Henry Hill: Frost urges “calm” as EU talks tough response to Article 16 activation

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Frost urges “calm” on the protocol

David Frost warned that activating Article 16 will be the UK’s “only option” if this week’s talks fail to break the deadlock between London and Brussels. according to FT.

Like this column reported last week, there is a growing feeling in Whitehall that the government will have to take decisive action within the month if it is to maintain credibility with unionists and prevent Northern Ireland’s constitutional politicians from being potentially bypassed by radical loyalists.

the ministers are apparently already drafting secondary right to “reduce customs controls” in case of activation of Article 16.

Interestingly, these days we seem to hear less news from the “but you signed it” brigade. Perhaps because the UK is only using an explicitly negotiated mechanism in the agreement it signed to, while the EU has to look over the agreement to try to find ways to force Britain to back off.

And the Times reports that there will be – wait – border controls on solid fuel (which counts as a ‘commodity’) in order to enforce the Republic’s new anti-pollution measures. I guess it’s not a threat to the Belfast Agreement when Dublin does?

meantime Brandon Lewis welcomed the announcement of £ 12 million in central government funding for 30 projects across the province.

Gove accused of “moving the referendum poles”

The Secretary of State for Leveling Up was accused by Scottish separatists of having moved the poles of a referendum, the Times relationships, after suggesting that there shouldn’t be a repeat of the 2014 independence vote unless all parties in Holyrood support it.

He justified this on the basis that prior to the last plebiscite there was a “broad consensus” in the Scottish Parliament that it should be held.

This is the latest effort to try to overcome Alister Jack’s wrong decision to give a number (60 percent) to the kind of poll the SNP would have to see to justify another vote. The last thing the government should do is set rigid benchmarks that cannot be adequately adjusted to changing circumstances.

Meanwhile Anas Sarwar, the leader of Scottish Labor, compared Scottish independence to Brexit if he expressed his intention to compete with nationalists on “politics of emotion”. According to Daily recordHe said: “Every single topic that made Brexit chaotic and the wrong decision for the UK, multiply it by at least three times: these are the consequences of leaving the UK.”

Break the border! The Kilkenny farmer’s “no joke” offer to bring Ireland back to the Union

It’s funny: a 19-year-old farmer from County Kilkenny has launched the Irish Unionist Party. While admitting that he is likely to win nothing, Tristan Morrow says the idea is to lay the groundwork for a pro-Union all-Ireland party in the event that Northern Ireland is annexed to the Republic at a future date.

While obviously a funny story, it raises serious and interesting questions about what kind of posture trade unionists would adopt in a post-unification scenario. ConHome sends Morrow and his companions our best wishes.

Publisher of Sturgeon’s book investigated by anti-fraud cops for awarding £ 295k in cash to taxpayers

Yet another report from the SNP’s frontline ‘ongoing efforts to overwhelm Scottish civil society. Sandstone Press, which has published a collection of Nicola Sturgeon’s speeches and is run by a fervent nationalist, is being investigated by the Financial Crimes Unit.

The Daily record relationships that Highlands and Islands Enterprise broke its own rules when it granted financial rewards to the company, including grants worth £ 120,000 and an additional £ 175,000 in loans. When grants from Creative Scotland are also taken into account, Sandstone Press has apparently received £ 500,000 in public money over the past 15 years.

He is also accused of committing wrongdoing, in particular of “making false claims about the number of people employed”.

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