INTL NI Unionist Party ( The DUP Party) aims to undermine Northern Ireland Protocol [EU having a meltdown] not a dup but new story

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I decided to go with a new thread on this because this is a new and rather worrying change in the relationship between Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland, The United Kingdom, and General and the EU.

It started with the vaccine crazy when the EU tried to revoke "article 16" that puts the Irish/English border in the Ocean instead of on-land to allow the Island of Ireland to avoid a hard border. They decided to try to revoke it WITHOUT consulting either Ireland or the United Kingdom. This lead to a midnight climbdown by the EU, which "withdrew" their thread "for now," but the damage was already done.

You can see that covered in this thread here: INTL - Northern Ireland at centre of major row between EU and UK over vaccine supply

Now, however, the Unionists (formerly known as Protestants) major party the DUP is calling for ENGLAND to "scrap" article 16, declaring an emergency because Northern Ireland was "promised" the same access to UK trade as the rest of the United Kingdom (they were) and that is turning out to be complete fiction.

In reality, a huge number of UK businesses are simply refusing to ship to Northern Ireland (including Amazon) and with truckers refusing to service the route (both owner-operators and trucking companies) Northern Ireland is experiencing food shortages and other serious supply issues. The Republic of Ireland is as well, so not a lot that comes into the Republic from France or Germany is making its way up to Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland usually gets more than 50 percent of its supplies from other parts of Great Britain in any case - most of which is simply sitting on the docks or not being shipped at all.

The DUP is the LARGEST party in Northern Ireland and holds the main part of the Northern Ireland Assembly (devolved local government) and they are now trying to get ALL the Unionist parties to go along with dumping article 16 and going back to a hard border on the Island, they have also pretty much told Dublin to "pound sand" and only a bit more politely than I just did.

This is getting uglier by the hour, the customs officials in Northern Ireland are already OFF THE JOB because of THREATS from "Unionist" Thugs (aka the Red Hand of Ulster Boys) who were seen taking down the license plates of workers, making threats, painting new pictures on the walls in Belfast, etc. Aka "The Troubles" are looking closer by the hour as well.

At the moment, I gather there are no border checks being done, the EU is in a near meltdown over this, and London/BoJo seem tone-deaf to the problem - if a temporary solution is found, I give things about 48 to 72 hours (maybe less) before the first bombs start to go off. If that can of worms gets opened, it won't be easily closed again - too many decades and too much hate behind them.

Sorry for the long introduction but this thread will make more sense with some background _ Melodi


From RTE (Irish national Broadcaster for starters)

DUP aims to undermine Northern Ireland Protocol
Updated / Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 22:18

There has been growing opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol in the unionist community

There has been growing opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol in the unionist community
By Tommie Gorman
Northern Editor

The DUP has announced this evening it will attempt to unite unionism to campaign against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In its statement, the DUP warned that north-south relationships will not continue as normal.

It comes after the withdrawal of border inspection personnel at Larne and Belfast ports following concerns about their safety.

Inspections of goods arriving at the ports were suspended yesterday and officials withdrawn after sinister graffiti and reports of intelligence-gathering on inspectors.

The PSNI said this evening it had no evidence that the main loyalist paramilitary groups were behind the graffiti and they blamed individuals or small groups of people for the intimidation.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Northern Ireland's place in the UK will be "protected and strengthened".

He also said the UK's commitment to the people of Northern Ireland is "unshakeable".

In a post on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: "Our commitment to the people of Northern Ireland and our Union is unshakeable. Recent EU moves have undermined the Protocol & understandably provoked concern.

"Let me underline that, now & in the future, Northern Ireland's place in the UK will be protected and strengthened.

"What is needed is urgent action from the EU to resolve outstanding problems with Protocol implementation, so as to preserve the gains of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement & ensure that Northern Ireland benefits from Brexit just like every other part of our United Kingdom."


British government minister Michael Gove will meet European Commission personnel tomorrow to explore what changes might be made to the contentious measures.

In the meantime, the DUP has escalated its campaign against the protocol.



That includes an online petition calling for the UK government to remove barriers to unfettered trade and opposing protocol-related legislation in the Stormont Assembly.

The party promised to work with other unionists to send a united message to London, Brussels and Dublin that Northern Ireland must be freed from the post-Brexit arrangement and its problems.

It also said it will:
- Not participate in any north-south political engagement on issues related to the protocol
- Strive for a united unionist message demanding scrapping of the arrangements
- Attempt to build support for the anti-protocol position at Westminster
- Launch a parliamentary e-petition with the ambition of securing enough signatures to force a debate on the issue

Read more
NI port safety issue 'a sinister and ugly development' - Taoiseach

EU asks NI staff not to attend work, condemns threats at ports



The DUP said: "The government needs to be bold and be prepared to act to bring about outcomes that underpin Northern Ireland's full place in the most important internal market for us - that of the UK.

"The prime minister must now directly address the people of Northern Ireland on the growing crisis arising from the protocol."

Democratic Unionists vowed to actively oppose at every opportunity any negative measures, laws or bills that continue to flow from the protocol and which undermine Northern Ireland's place in the UK internal market.

Some party members have faced threats after the protocol came into operation at the start of this year aimed at keeping the land border open by ensuring Northern Ireland followed the EU's trade rules.

Irish Sea commerce from Great Britain has seen disruption and extra paperwork as a result.

On Friday, the EU backtracked over invoking Article 16 of its agreement with the UK to block coronavirus supplies from crossing the border from the Republic into Northern Ireland.

The DUP statement said that revealed that the arguments advanced by the EU around protecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement institutions were not borne out of principle but political opportunism.

It added: "The revealing actions on Friday by the EU have caused very significant anger and harm within Northern Ireland and has compounded the notion that the EU is playing fast and loose with Northern Ireland, attempting on the one hand to require the UK Government to enforce its obligations whilst being prepared to waive elements of the protocol when it suits the needs of the EU.

"This is unsustainable.

"It is evident that the EU's priority is not protecting the Belfast Agreement but is entirely about protecting its own single market."

It said the protocol has upset the balance of relationships flowing from the Good Friday Agreement that many others claimed were unalterable.

DUP announcement criticised as 'reckless' and 'utter madness'

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised the DUP decision as "reckless".

"The majority of people and parties in the North opposed Brexit and worked hard over five years to secure the Irish Protocol. It protects the Good Friday Agreement and it is critical to future economic progress," said Ms McDonald in a statement released this evening.

"The Irish Protocol allows businesses in the North to export to Britain and the EU seamlessly, something that is of huge benefit to the North. It is critical that it is not unpicked and undermined after five weeks in operation.

"The position adopted by the DUP is reckless and is not driven by the best interests of the people of the North. I urge them to pull back.

"Now is the time for calm leadership and solutions to deal with the disruption which has arisen as a result of Brexit.".

The Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party and MP for North Down, Stephen Farry, described this evening's statement by the DUP as "utter madness" and "a road to nowhere".

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, he said this will only lead to more deadlock more distraction and more pain for Northern Ireland.

Mr Farry said the DUP needed to engage with reality and accept the reasons why the protocol exists.

He said that when the UK opted for a hard Brexit with the support of the DUP, the result was there had to be a special arrangement for Northern Ireland and lines had to be drawn which would result in some form of pain.

He said there must be cooperation with the EU to try to mitigate this as much as possible.


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Last edited:

Melodi

Disaster Cat
The Brits have been saying there is involvement from the paramilitaries, this is the response so far by the police in Northern Ireland.

No paramilitary involvement in threats to port workers, says PSNI
The EU asked its officials in Northern Ireland not to go to work and condemned ‘any threats’ to port staff
10 hours ago 33,048 Views 46 Comments
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A P&O worker closes the gate on the European Causeway ferry from Scotland in the port of Larne, Northern Ireland.

