjoy their portfolios from Chiantishire boltholes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Simon Foston

The transition would take several years.

Let those wishing to remain British do so whilst living in Eire.

Being a Protestant in the RÓI is possible today -there are many.

Protestant hardliners (if desired) would move to the mailnland over a period of 5 years.

There you go...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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