Brexit live: Irish deputy PM suggests UK negotiated ‘in bad faith’ after Cummings’ NI protocol claims


Good morning. For the last four years politics in the UK in the approach to Christmas has been dominated by a Brexit crisis involving a negotiation with the EU. In 2017 it was all about whether the withdrawal talks had made “sufficient progress” to move to phase two. In 2018 it was all about the withdrawal agreement, and subsequently whether it would be passed by parliament. In 2019 it was all about Boris Johnson renegotiating that withdrawal agreement. And last year it was about the trade deal negotiation, which was only settled on Christmas Eve.

You might have thought Brexit was over, but the UK and the EU are about to commence another renegotiation, over the Northern Ireland protocol. The process will effectively open this afternoon when Maroš Šefčovič, the vice president of the European Commission who is in charge of Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, announces proposed changes to the protocol. My colleague Daniel Boffey has a previews.

Yesterday Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, gave a speech implying that the EU offer would be inadequate and that a more extensive overhaul of the protocol would be needed. Lisa O’Carroll reports on what he said here.

Last night Dominic Cummings, who was Johnson’s chief adviser when the protocol was negotiated in 2019, posted a series of tweets saying No 10 always intended to ditch bits of it anyway. He said that Johnson did not understand what it meant when he signed it. And he dismissed the claim that this showed contempt for international law as “low-grade student politics”.

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

We took over a party on ~10%, worst constitutional crisis in century, much of deep state angling for BINO or 2REF. So we wriggled thro with best option we cd & intended to get the 🛒 to ditch bits we didn’t like after whacking Corbyn. We prioritised. Now time for IM2 #Frosty


October 12, 2021

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

For all the cant about international law, a/ states break it every week, b/ the idea it’s the epitome of morality is low grade student politics pushed by lawyers/officials to constrain politics they oppose. Govt shd focus on solving problems & chill viz “i/n law” viz NI #IMBill2


October 12, 2021

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

Shd we generally stick to deals? Of course. Sometimes break them? Of course. Just like the EU, US, China and every other state does. International diplomacy cannot be judged by the standards of a student duel, and lawyers are hired help not the masters


October 12, 2021

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

For all those whining, you try solving a once-a-century constit crisis starting on 10% in polls with totally fkd negotiating situation, SW1 hysterical, joke Cabinet, mutinous GLS & a fkd 🛒 for PM who only understood even vaguely WTF the Customs Union was in 11/20 – not easy!


October 12, 2021

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

No what Ive said does NOT mean ‘the PM was lying in GE2019’, he never had a scoobydoo what the deal he signed meant. He never understood what leaving Customs Union meant until 11/20. In 1/20 he was babbling ‘Id never have signed it if Id understood it’ (but that WAS a lie)


October 12, 2021

Dominic Cummings
(@Dominic2306)

We had clear goals & prioritised. Our priorities meant e.g getting Brexit done is 10000x more important than lawyers yapping re international law in negotiations with people who break i/n law all the time. EU membership infantilised SW1 as yapping re ‘i/n law’ clearly shows


October 13, 2021

Gavin Barwell, who was Theresa May’s chief of staff when she was prime minister, says this shows the Johnson government negotiated the protocol in bad faith.

Gavin Barwell
(@GavinBarwell)

In which Dominic Cummings admits David Frost agreed the Northern Ireland Protocol in bad faith (although he says the Prime Minister wasn’t in on it). Honest, though unlikely to help David in the negotiations to come https://t.co/hBIfCyRwcY


October 13, 2021

Here is the agenda for the day.

11am: Gavin Barwell, chief of staff to Theresa May when she was PM, speaks at an Institute for Government event.

11.15am: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, gives a speech at the TED Countdown Summit on climate change.

2pm: Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, gives a speech on climate action and Cop26.

5.30pm (UK time): Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission vice president, announces the EU plans for the Northern Ireland protocol at a press conference in Brussels.

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