A P&O worker closes the gate on the European Causeway ferry from Scotland in the port of Larne, Northern Ireland.
Image: Peter Morrison
Updated 2 hours ago
POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have said there is no evidence of loyalist paramilitaries being involved in threats made to workers conducting post-Brexit trade checks at Northern Ireland’s ports.
The European Commission earlier announced that its officials were being temporarily withdrawn from duties in NI, after the North’s Department of Agriculture temporarily suspended the need for post-Brexit checks at Belfast Port and Larne Port “in the interest of the wellbeing of staff“.
Police in Northern Ireland had raised concerns about messages on social media and graffiti that suggested opposition to post-Brexit checks.
In an update this evening, assistant chief constable Mark McEwan said the PSNI has no information to substantiate or corroborate an “anonymous piece of information claiming paramilitary involvement in threats”.
McEwan said he was concerned about signs of tension within the local community, adding that investigations into graffiti at various sites and other forms of intimidation on social media are ongoing.
The PSNI also increased patrols at the points of entry in order to “reassure” staff and the local community.
Three Sinn Féin MLAs condemned any threatening behaviour or messages to Port staff at a Seanad committee today, and called on their unionist colleagues to play a greater role in diffusing any tensions so that staff could return back to work.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said today: “Obviously the security of our staff in Northern Ireland is as high a preoccupation as that of any other person working in Northern Ireland on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“We have asked them not to attend their duties today and we will continue to monitor the situation and adapt accordingly.”
Mamer added: “We condemn very strongly any threats of violence against port officials or anybody else in Northern Ireland who are simply exercising their duties and implementing the Withdrawal Agreement. That must be absolutely clear.
Therefore, in such circumstances, we understand indeed that decisions have been taken by the Northern Irish authorities to temporarily suspend a number of checks that are foreseen for the transfer of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
“It is obvious for us that the first and utmost priority is the safety of people.”
Brussels has been in contact with the UK authorities “both from a security perspective and from the perspective of the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement”.
Senior figures from Brussels, Westminster and Stormont will discuss the situation in Northern Ireland’s ports tomorrow, the European Commission said.
UK Cabinet minister Michael Gove, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič will take part in the video conference.
Graffiti and social media
The PSNI last week warned that graffiti and social media posts had indicated some dissatisfaction with post-Brexit checks imposed in Northern Ireland since 1 January.

In addition to fears over graffiti and social media, it is understood staff expressed concerns that individuals had been spotted taking down number-plate details.



This morning, graffiti was sprayed on at least two Alliance Party offices, one of which said “RIP GFA” and the other said “Stay out”.
“We’re serving the community, seeking solutions to the problems others caused. We will not be deflected from that by bomb hoaxes and graffiti,” Alliance leader Naomi Long said.
“Port workers must return to work free from threats or intimidation,” Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said. “This is non-negotiable. That is the strong message from the Northern Executive and from political leaders across Ireland.”
‘It’s not the Protocol causing problems – it’s Brexit’
It comes as a number of Senators and MLAs condemned any possible threats made to staff at the North’s ports.
The Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for the Executive Office met today to discuss the island of Ireland’s response to adapting checks introduced because of Brexit changes.
Reacting to the news today of the withdrawal of some staff from ports in Northern Ireland, Chair of the Executive Office Committee Colin McGrath said that threats are counter productive, as the new post-Brexit checks weren’t going to change, and staff needed to be on site at ports to get “the practicalities sorted out”.
Colin McGrath
Source: Oireachtas
“It’s not the Protocol causing these problems – it’s Brexit,” McGrath said, adding that “there will be difficulties for a year” in adjusting to post-Brexit changes.
“There is always a difficulty here in Northern Ireland that any issue that we take instantly comes green or orange, and it becomes one side of the community or the other.”
He said there needs to be a collective approach to this, as “the bottom line is the sale of a potato or a pencil”, and it doesn’t matter who it’s being sold to.
‘The Protocol is being targeted’
The Northern Ireland Protocol came into effect on 1 January, when the Brexit transition period ended and Britain’s 2016 vote to split from the EU came into full effect. It is designed to prevent a hard border emerging between the north and EU member Ireland
Three Sinn Féin MLAs representatives of the committee attended the Seanad committee today. McGrath said he would work to see that unionist members of the committee attend any future committee meetings with the Oireachtas.
MLA for Foyle Martina Anderson said that the PSNI didn’t confirm that the graffiti threats to port staff was from loyalists.
“The Protocol is being targeted,” Anderson said. “These threats need to be removed, if people are taking car registration numbers, people need to be arrested.”
Emma Sheerin, MLA for mid-Ulster, said that political unionists needed to show leadership amid these threats.

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“There is no threat to their identity or to where they call home,” she said.
McGrath said: “If some politicians constantly [insert] culture into those issues, then we live in a very dangerous territory. Because once you start to threaten a person’s culture or identity, then they will react in a particular way.”
“It’s when we get everything tangled that we get ourselves tied in knots and confused.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said EU moves last week to restrict vaccine exports to the UK province, amid controversy over jab deliveries but which were swiftly abandoned, had “undermined” its special post-Brexit arrangements and “provoked concern”.
“What is needed is urgent action from the EU to resolve outstanding problems with Protocol implementation,” he said on Twitter, while reiterating “Northern Ireland’s place in the UK will be protected and strengthened”.



The DUP announced this evening that it is to launch a co-ordinated bid to undermine the Northern Ireland Protocol in Belfast and London.
That includes an online petition calling for the UK Government to remove barriers to unfettered trade and opposing protocol-related legislation in the Stormont Assembly.
The party promised to work with other unionists to send a united message to London, Brussels and Dublin that Northern Ireland must be freed from the post-Brexit arrangement and its problems.
It also said it will:
  • Not participate in any north/south political engagement on issues related to the protocol.
  • Strive for a united unionist message demanding scrapping of the arrangements.
  • Attempt to build support for the anti-protocol position at Westminster.
  • Launch a parliamentary e-petition with the ambition of securing enough signatures to force a debate on the issue.
It said: “The Government needs to be bold and be prepared to act to bring about outcomes that underpin Northern Ireland’s full place in the most important internal market for us – that of the UK.
“The Prime Minister must now directly address the people of Northern Ireland on the growing crisis arising from the protocol.”
Reacting to the announcement, Sinn Féin said the DUP’s position was “reckless” and not driven by the best interests of the people of the north.
Urging the DUP to “pull back”, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said: “Now is the time for calm leadership and solutions to deal with the disruption which has arisen as a result of Brexit.
“The Irish Protocol allows businesses in the north to export to Britain and the EU seamlessly, something that is of huge benefit to the north. It is critical that it is not unpicked and undermined after five weeks in operation.”

With reporting from Adam Daly and the Press Association.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Interesting, despite this being the number one story all day, pretty much in both the UK and Ireland, it has now gone "poof" in the British/UK on-line papers that I am usually checking.

It may be buried somewhere (and yes there are a couple of breaking stories like the death of Captain Sir Tom that are breaking news but I also need to point out that in the United Kingdom it is perfectly legal for the government to ask the press to either print or bury a story.

I can't prove anything but I am suggesting...
 

ArisenCarcass

Veteran Member
Haha.
I thought this thread was Closed......because the Thread Title says DUP.

Anyway.......
I just don't care. We have enough problems on this half of the globe.
Parts of my family fled Ireland before the Famine, seeing the collectivist writing on the wall.
England's historic (and ongoing) mistreatment of the Irish (and Scots, and Indians, and......) makes the issue more of an ongoing nuisance.......just like the Troubles were.......which may never be "fixed."

My only thought is that the IRA leadership would do better to bomb London rather than anywhere in Ireland.
Don't shit where you eat.
 

parsonswife

Senior Member
FYI Ireland (don't know which half) is primary manufacture of insulin....Disruptions to shipping was one of my concerns last spring but was able to good amount for stock
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
This is not a dup - it is related to the other issue but it is not a dup.

The two-minute wrap up (after you read the 8 paragraphs or it makes no sense).

The Irish Border with the UK currently runs down the Irish Sea and is not on the Island of Ireland.

Many firms are refusing to ship to Northern Ireland even from the UK and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.

The EU is demanding so much paperwork to ship from the Island of Britain to the Island of Ireland that goods are not coming in and things like food and supply shortages are happening.

Now the Ulster "Unionists" (the main party for them) want London to tell the EU to take their border and stuff it, and return to goods being shipped directly from England into Northern Ireland.


If that happens the EU will "force" a land border on the Island of Ireland almost certainly bringing back "The Troubles" where civil war returns to Northern Ireland and customs checks on the border become "military" targets for bombs again.

If London does NOT return to simply shipping goods from the UK to Northern Ireland, certain "elements" of the "Unionists" the thugs, have already threatened customs workers in Northern Ireland so at the moment no customs checks are taking place.

If the customs inspectors can't go back to work, the EU will have a meltdown and demand a hard border on the Island, if they do go back to work the "Thugs" have threatened to attack the customs agents.


In the past, violence
has been started more often by the various IRA folks (formally thought of as Catholic paramilitaries)

But this violence is being threatened by the Protestant paramilitaries (Unionist) unless London does what they want.

