The message is consistent as far as the comments of Lord Frost and the waiver of regulations both demonstrate that the UK was not ready for Brexit under negotiated terms. But there is a difference between the ominous rhetoric aimed at asserting UK power and political action which abandons control. Mr Johnson's government gives European exporters freedom of access to UK markets which UK exporters do not enjoy when shipping goods the other way around. This will put some UK companies at a competitive disadvantage and burden all in uncertainty. It punishes the tra who invested in preparing for customs controls, and now wonders why they bothered.
Postponing controls is a pragmatic measure to avoid any further disruption to supply chains, especially in the run-up to Christmas, when it might be more difficult for the government to attribute empty shelves to the pandemic.
View of Brussels, this flexibility sounds like a sign that Britain is reluctantly adjusting to the realities of life outside the single market. The same is not true of Lord Frost's Article 16 threat. It was a sharp retort to European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who had visited Belfast a few days earlier and called for a chilling rhetoric on Ireland 's protocol from North. The fact that the Brexit minister immediately increases the pressure shows the limits of pragmatism in Mr Johnson's cabinet.
This is a strategy deliberate derived from the idea that the saber gets results with Brussels. Lord Frost is a radical Brexit alumnus who believes the EU will make concessions if it sees the UK rushing to a diplomatic conflagration.ue. According to this theory, being ready to tear up the ATT will speed up the renegotiation on Northern Ireland. As well as being misguided (global treaty change is not on the EU's agenda), this plan is woefully unwise. If Britain starts to burn its bridges with Brussels, it also risks setting the Good Friday deal on fire. A political arson attack on this scale would bring the target of Washington in the picture - not on Mr Johnson's side.
It's easy to see how the UK got hooked on the brink. Brexit is old news in Brussels and would hardly be on the agenda of EU leaders unless Britain continues to push it there. Having Lord Frost as a lingering nuisance is a way to grab attention and shake things ups, but that does not change the balance of power between an isolated country and a continent. The saber-strikes on Article 16, effectively threatening a full trade war, will not improve the terms of any compromise that is ultimately reached. Lord Frost is wasting his time and wasting his goodwill in the process.
He also replicates Mr Johnson 's approach to Brexit before the conclusion of the Brexit. 'OK. But the treaty is settled. It is now a matter of rebuilding the relations that were strained during the years of belligerence before the withdrawal was confirmed. Lord Frost reconstructs battles that the Prime Minister has already carried out once, believing that they ended in a victory. Under this illusion, he faithfully serves his boss, but not his country.