The EU is to set out proposals later to address the row about trade in Northern Ireland.

Reports suggest his plan will offer to lift half of customs checks on goods and more than half of checks on meat and plant products.

Specifically, the EU's court of justice still has authority over single market compliance in Northern Ireland.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič said the new proposals for the protocol would be "very far-reaching" and that he hoped they would be seen as such.

The EU has also said it is going to change its laws in an attempt to solve regulatory issues which are posing a threat to the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

"I hope the UK government is serious about moving on in partnership," he added.

The problem is that's too much for the EU to stomach.

That's too little for Lord Frost who has tabled an alternative version which would strip out references to the continued application of EU law in Northern Ireland and eliminate the role of the European Court of Justice.

That could lead to retaliation by the EU, potentially including new tariffs on British imports.

Something you could describe as a trade war.

On Tuesday, the UK's Brexit minister Lord Frost proposed plans for an entirely new protocol to replace the existing one.

In a speech to diplomats in Portugal on Tuesday, Lord Frost described his new legal text as "a better way forward".

"The deal breaker for us will be has sovereignty been fully restored?

Are we fully part of the United Kingdom or are we half in the EU and half out of the United Kingdom when it comes to law making and the adjudication on those laws," he said.

It's a distraction.

On the eve of the referendum, David Frost was chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association and unconvinced by arguments for leaving the European single market.

Five years later, Lord Frost is the cabinet minister for making a hard Brexit harder.

In that capacity he made a speech on Tuesday rejecting the Northern Ireland protocol of the withdrawal agreement that he was proud to have negotiated two years ago, and proposing a new text instead.

The root of his frustration is that Northern Ireland is still in the single market ( with benefits that were obvious to his younger self ).

In deference to the Good Friday agreement, the UK recognised that no hard border should be reimposed on the island of Ireland.

That principle is spelled out explicitly in the preamble to the protocol – a legally binding treaty – that Boris Johnson signed in January 2020.

Now Downing Street takes the view that it was a terrible deal after all, foisted on Britain by spiteful continentals who, egged on by devious Dublin, bamboozled Theresa May into agreeing that Brexit created a moral conundrum around Northern Ireland.

Alternatively, Britain will invoke article 16 of the protocol – the clause allowing unilateral suspension of the agreement.

Triggering it would be a gesture for a domestic audience, followed by a cascade of ugly consequences.

Britain would refuse to implement Irish Sea border checks, daring Brussels to police its rules on some other boundary or not at all.

But it does not bode well that Frost's speech was timed the day before the European Commission publishes proposed adaptations of the protocol.

One problem is the Brexiteer revision of history.

The fact that the government is already reneging, and insisting on rewrites, rather proves the opposite.

He knows that the single market and the court are one package.

Frost is asking to erase a fundamental basis of all Brexit negotiation, resetting the clock to June 2017, expiating May's original sin in accepting the primacy of the Irish border issue; retracting Britain ’ s concession that it is any kind of issue at all.

It is a project that makes the leader ’ s interest synonymous with the wellbeing of the people.

We must all Brexit together, as one nation.

And it is absolutely vital to the success of Brexit that Northern Ireland should go through the same misery as the rest of us.

To make this happen, David Frost had to give a very self-important speech, which began, for no reason at all, with a lengthy discussion of the titles he likes to give his speeches.

He would also claim that "low taxes, free speech, and the maximum possible amount of economic and political freedom for individuals, are the best choices we could make as a country".

that the eu will never change its ways was, once upon a time, one of the primary reasons given by him and his mates for wanting to leave in the first place.

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