My personal guess is unless a solution to this mess is found by tomorrow, it is likely there will be violence and bombings within 48 to 72 hours (or sooner).

Sorry, that's as clear and concise as I can make this - I hope bullet points rather than paragraphs makes it a bit clearer.

Oh and the Brits (as of this evening) have obviously told their news services to "can" the story but Ireland and the EU have not done so.

I hope to have more information in the morning if I can sleep.

The good news, we personally live a long way from the border....
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
PS the OLD STORY was the EU trying to declare the border was closed so they could prevent the shipping of vaccine from the Irish Republic to Northern Ireland and then into the rest of the United Kingdom.

They did this without asking the Irish or the English and there was such anger, fury, and fire that the EU backed down at midnight.

Then today, the DUP/Ulster Unionist said that if the EU could simply disregard the border by trying to reimpose the older border on the Island then hey, they think that is a great idea and that London should ot it right away and start shipping everything directly into Northern Ireland again.


They do not explain how a new border will be put up, maintained or who will pay for the armed guards and stations that will almost certainly be the target of bomb threats, the Irish Republic's Defense forces can't even afford bullets to practice with and at least half of Northern Ireland would rather re-join the Irish Republic rather than be part of the United Kingdom.

If there is no border, they can pretend there is no problem - put a border back in and well - welcome to a return to civil war (probably). -
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I have wondered if the EU'S game is to test the waters, find some way to force the UK back to the bargaining table.
 

homecanner1

Veteran Member
Melodi can you expound some on how you see this Taiwanese refugee situation playing out as Boris is promising Visas if Bejing gets hinky.

rumors have circulated for the last 3 months they intend to house them in the north, thus the island may be going into real upheaval.

Ireland eyed for potential 'charter city' for millions fleeing Hong Kong: report | Fox News

its sad the border issue could not get worked out with Brexit, it pushes full reunification back on the table again as a solution
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
If the UK thinks it is going to build a Chinese City in Northern Ireland I think they will have some serious problems on its hands. I can see the logic at first glance, but essentially "putting" new people in Northern Ireland by the British is part of what started this problem several hundred years ago. To this day the two "sides" those who were originally "native" to the area (and Roman Catholic to this day by and large) did not appreciate the "invasion" of "Ulster Scotts" brought in (sometimes by force) to "pacify" the local population with good "Scot's Calvinist peasants" the English thought would simply "out-breed" and "replace" the Catholics.

Be that as it may, I will keep my eyes open on this, personally, I think it would be better (in the UK) to build a new "Chinese Financial City" in say the old Industrial Northern or other still a somewhat urban but decaying area of the country that still has ports and could be become a new financial hub. Northern Ireland is not a friendly place for "newcomers" and I think building a city there is asking for an empty hulk of a city 25 years down the line, but hey stranger things have worked.

Meanwhile, they have to "solve" this mess, or a United Ireland could see a sudden improvement in the local Chinese "take aways" that already have at least one Chinese family living in most rural villages.

Calls for removal of NI protocol are unrealistic - Coveney
Updated / Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 11:30


DUP will press the British government to remove border controls for goods coming into the North from Britain

DUP will press the British government to remove border controls for goods coming into the North from Britain

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has said those who are calling for the Northern Ireland Protocol to be done away with entirely are being completely unrealistic.

Simon Coveney said Ireland, the UK and the European Union have a legal obligation in an international treaty to implement the protocol.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said alternatives to the protocol were rejected by the British government and the DUP and senior politicians now need to look at ways in which pragmatism can be applied to the implementation of the protocol.

Mr Coveney said the decision by the EU last Friday has triggered a political response that makes the implementation of the protocol even more difficult and said the Government wants to be helpful, if it can be.

The European Commission had signalled its intention to trigger Article 16 of the protocol, in response to the row with AstraZeneca over the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for urgent action from the EU and insisted that Northern Ireland's place in the UK will be "protected and strengthened".

His comments follow the withdrawal of personnel manning post-Brexit trade checks at Larne and Belfast ports over safety concerns.



Read more:
Latest Brexit stories


DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has said he welcomes that there is a recognition across the board about the damage that has been done.

Mr Dodds said he also welcomed that instead of talking about the "rigorous implementation" of the protocol, that Mr Coveney and others "now realise there is a problem at least". "They were closing their eyes to that up to now," he added.

Speaking on the same programme, he said the DUP never accepted a border down the Irish Sea and the party had only agreed that regulatory difference and single market differences between parts of the UK could happen with the agreement of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, which he said had been "jettisoned and set aside".

Mr Dodds said that the EU "having lectured everybody about how important Northern Ireland was", then at the "first opportunity set aside all previous lectures."

DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster is to hold discussions with Mr Johnson today, where she is expected to tell him why the protocol must go.

She will also take part in a meeting with Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic by video conference.

Mr Coveney said he has spoken to the First Minister, but the focus was on the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for north-south cooperation.


The DUP has said it will try to unite unionism to campaign against the protocol and press the British government to remove border controls for goods coming into the North from Britain.

The party also said the north-south relationship could not continue as normal following last week's EU intervention on Article 16.

Ms Foster said issues around the protocol - which effectively puts a border down the Irish Sea - have to be addressed.

In a statement issued last night, the DUP said the arguments advanced by the EU around protecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement institutions were not borne out of principle but political opportunism.

The party promised to work with other unionists to send a united message to London, Brussels and Dublin that Northern Ireland must be freed from the post-Brexit arrangement and its problems.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald described the DUP's attempt to undermine the protocol as "reckless".

Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Alliance Party want changes in the operation of the protocol but do not want it ditched.

The measure is designed to avoid a return of checkpoints along the border and reduce potential disruption of cross-border trade.

Sinn Féin's Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty called for calm from the DUP in relation to its apparent plans to try to remove the protocol.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, he said the DUP must show leadership, and "dial down, and stop the hysteria".

He said the protocol which was "painstakingly negotiated" and has only been in place for four weeks, so "there are going to be teething issues that need to be dealt with in a calm and rational way."

The action taken by the European Commission last week was "incredibly shortsighted," he added.

"I cannot understand after four years negotiating the issues and sensitivities, that these were ignored by the European Commission," he said.

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib said the protocol should never have been agreed to as it "is a clear breach to the Good Friday Agreement" and "is deeply damaging to the union of the UK."

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Habib said the EU and Ireland have "conspired against" the terms of the Good Friday Agreement to establish a narrative that there cannot be a border on the island of Ireland.

"I reject that there are no other options", he added, and suggested the smart border controls should be implemented between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Additional reporting: Tommie Gorman


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Melodi

Disaster Cat
Coveney says DUP call to get rid of NI Protocol is 'unrealistic' and 'will not happen'
Post-Brexit inspections on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain have been suspended amid concerns over the safety of officials.
3 hours ago 15,546 Views 31 Comments
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Image: PA Images
Updated 1 hour ago
FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Simon Coveney said calls to get rid of the Northern Ireland Protocol are “completely unrealistic” and “that is not going to happen”.
DUP leader Arlene Foster is expected to tell the British Prime Minister, in a telephone call this morning, why the protocol must go.
The protocol is at the centre of an argument between Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and the European Union following last week’s EU intervention on Article 16.
On Friday the EU had signalled its intention to trigger Article 16 of the protocol, a safeguard clause, to temporarily place export controls on this movement in respect of vaccines.
The European Commission later rowed back on those plans, but the move has caused tension, particularly with the Northern Ireland Executive.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Coveney said Ireland, the UK and the EU “have a legal obligation in an international treaty to implement the protocol, and I think it’s also important to say that the protocol isn’t primarily the problem here.”
“The problem is caused by Brexit, and the kind of Brexit that the British government pursued and insisted on, because there were alternatives that would have been much easier to implement, the EU wanted to share a customs union and single market with the UK, that would have meant no barriers to trade.
“Some people are trying to rewrite history here … the protocol itself is about solving problems that are caused by Brexit, trying to protect an all-island economy, prevent border infrastructure on the island, or tense political relationships on the island.”
However Coveney did concede “there are elements in terms of implementation that are causing real problems”.

