This blog is hosted on Ideas on EuropeIdeas on Europe Avatar

EUatOU

Analysing the changing EU-UK relationship

Latest

Making sense of the UK’s approach to the Protocol

Just a short post this week, since I already wrote about this in a Twitter thread earlier in the week:

The thread was an attempt to make sense of what the UK is doing and whether it might work. As you’ll see, I’m not that confident that it will. Conversations with people on both sides this week haven’t changed my mind on that either.

Part of that is the low trust environment that exists. The number and quality of connections that the EU has with the UK are both relatively low, which means there are fewer opportunities for the kind of frank discussions that might find a way through the current impasse.

As a result, the weight of rhetoric (on both sides) increases in the calculation.

To take an obvious example, the unwillingness of the UK to publish its replacement text for the Protocol makes it impossible to work out a more dispassionate understanding of its needs, so we have to fall back on the words of Lord Frost or Boris Johnson, with all the additional complexities that brings.

Even if the Commission proposals last week do leave various points to be precised and elaborated, at least they work more transparently towards a new set of agreements (or implementations of existing agreements, to be more exact).

This shouldn’t be that surprising – I noted in evidence back at the start of the year, for example – but that doesn’t change the situation as we find it.

Rebuilding contacts and conversations is going to have to be a priority if things are to start to improve between the EU and UK, and it’s probably the UK that has to start that.

I’d not hold your breath right now.

COMMENT

Recent Articles

Reworking the Protocol, or just trying to make it work?

Published on by | No Comments

This week has seen the full return of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol to political agendas, after a lull during the UK’s party political conference season. Last night saw the publication of the Commission’s extensive proposals on enabling the implementation of the Protocol, following much consultation both within the EU member states and with Northern Irish […]

The long way down

Published on by | No Comments

This post originally appear on Encompass Europe. This is a good moment to reflect on one of the many paradoxes of Brexit: for something that has occurred under so much time pressure, there has always still been a summer break. That was true in 2017 and 2018 during the Article 50 negotiations and even last […]

Tracking EU-UK meetings

Published on by | No Comments

At various points in the Brexit process I’ve produced trackers, primarily to capture interactions between the EU and the UK. that included ones for the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade & Cooperation Agreement (and this), as well as the progress of UK enabling legislation. The aim has been to keep sight of […]

A post summer update

Published on by | Comments Off on A post summer update

The past month or so has been relatively quiet in the world of the WA/TCA: the British proposals in its Command Paper had sat, largely uncommented, since late May as more prosaic matters have swirled. However, as Brussels and Westminster have restarted, so too has there been a degree of movement. Most importantly, there has been […]

Legal options for changing the Northern Ireland Protocol

Published on by | Comments Off on Legal options for changing the Northern Ireland Protocol

As a parting gift before a summer break, I’ve pulled together the various legal pathways currently available to changing the Protocol. This is based on the text of the Protocol/Withdrawal Agreement itself, plus a bit of customary international law, and covers both modification and disapplication of the Protocol itself. As the graphic suggests, there are […]

tl;dr – The UK’s Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol

Published on by | Comments Off on tl;dr – The UK’s Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol

The publication on 21 July of the UK government’s Command Paper came just before the end of the Parliamentary session. Flagged for several weeks, it was presented as the culmination of a long push to secure changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Undoubtedly, the Paper does cap the numerous public statements of Lord Frost, Brandon […]

Financial Settlement News

Published on by | Comments Off on Financial Settlement News

Perhaps the most striking thing about the breaking of the story about the unexpectedly large size of the UK’s financial liabilities under the Withdrawal Agreement last week was that it generated so little attention. The consolidated EU accounts for 2020 were published on 9 July, but it took a ‘tip-off‘ to RTE to get them […]

Meetings and the TCA/WA

Published on by | Comments Off on Meetings and the TCA/WA

One aspect of the WA/TCA pairing that will generally never get much attention is the meeting roster. Both treaties provide not only for a coordinating body – the Joint Committee (WA) and the Partnership Council (TCA) – but also a raft of more specialised bodies, roughly one for each section of each treaty. These bodies […]

Further grace periods

Published on by | Comments Off on Further grace periods

The past week has seen two important grace periods extended. These periods have been used in both the TCA and WA to allow the UK and EU enough time to make necessary preparations for full implementation, or that is at least the EU’s line. The less-remarked of the two has been the granting of data […]

UACES and Ideas on Europe do not take responsibility for opinions expressed in articles on blogs hosted on Ideas on Europe. All opinions are those of the contributing authors.