Predictably, resistance to the NI Protocol is growing, with the EU digging in and saying their patience is "wearing very thin" with the UK during talks aimed at avoiding a post-Brexit trade war. Top EU official Maros Sefcovic said the UK must start checking goods entering Northern Ireland, as agreed in the 2019 Brexit "divorce" settlement. The UK said it is ready to ignore the rules to prevent further disruption - sparking threats of EU retaliation. Boris Johnson said a solution that protects trade flows and the peace process was "easily doable". And he dismissed talk of a trade war with the EU, saying he was "not worried" it would overshadow the G7 summit. In the morning, I had a most fascinating virtual meeting with Global Marine Group (GMG), which runs a massive, subsea, cable-laying ship out of Portland. We discussed the security of these cables, their maintenance, who is laying new cables across the Atlantic and the company's exciting plans to expand with six new ships. I was more than happy to act as a conduit with the Department for DCMS, which I don't think has quite grasped the significance of GMG's concerns. PMQs was the normal knockabout affair and then I joined another virtual session of our European Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Sir William Cash. It was a private session. Then at 1445 I joined another virtual call, this time to hear Michael Gove explain what we were going to replace the Fixed Term Parliament Act with. In effect, the new Bill will take us back to where we were before, giving a sitting PM the power to call a general election when they want to. I took the opportunity to stress to Michael how important it was to lift all restrictions on 21 June. His answer did not fill me with confidence, frankly. And, while on this topic, more than a thousand people are in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK with scientists warning of the risks of a third wave in the face of the Delta variant. The size of that wave depends on how effective vaccines are at protecting against illness and death - and that is still uncertain. One million under 30s booked vaccine appointments in England on Tuesday. And more than half the adult population has had two doses, which offers the best protection against the variant. The government is due to decide whether to lift the last remaining restrictions in England on 21 June and it had better stick to that date! Variants will come and go now and we must start learning to live with them.