“I think what what senior politicians need to do now is look at ways in which pragmatism can be applied to the implementation of the protocol in the context of flexibility and grace periods where appropriate, but it has to be done within the context of the protocol itself, because … we all have a legal obligation now in international law to implement the protocol and ensure that the protections that it provides are in place.”
Coveney said the EU’s actions on Friday have made the situation “a lot worse”.
“And while that decision was reversed, of course, and wouldn’t have happened at all if there had been consultation, it certainly has triggered a political response in Northern Ireland which makes implementation of the protocol even more difficult.
“When you have a significant minority of politicians in Northern Ireland now actively saying that they will not cooperate with the protocol then that poses real difficulties.
“Added to that you have totally unacceptable threats to people working in Larne and Belfast ports – I think the PSNI has provided clarification that this isn’t a wider loyalist paramilitary issue – but it certainly is still intimidating for for workers there. And that’s something that needs to be condemned.”
‘Lecturing everyone’
Also speaking to Morning Ireland, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds said that there is a “recognition across the board to the damage that’s been done as a result of the EU’s moves”.
He said that the European Union had spent time “lecturing everyone” on the importance of Northern Ireland, but had decided to “set that aside at the first opportunity”.
Dodds said that it was welcome to hear the likes of Coveney and ministers in Westminster acknowledging problems with the protocol.
“I welcome the change of tone,” he said.
“There aren’t just teething problems. These are significant difficulties. It’s incumbent on the UK government to protect the internal market of Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK.”

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In a statement released today, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the DUP’s “destabilising approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol is deeply regrettable”.
“I think it is highly regrettable that the First Minister has chosen to approach the challenges presented by Brexit in a way that will increase instability and heighten tension at a time of immense sensitivity.
“We should be very clear – the DUP, under Arlene Foster’s leadership, campaigned for Brexit. They said no to Theresa May’s softer Brexit proposal.
“They said no to alignment with the EU Single Market and Customs Union across these islands. They said no to every attempt to prevent the emergence of a new border in Ireland or in the Irish Sea.
“Their every political machination over the last five years has led us to this point. If there is an architect of the challenges that we face today, it is the First Minister and her party,” Eastwood said.
Crisis talks
Britain and the EU are set for crunch talks with Northern Ireland’s leaders over mounting tensions.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic will hold a virtual meeting with First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill to discuss the ongoing furore over the protocol.
Physical inspections on goods entering the region from Great Britain, which are required under the protocol, have been suspended amid threats and intimidation of staff.
Police have insisted there is no evidence that loyalist paramilitaries are involved in the sinister campaign, instead blaming disgruntled individuals and small groups.
Yesterday, in another sign of heightened tensions in the region, a large group of masked men were seen walking around an area of east Belfast where the Ulster Volunteer Force exerts influence on the community.

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Graffiti warning off inspectors has appeared close to ports in recent weeks. Police have stepped up patrols at the ports following the spate of intimidatory incidents.
Gove and Sefcovic chair the UK/EU joint committee tasked with implementation of the protocol. The meeting comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “urgent action” is needed to resolve outstanding problems.
The protocol is a mechanism agreed by the UK and EU as part of the withdrawal talks to ensure a free-flowing Irish border.
It achieves that by moving regulatory and customs processes to the Irish Sea, focusing on the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The inspections and added bureaucracy are required because, under the protocol, Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market for goods and also applies EU customs rules at its ports.
Unionists and loyalists are deeply unhappy with the new arrangements, which came into force on 31 December, believing the protocol has created a barrier between the region and the rest of the UK, undermining the constitutional integrity of the Union.

Yesterday, the DUP announced a series of political moves aimed at undermining the protocol.
Its strategy includes opposing any protocol-related legislation at the Stormont Assembly and refusing to participate in any exchanges with the Irish government related to the operation of the protocol.

Contains reporting from Sean Murray and PA
 
Last edited:

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Haha.
I thought this thread was Closed......because the Thread Title says DUP.

Anyway.......
I just don't care. We have enough problems on this half of the globe.
Parts of my family fled Ireland before the Famine, seeing the collectivist writing on the wall.
England's historic (and ongoing) mistreatment of the Irish (and Scots, and Indians, and......) makes the issue more of an ongoing nuisance.......just like the Troubles were.......which may never be "fixed."

My only thought is that the IRA leadership would do better to bomb London rather than anywhere in Ireland.
Don't shit where you eat.
If you read the articles and/or the bullet points (and I just put up another one with this problem bolded) it is NOT the IRA this time it is the "gangs" on the OTHER SIDE the RED HAND OF ULSTER boys causing the problems and threatening the Customs workers.

And if trade shuts down it WILL affect the US, a lot of medicines are produced in Ireland (both parts) and US shipping has also been affected by the problems with shipping between the EU, the UK, and Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Not to mention we have two members here in Ireland and at least two or three in the UK itself, and we are all directly affected.

A renewed Civil War in the North will put a "Biden" administration into the mess, as it is one of the only issues the man seems to take an actual "personal" stand on, if he can remember that he has one...
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
NewsUKUK Politics
Brexit news – live: UK pleads EU for ‘grace period’ extension as Boris Johnson meets Northern Ireland leaders
Follow live updates below on Westminster and beyond

Rory Sullivan
1 minute ago
135 comments


Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer and MPs at PMQs
The UK has urged the EU to extend the Brexit “grace period” to 2023 in a bid to avoid more border chaos.
This comes as Boris Johnson called for “urgent action” from the EU to address the tensions caused by post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland.

The prime minister’s message follows the EU’s decision to backtrack on its threat to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol by introducing emergency vaccine checks on doses heading from the bloc to Northern Ireland.

Alluding to this, Mr Johnson tweeted on Tuesday evening claiming that the EU’s recent actions had undermined the Northern Ireland Protocol and had “understandably provoked concerns”.
However, Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney had a different interpretation. “The protocol isn't primarily the problem here; the problem is Brexit and the kind of Brexit that the British Government pursued and insisted on. There were alternatives that would have been much easier to implement,” he told the Irish broadcaster RTE.
“The EU wanted to share a customs union and a single market with the UK - that would have meant no barriers to trade,” he added.
The comments came ahead of a meeting between British, EU and Northern Irish leaders on Wednesday to discuss trade issues between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
NewsUKHome News
Images of ‘sinister’ masked men patrolling Belfast streets investigated by police
Footage described as ‘deeply concerning’

Matt Mathers@MattEm90
1 hour ago
2 comments

Local politician says there have been a number of ‘worrying incidents’ in recent weeks

Local politician says there have been a number of ‘worrying incidents’ in recent weeks
(Twitter)
Police in Northern Ireland are investigating an incident in Belfast where a gang of at least 24 masked men were reported to have been patrolling streets in the city.
Video and images posted to social media appear to show a group of men mostly dressed in black, wearing hats and with their faces covered walking through the Pitt Park area of east Belfast, about a mile-and-a-half from the city centre.

In one video posted online, a number of police officers arrive at the scene and observe the group before following it out of a housing estate.
In a Tuesday night statement, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: “Police responded to reports of suspicious masked men in the vicinity of the Newtownards Road in east Belfast, this afternoon (Tuesday, February 2nd). Officers attended and enquiries are continuing.”

Local Democratic Unionist Party MP Gavin Robinson said that there had been a number of "worrying incidents" in east Belfast in past few weeks.
Read more
He said: "Homes attacked, families intimidated and our community living in fear. Today we saw a severe escalation of that in Pitt Park. It has to stop. East Belfast deserves better. The PSNI need to get a grip and show such action will not be tolerated.”
Sinn Féin's Belfast West MP, Paul Maskey, said the images were "deeply concerning" and called on the PSNI to thoroughly investigate the incident.
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He said: “This gathering is sinister and looks to be an attempt to exert control over the community of east Belfast.


"The PSNI, who attended the scene, must thoroughly investigate this afternoon's incident and ensure that criminal gangs are held accountable for their actions.
Mr Maskey added: "This also comes at a time when the emergency services are already under great strain because of the pandemic.

“We need to see calm heads and responsible leadership at this time and not attempts to raise tensions.”
It came as both local and EU customs staff at ports in Belfast and Larne were removed due to security concerns.
Checks on animal products were suspended on Monday night following an “upsurge in sinister and menacing behaviour in recent weeks”.
Graffiti has appeared attacking the impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol – which has created a customs border in the Irish Sea – and describing port staff as “targets”.

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Melodi

Disaster Cat
OK it's time "Holy Ulster Fries Batman!" this is escalating quickly!
Brexit: Boris Johnson says he'll consider triggering Article 16 of Northern Ireland Protocol
Greg Heffer, political reporter
Greg Heffer

Political reporter @GregHeffer
Wednesday 3 February 2021 13:05, UK

Boris Johnson has vowed to "do everything we need to do" - including an attempt to override post-Brexit arrangements with the EU - in order to "ensure there is no barrier down the Irish Sea".
Having held talks with Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster on Wednesday morning, the prime minister later raised the prospect of triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

It comes just days after the EU itself threatened - and then abandoned - to invoke Article 16 as part of its row with drugmakers over COVID vaccines.

