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The revised Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement is available here.

It is a pretty comprehensive document and consists of a cover page, a two page prologue, and 18 articles covering 12 pages followed by 7 annexes covering 48 Pages of legal references.

All the core Irish, EU and UK "red lines" appear to have been respected with the exception of the DUP objection to a border down the Irish sea and the maintenance of a unionist veto on EU customs arrangements applying to N. Ireland.

It is, from an Irish perspective, a major triumph for European diplomacy but there will be a great reluctance to trumpet its achievements lest that inflame the Parliamentary situation in the UK further.

The House of Commons would appear to have two options: One, it can approve this deal and Brexit could happen on 31st. October, or it can vote down this deal and seek an A.50 extension. The European Council will only grant such a extension to facilitate a "democratic event", so then it is a question of which does the House of Commons want - a second referendum, or a general election? Given that turkeys do not generally vote for Christmas, it looks like a second referendum is now the most likely outcome. But will Johnson agree to organise it, or must we wait for PM Corbyn?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 at 01:41:49 PM EST

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