The clause is intended to be used when the Protocol - designed to avoid a post-Brexit hard border on the island of Ireland and a key part of the UK's Withdrawal Agreement - is unexpectedly leading to serious "economic, societal or environmental difficulties".


It allows the UK or the EU to act unilaterally to avoid these difficulties.

Mr Johnson spoke in the House of Commons ahead of crunch talks later on Wednesday between Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, Ms Foster and Northern Ireland's Deputy Minister Michelle O'Neill.

The prime minister told MPs: "I utterly share the frustrations... about the way the EU, in particular the EU Commission, temporarily seemed to call to use the Protocol in such a way as to impose a border contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, contrary to the letter of the Good Friday Agreement.
"We will do everything we need to do, whether legislatively or indeed by invoking Article 16 of the Protocol to ensure there is no barrier down the Irish Sea."
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Johnson says UK is prepared to invoke Article 16 'if necessary'
Updated / Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 14:11


Boris Johnson said that Northern Ireland's place in the UK will be 'protected and strengthened'

Boris Johnson said that Northern Ireland's place in the UK will be 'protected and strengthened'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that his government is prepared "if necessary" to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to force a rethink of trade within the UK.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson was answering questions from the DUP's Ian Paisley who asked what he was going to do when he realises the EU, as Mr Paisley said, will do nothing to help Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson said he "utterly shares the frustration" of how the EU Commission seemed to call to use the protocol in such a way as to "impose a border contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: "we will do everything we need to do to, whether legislatively or indeed by invoking Article 16 of the protocol to ensure that there is no barrier down the Irish Sea" and businesses can continue "unfettered between Northern Ireland and the rest of this country".

It comes as the British government has called for the extension of post-Brexit grace periods in Northern Ireland until 2023.

In a letter to European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove wrote: "The arrangements that currently apply to supermarkets and their suppliers must be extended until at least January 1 2023.

"The eligibility for these arrangements must also be adapted so that all relevant local businesses and services are able to be included as authorised traders.

"This must be accompanied by a commitment to rapid work on a proportionate, risk-based long-term solution that recognises the very low-risk nature of retail movements by trusted traders."

He also said: "A permanent solution should be put in place for those chilled meat products moving GB-NI that are otherwise prohibited.

"If this in practice requires further time and engagement, then a temporary solution must be in place until at least January 1 2023."

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that there has been engagement between Ireland and the European Commission to ensure that attempts to trigger the Northern Ireland Protocol, as happened on Friday evening, do not happen again.

Speaking during Leader's Questions in the Dáil, he said that they also sought to explore if "sensible, common-sense modifications can be made in relation to the protocol" which, he said, have been called for on all sides.

Mr Martin was responding to Sinn Féin's Ruairí Ó Murchú who asked him if there had been any discussion with the British Government or European Commission to ensure that the Northern Ireland Protocol is protected.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald appealed for a united approach to deal with the DUPs decision to undermine the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ms McDonald said that the united approach shown during the Brexit negotiations was very "successful and necessary in securing the protections for Ireland in the face of Brexit".

She said that a similar strategy was required once more, coupled with calm, cool leadership.

Ms McDonald told the Dáil that the misguided approach by the European Commission to try to trigger Article 16 last Friday has been seized on by a section of political unionism, the same who "championed Brexit".

They want to undermine, unravel and remove the protocol, she said.

She called on Mr Martin to confirm that the protocol and the protections it offers are "permanent, are firm and will not be unraveled and are not up for grabs".

Mr Martin agreed that the Commission made a mistake by trying to use the protocol to deal with the AstraZeneca controversy.

However, he said that the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, responded quickly after he made contact with her on Friday evening and is was "certainly not a hostile act".

Mr Martin said that the protocol does need some changes and that administrations will have to work together to resolve the current situation.

Earlier, Minister for Foreign Affairs said those who are calling for the Northern Ireland Protocol to be done away with entirely are being completely unrealistic.

Simon Coveney said Ireland, the UK and the European Union have a legal obligation in an international treaty to implement the protocol.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said alternatives to the protocol were rejected by the British government and the DUP and senior politicians now need to look at ways in which pragmatism can be applied to the implementation of the protocol.

Mr Coveney said he has spoken to Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster, but the focus was on the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for north-south cooperation.

Yesterday,
personnel manning post-Brexit trade checks at Larne and Belfast ports with withdrawn over safety concerns.

The DUP has said it will try to unite unionism to campaign against the protocol and press the British government to remove border controls for goods coming into Northern Ireland from Britain.

The party also said the north-south relationship could not continue as normal following last week's EU intervention on Article 16.


DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster said issues around the protocol, which effectively puts a border down the Irish Sea, have to be addressed.



She spoke to Mr Johnson by phone this morning, where he restated his commitment to Northern Ireland as an "integral part of our union".

In a statement issued today, the DUP said that in the phone call with Mr Johnson and Arlene Foster "set out starkly the damage the protocol is having on GB-NI trade and its impact on the political balances and the impact of the decision by the EU to propose to invoke Article 16."

They said they pressed the prime minister to set out what he was now going to do to deal with the unfolding situation.

They said that Mr Johnson indicated that he was deeply shocked "by the cavalier approach adopted by the EU" last Friday and without consultation.

The DUP said Mr Johsnon recognised that such actions by the EU undermines the authority of the protocol.

According to the statement, Mr Johnson said what the EU was doing "goes beyond the bounds of common sense".

The DUP said it has been clear with Mr Johnson that "the people and businesses of Northern Ireland cannot continue to be subjected to the undermining of Northern Ireland's place with the UK internal market as a consequence of the protectionist attitude of the European Union.

The First Minister will also take part in a meeting with Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, by video conference.

Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Alliance Party want changes in the operation of the protocol but do not want it ditched.

The measure is designed to avoid a return of checkpoints along the border and reduce potential disruption of cross-border trade.

Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith said the protocol "is here to stay" but warned the "significant concerns" of unionists and others need to be addressed.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon said Ireland had been "incredibly helpful" in the last few days in its understanding of the need to "make sure the protocol works."

He called on the EU to adhere to its "joint responsibility" to the people of Northern Ireland in the implementation of the protocol.

Mr Smith said he believes the protocol, while it was negotiated, will need "significant evolution" while protecting what he described as the "world-beating peace settlement" that is the Good Friday Agreement.

He said the "level of discontent" should be ignored, and the "real concerns" of unionists and others, need to be addressed.

"We do need to take care and we do need to take care now, make sure we reflect the concerns of many unionists, and it goes beyond the unionist community around the implementations of the protocol."

Mr Smith said a more "strategic" relationship is required between the EU and the UK, alongside "improvement" on the protocol.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I went looking for a photo of an "Ulster Fry" which is the "official" breakfast of Northern Ireland and found there is an on-line paper using that name (makes sense) here's an article..I would take this so far with a big grain of salt but it is an interesting view and may have some truth to it - though I find it hard to imagine these groups actually working together - Melodi
Loyalist & Republican Pharma-military organisations threaten the EU
By
The Ulster Fry
-
January 30, 2021
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After threatening restrictions on Northern Ireland’s supply of COVID-19 vaccine last night, terrorist groups across NI have dramatically united to wage a joint war on the EU.

“They may have backed down at the 11th hour – but we need to be ready to take the fight to Brussels incase they act the ballix again” explained Enda Scope from newly formed dissident terror group, Republican Action For Drugs.

This was a view echoed by one of his Loyalist counterparts. “It’s a disgrace what they nearly did. If they mess wit
h our drug supply again, we’ll show the bastards” raged Dee Fibrilator, from the EU.V.F.

His Loyalist comrade was in full agreement. “Aye that there what he said there now is spat on, so it is.” added Andy Sanitiser from the Clean Hand Commandos.

Other Republican terror groups including the I.N.L.Asymptomatic and the Real Pfiz R A are also standing-by ready to resume activities across the European Union.

“We’ve been blowing up the Europa for years in preparation for this” explained a Republican spokesman.

However one group has appealed for calm and urged fellow Pharma-militaries not to leave the house to carry out any operations incase they spread the virus even further.

“We just can’t take the risk lads. We need to stay home, wash our hands, stop the spread and help the NHS as much as we can!” pleaded a spokesman for the UDR-rate.

https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://theulsterfry.com/world-news/loyalist-republican-pharma-military-organisations-threaten-the-eu/
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
News just in: 10 Downing orders bombing runs on Brussels.
Hey..somebody had to do it. (Haha...don't panic. Not really, not YET, but you KNOW it's coming eventually).

I'm so glad my and so MANY other Ulster Scots anscestors decided to GTFO that island of misery many centuries back and come to America.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
An Ulster Fry, the thing to remember is that traditionally nearly EVERYTHING in an Ulster Fry is made in a deep fat fryer, the first time I encountered one (at an SCA event in Belfast years ago) even I couldn't finish it and I used to be able to tuck away a lot of deep-fried food when I younger - yep even the bread and toast were deep fried....


 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
News just in: 10 Downing orders bombing runs on Brussels.
Hey..somebody had to do it. (Haha...don't panic. Not really, not YET, but you KNOW it's coming eventually).

I'm so glad my and so MANY other Ulster Scots anscestors decided to GTFO that island of misery many centuries back and come to America.
Yeah and you know my opinion is pretty neutral on the topic, our SCA group up there used to have a lot of "mixed couples" thrown out of both communities for their Romeo and Juliet marriages.

My view is that the Ulster-Scots have been in Northern Ireland about as long as Europeans have been on the East Coast of North America and both have a right to live where they are now.

On the other hand, everyone up there HAS to learn to get along or they will go back to destroying themselves and I don't mean that in a happy-clappy Kum By Yah sort of way, I mean it on an everyday basis.

You don't have to like each other, but you do have to learn to compromise and try to at least live beside each other.

Otherwise, we go back to the days of me and an American friend (married to a NI Catholic) coming out of the house to go to an SCA meeting only to find the house two doors down has just been firebombed. She was so used to this she started trying to explain to me how "it wasn't really that bad" and I said, "This is bad, get in the car and drive because CNN and the cops are going to be here in 5 minutes and we will never get to our meeting."

This was before everyone had cell phones, so we couldn't have even called to say what was happening. People would have heard about the bombing and the address and starting calling hospitals asking about us.

That was an EVERYDAY sort of thing up in Belfast in the late 1990s...
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Part of a much longer, picture heavy article from the UK daily mail - best read at the link

The Brexit disputes sending Northern Ireland tensions soaring: Loyalists threaten port staff for checking goods from Britain while an 'internal UVF dispute' puts masked men on 'patrol' in Belfast and anti-EU graffiti appears across province
  • Customs staff at ports in Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint have been intimidated
  • Physical inspection of goods was suspended after graffiti called staff 'targets'
  • Band of masked men with 'ties to UVF paramilitary' paraded through East Belfast
  • Offices of local politicians were daubed with graffiti amid border row with EU
  • Police launched murder probe after republican was shot dead outside bar
By JACK WRIGHT FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 12:13, 3 February 2021 | UPDATED: 14:41, 3 February 2021






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Customs checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain
Northern Ireland is operating different regulatory and customs arrangements to the rest of the UK.
Under the terms of the Brexit deal, the region is remaining in the EU Single Market for goods and applying EU customs rules at its points of entry - Belfast Port, Larne Harbour, Warrenpoint Port, Foyle Port, and Belfast International Airport.
Customs declarations and extra checks are now required on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but trade in the other direction remains largely unfettered.
Under the Northern Ireland protocol, all goods passing from GB to NI are subject to EU customs rules, with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks applied to 100 per cent of food entering the region.
Other checks include:
Chilled meat: For a period of six months, some chilled meat such as sausages can continue to enter Northern Ireland from Britain.
To avoid disruption, the protocol provides an immediate solution where these meats can continue to move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland throughout the first half of 2021.
Retail goods: Goods from certain food suppliers, such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers, can enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain. They should benefit from a grace period, through to 1 April 2021, from official certification for products of animal origin, composite products, food and feed of non-animal origin and plants and plant products.
They must also be destined solely for sale to end consumers in supermarkets located in Britain, and they cannot be sold to other operators of the food chain.

Sanitary and phytosanitary checks: Goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain are subject to EU controls to protect animal, plant or public health.
Customs staff may make documentary, identity or physical checks at points of entry in Belfast Port, Larne Harbour, Warrenpoint Port, Foyle Port, and Belfast International Airport.
Medicine: Goods already on the market in the EU or the UK are able to continue to circulate, under the principles agreed by Britain and the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement.
This arrangement protects supply flows for medicines already on the market in Great Britain moving to Northern Ireland.

Travelling with pets: Any person travelling from Northern with a pet to Britain and returning to NI, will be required to adhere to the EU requirements for travelling into the EU/NI from a Part II listed country.
If travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and not returning to NI, with your pet, there are no documentary or health preparations, though there is a law requiring dogs are microchipped at eight weeks old.



Soaring tensions in Northern Ireland over Brexit have sparked the British government's anger at the EU today and demands for the trade rules between Britain and Northern Ireland to be relaxed.
Checks at Northern Irish ports on goods travelling between Britain and the province were suspended yesterday after anonymous threats, feared to be from hardline loyalists, were sent to EU and British customs officials.
However, police said 'disgruntled individual loyalists' rather than paramilitaries were involved.
It comes amid fury at the EU for threatening on Friday to suspend post-Brexit trade agreements in an attempt to stop coronavirus vaccines travelling from Ireland to the UK.
The extraordinary threat by Brussels united Britain, Ireland and all parties in condemnation for appearing to undermine the EU's commitment to the Good Friday peace agreement.
However, the episode has inflamed the anger of loyalist elements who are unhappy at customs checks on goods coming from Britain to Northern Ireland, which has caused shortages and is viewed as the erection of a hard border in the Irish Sea.
Anti-Brexit graffiti opposing 'a border in the Irish Sea' has appeared across the province recently, including on the front of the offices of local politicians.
Masked UVF men were also caught on video putting on a 'show of strength' in East Belfast yesterday - although police say this was related to an 'internal UVF dispute' and not directly linked to the Brexit issues.
And a dissident Republican who spent five years in the British Army was shot dead outside a bar in North Belfast last night. Danny McClean, who was on bail facing arms charges, was ambushed by members of violent splinter-group ONH, of which he was once a senior member - though this is not Brexit-related.
Graffiti has also been sprayed on the offices of local politicians, with Alliance MP Stephen Farry tweeting a photo of graffiti on his constituency office reading 'RIP GFA' - a likely reference to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement brokered to bring an end to years of sectarian conflict.
His colleague Kellie Armstrong, the Alliance MLA for Strangford, tweeted a photo showing the words 'stay out' sprawled over her office window, while Alliance councillor in Bangor, Connie Eagen, posted an image of graffiti on a wall which read: 'Banger says no to Irish Sea border'.
Michael Gove is set to hold crisis talks with Brussels' chiefs and Northern Ireland leaders today in a bid to defuse the growing tensions.
The Cabinet Office minister is expected to push for trading rules between Britain and Northern Ireland to be relaxed.
Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster today claimed problems at the border were being caused by British officials implementing customs checks 'to the Nth degree'.
The DUP leader also hit out at EU demands, arguing that the checks went far beyond the phytosanitary vetting to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases and pests, giving an example of potatoes with British soil on being blocked at the border by officials.
She told the Telegraph: 'There is a lot of very grave anger in Northern Ireland about the way in which this protocol is rolling out. And we need to get it sorted and we need to get it sorted immediately.
'One of the most offensive things, I have to say, for a lot of us here in Northern Ireland is that we're told that soil from Great Britain cannot make its way across the Irish Sea over to Northern Ireland.
'So if you're buying, for example, seed potatoes, well, that's a real problem because the seed potatoes may have British soil on it and you can't possibly bring that into Northern Ireland.'
Speaking to MailOnline, DUP MP Gavin Robinson said he did not believe that customs checks had intensified since the EU vaccines row last week. However, he said that officials at the ports 'start from a high bar'.
Mr Coveney argued this morning that ultimately 'Brexit is the problem that is causing all of this disruption' but added: 'Of course we are looking for ways in which the protocol can be implemented with less friction.'
In East Belfast, a band of masked men paraded through Pitt Park in daylight in a show of strength linked to rising tensions - though this is an 'internal UVF dispute'


+14

In East Belfast, a band of masked men paraded through Pitt Park in daylight in a show of strength linked to rising tensions - though this is an 'internal UVF dispute'
Graffiti on the A2 outside Carrickfergus in Belfast


+14
Graffiti on the A2 outside Carrickfergus in Belfast
Menacing graffiti has been sprayed on the offices of local politicians, with Alliance MP Stephen Farry tweeting a photo of graffiti on his constituency office reading 'RIP GFA' - a likely reference to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement brokered to end The Troubles


+14
Menacing graffiti has been sprayed on the offices of local politicians, with Alliance MP Stephen Farry tweeting a photo of graffiti on his constituency office reading 'RIP GFA' - a likely reference to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement brokered to end The Troubles
His colleage Kellie Armstrong, the Alliance MLA for Strangford, tweeted a photo showing the words 'stay out' sprawled over her office window


+14
His colleage Kellie Armstrong, the Alliance MLA for Strangford, tweeted a photo showing the words 'stay out' sprawled over her office window
How 'parody' Northern Ireland customs rules are giving hardworking Britons a headache
Lorry carrying frozen carrots and mixed herbs waits for EIGHT DAYS to board a ferry to Northern Ireland 'because of missing paperwork'
Peter Summerton, of McCulla Refrigerated Transport, said: 'It's absolutely criminal what has been allowed to happen'

Peter Summerton, of McCulla Refrigerated Transport, said: 'It's absolutely criminal what has been allowed to happen'
A lorry carrying frozen carrots and mixed herbs has been waiting for clearance to board a ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast for eight days.
Six separate customers, supermarkets and corner stores have other consignments on truck, all stuck in Lymm because the paperwork for a single pallet of carrots is missing key information.
A report by the Guardian reveals that in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, the haulage firm's operations team have had no luck in persuading the British supplier that the carrots ordered on December 27 are now classed as an export.
They are supposed to be accompanied by a litany of documents and certificates before the trailer can be cleared to board the ferry at Birkenhead.
One operations man, also dealing with an order of mixed fish also stuck in England, said: 'It took half a day yesterday for me to clear the supply chain. I've got one more issue to go.
Peter Summerton, managing director of McCulla Refrigerated Transport, said: 'It's absolutely criminal what has been allowed to happen between these two islands that have traded with each other for so long.'





Scottish potato seed merchant banned from exporting spuds to Northern Ireland or the EU 'is losing £125,000 per year in trade'
Iain Barbour, who manages family-run JBA Seed Potatoes, is apoplectic that it is now illegal to send seed potatoes to any EU country or Northern Ireland

Iain Barbour, who manages family-run JBA Seed Potatoes, is apoplectic that it is now illegal to send seed potatoes to any EU country or Northern Ireland
A potato seed merchant who has been banned from exporting potatoes to Northern Ireland could lose up to £125,000 per year in trade.
Iain Barbour, who manages family-run JBA Seed Potatoes, is apoplectic that it is now illegal to send seed potatoes to any EU country or Northern Ireland.
The business at Rosefield Farm, Annan, is the current world record holder for the highest number of different potato varieties on offer, at 667.
Mr Barbour told the Daily Record: 'Value wise its about £75,000 to £125,000 of business we will not be able to service anymore.
'There is no way around it as all seed potatoes must now be accompanied by a plant passport. All my passports are GB only so they are not valid anywhere else at the moment.'
Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive at Scottish Land & Estates, said: 'Most within the Scottish farming and food sectors will view the trade deal with the EU as positive news at a time when the risk of a no deal Brexit was edging closer.'


Digger 'banned from entering Northern Ireland for having soil on its tracks' due to rules on British soil being brought to province
Seamus Leheny of Logistics UK said a business bringing machinery back from Great Britain was barred because 'there was soil on the tracks of the digger'

Seamus Leheny of Logistics UK said a business bringing machinery back from Great Britain was barred because 'there was soil on the tracks of the digger'
Strict rules around British soil being brought into Northern Ireland has seen a digger banned from entry, it has emerged.
Seamus Leheny of Logistics UK said a business bringing machinery back from Great Britain was barred because 'there was soil on the tracks of the digger'.
'The digger wasn't allowed to come to Northern Ireland until it was fully power-washed and cleaned,' he claimed.
'My understanding is that the digger was inspected and soil was found beneath the mat, and that had to be cleaned out.'
Mr Leheny said it is an issue which must now be considered by the UK-EU Joint Committee. The checks are understood to have been carried out by Daera officials.
He also called Dublin port a 'minefield for trucks arriving from GB', telling the BBC: 'One Northern Ireland operator had two loads arrive on Tuesday night and only got released at 22:30 GMT on Thursday night.
'For over 48 hours the drivers were left living in the vehicles with operators incurring costs by the hour.'
Guidelines published on the department's website state 'second hand machinery which has been used for agricultural, forestry, horticultural or soil preparation/cultivation purposes' is part of 'regulated plants and plant products' requiring Phytosanitary Certificates from Great Britain confirming it is 'free from relevant pests and diseases'. Anyone buying such machinery must register as an 'importer' with the EU.
TUV leader Jim Allister described the situation as 'beyond parody'.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
OK this is from the article above - the Irish and other UK news sources had only said that "a man was shot in Belfast" there were no details that made me wonder if there was a paramilitary connect and there was - this guy that was murdered was part of a revived IRA group (that is what dissident Republican means in newspeak).

Of course, they have to say "this is not BREXIT related" which means it probably is...we shall see - Melodi


snipped from: The Brexit disputes sending Northern Ireland tensions soaring
"And a dissident Republican who spent five years in the British Army was shot dead outside a bar in North Belfast last night. Danny McClean, who was on bail facing arms charges, was ambushed by members of violent splinter-group ONH, of which he was once a senior member - though this is not Brexit-related. "
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Also from the above long article -why customs staff can't go to work...because these are not just words on a wall...

 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Part of another long daily mail article again probably best read at the link but the first part contained a bit of new information so I'm posting it here.
Michael Gove will hold crisis talks TODAY to urge Brussels to relax trade rules between Britain and Northern Ireland following loyalist threats at ports
  • Michael Gove will hold talks with EU chiefs and Northern Ireland leaders today
  • Minister for the Cabinet Office is expected to urge EU to relax GB-NI trade rules
  • Comes amid growing tensions over the roll-out of the Northern Ireland Protocol
  • Post-Brexit trade checks in NI have caused anger among unionists and loyalists
  • EU threat to block export of coronavirus vaccines to the UK has increased fury
  • Arlene Foster said there is 'very grave anger' in NI over the rollout of protocol
By JACK MAIDMENT, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE and JACK ELSOM

PUBLISHED: 02:27, 3 February 2021 | UPDATED: 12:52, 3 February 2021






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Michael Gove is set to hold crisis talks with Brussels' chiefs and Northern Ireland leaders today in a bid to defuse growing tensions in the wake of last week's vaccine exports fiasco.
Mr Gove and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic will hold a virtual meeting with First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill to discuss the ongoing furore over post-Brexit trade checks.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office is expected to push for trading rules between Britain and Northern Ireland to be relaxed.
Mrs Foster said in an interview overnight that 'there is a lot of very grave anger' in Northern Ireland about the border checks and the issues need to be 'sorted immediately'.
Mrs Foster and senior DUP colleagues held a separate virtual call with Boris Johnson this morning ahead of the early evening engagement with Mr Gove and Mr Sefcovic.
Meanwhile, Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign affairs minister, said the EU is 'looking for ways' to reduce 'friction' at the border as he also blasted the bloc's approach on vaccines, labelling last week's exports threat a 'serious mistake'.
It comes amid rising anger at the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol which was agreed in the Brexit divorce deal and which requires regulatory and customs checks on goods entering the region.
The physical inspection of goods was suspended on Monday night because of threats and intimidation of staff at ports.
Many unionists and loyalists are against the protocol because they believe it has created an economic barrier between the region and the rest of the UK, undermining the constitutional integrity of the Union.
Police have insisted there is no evidence that loyalist paramilitaries are involved in the sinister campaign, instead blaming disgruntled individuals and small groups.
The roll-out of the protocol on January 1 had already caused anger but the EU's botched plan to control vaccine exports to the UK further increased tensions.
The European Commission's proposal would have struck at the heart of the protocol's main function – to facilitate a free-flowing Irish border – by placing restrictions on vaccines moving into Northern Ireland from the bloc.
Brussels was forced to swiftly drop the plan after a ferocious backlash, with Mr Gove claiming yesterday that the bloc's actions had 'eroded trust' in Northern Ireland.
Michael Gove will hold a meeting with EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill later today amid growing tensions over border checks in Northern Ireland
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB
So if I understand this correctly, if Ireland plays its cards right, it could possibly benefit from being an EU member as well as benefit from a more open border with Northern Ireland and Britain?
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
So if I understand this correctly, if Ireland plays its cards right, it could possibly benefit from being an EU member as well as benefit from a more open border with Northern Ireland and Britain?
That was the theory, but if things go on as they are at the moment and if the United Kingdom decides to stop doing custom checks permanently in Northern Ireland (aka calling in article 16) then Ireland is between a rock and a hard place.

The Republic either has to put in a "hard border" on the Island (somehow and without the money to do it with or the troops to enforce it the way the Brits did 30 years ago) or the Irish find themselves outside the EU trade area (not likely to happen).

Putting up a new hard border means putting up "customs checks" that become future "targets" for bombings either by the IRA or the Ulster Red Hand gangs, depending on who is mad at whom at the moment.

Basically, it is almost certain to start up the civil war in the North again.

I know this is a complex mess, and it is one reason why the EU so totally failed to "get it" even after four years of talks on the topic, if they had they would never have opened this can of worms at least not so quickly.

I think the EU thought they could just "scare" the UK a bit, by acting they like would just invoke a "temporary" border, instead, they have" a "not so temporary" firestorm on their hands.

In Northern Ireland, people are split almost exactly 50/50 with those who want Northern Ireland to just be a full part of the UK and they don't care much if there is a hard border in Ireland or not; and 50 percent of Irish Republicans (aka Catholics) who want a United Ireland and no borders on the Island itself.


As long as there was no physical border, both sides could pretend they were "right," now although Northern Ireland was promised "full trade" with the rest of the United Kingdom, the rest of the UK businesses are simply refusing to ship there because the EU paperwork is so expensive, complicated and often capricious.

Something will have to change, I just don't know what yet.

I think right now the UK (London/Bojo) is hoping that their threats to just dump the whole thing will "force" the EU to make exemptions for goods going into Northern Ireland, I think it is more likely the EU will refuse to do so and the chaos continues.
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This is truly an unforced error on the part of the EU.

I look at what is happening in the rest of Europe and I think more than several eyeballs are watching how the EU handles this. They put technocrats, Mario Draghi in charge of Italy because they desperately do not want elections there.

Those protests in the Netherlands and Denmark were violent enough, the peaceful protesters of Austria had some police joining them. Ongoing problems with the Visegrad countries...
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Well, at least they are talking - sort of....
EU concern over tone of Gove's demands on NI Protocol
Updated / Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 21:09

Michael Gove demanded sweeping and swift changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol

Michael Gove demanded sweeping and swift changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol
By Tony Connelly
Europe Editor

EU sources have expressed concern over the tone of Michael Gove's letter to his European Commission counterpart on changes the UK is demanding to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The UK cabinet minister has demanded sweeping and swift changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol as the fallout continues from last week's move by the Commission to trigger Article 16 of the Protocol over the issue of exports of Covid-19 vaccines.

EU sources have said the letter resembled an ultimatum to the EU, as tension mounts in Northern Ireland over the impact of the protocol, which has meant customs and food safety formalities on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Officials have also said that the UK has still not facilitated access for the EU to its customs IT system, so that EU officials are able to monitor in real time the flow of goods across the Irish Sea.

The UK and EU signed a partnership agreement on 17 December in which London agreed to grant the EU access to HMRC's data system.

In return, the EU agreed to facilitate a trusted trader scheme that simplified customs formalities. However, EU sources say access has not yet been facilitated.

Officials also say that the UK has yet to make use of other flexibilities, such as data generated when goods are shipped by ferry from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

Such data was envisaged as providing equivalent information as so-called exit summary declarations, which are normally required when goods leave the EU's customs union.

Earlier, Mr Gove and his opposite number Maros Sefcovic held a 40-minute video conference, along with the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland.



Afterwards, both sides agreed to a face-to-face meeting in London next week, under the auspices of the EU UK Joint Committee, set up to implement the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

It is understood EU customs and veterinary officials, operating alongside their Northern Ireland counterparts at Northern Ports, have still not been given clearance to return to their duties.

This follows graffiti and alleged intimidation related antagonisms towards the Irish Sea border, brought about by the Protocol.

RTÉ News understands there are 14 EU officials deployed in Northern Ireland, seven who are resident in Northern Ireland and seven who are rotated in and out.

In his letter, Mr Gove said the EU needed to agree to far reaching changes to the protocol in order to "stabilise" the situation in Northern Ireland.

The changes included extended the three and six-month grace periods, during which food consignments will be exempt from EU food safety controls, until at least 1 January, 2023.



Šefčovič says trade issues over NI can be resolved

Earlier, the Commission Vice President said the EU believed outstanding trade issues between the UK and the EU concerning Northern Ireland can be resolved using the flexibilities included in last year's Brexit deal, including the protocol.

Mr Sefcovic, who will travel to London next week to discuss the problems, said: "I really think that if all that flexibility that we put on the table, and into that protocol, would be used to the maximum - that all of the issues which we are discussing today would be really resolved.

"So I think that we should really study how the things would look like if the UK would really use and put into practice the flexibility which we agreed upon on the 17th of December."

He added that "the United Kingdom should deliver on what they committed to do, that we would have proper implementation of the protocol. For us this is absolutely key for avoiding a hard border, for maintaining the peace, for really delivering on what we promised to the people in the Northern Ireland and Ireland.

"And therefore I think we should really focus on proper implementation, with the use of all that flexibility I mentioned, then again to start the harder renegotiation of what was agreed just six weeks ago."

After today's meeting, DUP leader and First Minister Arlene Foster said permanent solutions rather than temporary fixes were required.

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill, the deputy first minister, called for calm heads and leadership from all quarters.


The meeting came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the UK would invoke Article 16, which would suspend aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol, to ensure there was no trade barrier down the Irish Sea.

Today's meeting was a result of the fallout from last Friday, when the European Commission sought to trigger Article 16 of the protocol due to new export restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines.

While the commission quickly reversed course, the row has escalated into broader tensions over the problems that the protocol, which came into force on 1 January, was causing in Northern Ireland.

Read more:
Latest Brexit stories


Earlier, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that his government was prepared "if necessary" to invoke Article 16 to force a rethink of trade within the UK.

He was answering questions from the DUP's Ian Paisley, who asked what he was going to do when he realises the EU will do nothing to help Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson said he "utterly shares the frustration" of how the EU Commission seemed to use the protocol in such a way as to "impose a border contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement".

He said: "We will do everything we need to do to, whether legislatively or indeed by invoking Article 16 of the protocol, to ensure that there is no barrier down the Irish Sea" and businesses can continue to trade "unfettered between Northern Ireland and the rest of this country".

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that there has been engagement between Ireland and the European Commission to ensure that attempts to trigger the Northern Ireland Protocol, as happened on Friday evening, do not happen again.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil, he said that they also sought to explore if "sensible, common-sense modifications can be made in relation to the protocol", which he said have been called for on all sides.



Mr Martin was responding to Sinn Féin's Ruairí Ó Murchú, who asked if there had been any discussion with the British government or European Commission to ensure that the Northern Ireland Protocol is protected.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald appealed for a united approach to deal with the DUP's decision to undermine the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ms McDonald said that the united approach shown during the Brexit negotiations was very "successful and necessary in securing the protections for Ireland in the face of Brexit".

She said that a similar strategy was required once more, coupled with calm, cool leadership.

Ms McDonald told the Dáil that the misguided approach by the European Commission to try to trigger Article 16 last Friday has been seized on by a section of political unionism, the same who "championed Brexit".

They want to undermine, unravel and remove the protocol, she said.



Earlier, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said those who are calling for the Northern Ireland Protocol to be done away with entirely are being completely unrealistic.

Simon Coveney said Ireland, the UK and the European Union have a legal obligation in an international treaty to implement the protocol.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said alternatives to the protocol were rejected by the British government and the DUP.

He said senior politicians now need to look at ways in which pragmatism can be applied to the implementation of the protocol.

Mr Coveney said he has spoken to Mrs Foster, but the focus was on the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for north-south cooperation.

Earlier this week, personnel manning post-Brexit trade checks at Larne and Belfast ports with withdrawn over safety concerns.

The DUP has said it will try to unite unionism to campaign against the protocol and press the British government to remove border controls for goods coming into Northern Ireland from Britain.

The party also said the north-south relationship could not continue as normal following last week's EU intervention on Article 16.

Additional reporting Tommie Gorman
 
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