Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Brexit

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Right. Final wrap up thread of a big week for #brexit where there was rather more heat than light. Where are we now? Where might it lead? 1/thread
First the state of the 'talks'/negotiations.

Despite a lot of (over) excitement in London and some over-reading of the Juncker interview, we are still pretty much where we were. /2
The UK is still posing it's 'slice and dice' backstop.

The 'non-papers' they presented are, per EU sources, basically a max-fac reheat of 2017.

They were dismissed as "magical thinking" then and as @simoncoveney said this morning, they don't work now. /3
Read 20 tweets
A #brexit story with #flags, in english, with the amazing translation of @240185

🇫🇷 "We got our ass kicked badly this time. Never do this again, eh?"
🇩🇪 "Ach, Ich agree"
🇫🇷 ceases Occupation of Saarland
🇫🇷 🇩🇪 cast ECSC
🇫🇷 🇩🇪 invite 🇧🇪 🇮🇹 🇱🇺 🇳🇱
🇬🇧 "WTF, what's that shit?"
🇬🇧 "Don't care, won't work anyway"
🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇧🇪 🇮🇹 🇱🇺 🇳🇱 cast EEC and Euratom
🇬🇧 "What can I do to piss them off?"

🇬🇧 casts EFTA
🇨🇭 🇳🇴 🇩🇰 🇵🇹 🇦🇹 join EFTA
🇪🇺 casts Customs Union
🇬🇧 "May I play with y'all?"
🇫🇷 "Piss off"
🇩🇪 🇧🇪 🇮🇹 🇱🇺 🇳🇱 "Ya sure?"
🇫🇷 "I know him, he's a punk. He keeps breaking my toys since 1066. I swear to God he won't enter"
🇬🇧 "Don't care, don't want to join your shitty club anyway"
Read 41 tweets
In the best traditions of fly-by foreign corresponding interview the taxi driver en route to Dublin airport. He rather neatly summed up three days of solid interviewing..

1. So what about this #Brexit business then?

1a. Ah, sick o hearing about it (1/3)
2. And would Leo Varadkar be right to be clinging on to this backstop thing?

2a. Course. He needs that in his pocket. We can't go back to the border up there. They'd be racketeering again; and the boys, they're already getting read for it. It would be trouble again. (2/3)
3. But what about the Unionists? Can see they won't the backstop.

3a. I honestly don't know what the DUP are playing at. They could a had the best of everything. (3/3)
Read 3 tweets
Breaking: UK asking EU to delay decision on #backstop until end of transition period in Dec 2020 - but still grant UK a deal for leaving EU on 31 October.

It's an absolute non-starter in Brussels. "It's like they haven't been listening for the last year" grumbles one EU official
The EU is insisting the UK give a concrete proposal for replacing the #backstop in next 12 days

In response, #Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the UK wants the EU to agree to put off a decision on the backstop until Dec 2020 and give the UK a deal by 31 Oct in the mean time
Barclay also said in his speech in Madrid on Thursday that the UK cannot meet the deadline for coming up with a backstop alternative.

Confusingly, this is the opposite of what Boris Johnson has been insisting - that it is completely possible to find an alternative by October.
Read 5 tweets
So @SteveBarclay is speaking in Madrid today on #Brexit

The speech is confrontational, laden with threats - to both Europe and the Commission - which is interesting indicator perhaps of where talks are? It is a very aggressive text - some extracts and thoughts 1/thread
@SteveBarclay He starts with the backstop, and cites David Trimble as his evidnce for why it rides "roughshod" over the Good Friday Agreeement. This is extraordinary and dangerous for a number of reasons.

1) Amazing to hear UK minister so nakedly siding with one community /2
@SteveBarclay The same community whose DUP party props up the government! Where does that leave the Nationalist community? Remember the other bloke who won the Nobel Peace prize? This kind of side-taking in Northern Ireland only polarises and pushes solutions further away. Extraordinary. /3
Read 19 tweets
Brexit secretary Steve Barclay gave talk in Madrid this morning warning Spaniards of a threat to Spanish sherry, manchego cheese and more in case of no deal #Brexit He said EU had to be less rigid and more creative in finding a deal with Boris Johnson’s gov. /1
The Brexit Secretary pointed to the transition period that would follow a deal and says that was a time to work out alternatives to the backstop BUT EU has said over and again it won’t sign a deal unless it’s satisfied an agreed alternative to the backstop is already on paper /2
Can’t see EU moving from that position bc if it does that will be falling to comply with its own arguament on why backstop/border backup is necessary: protect EU member Ireland and single market and peace process incl all Ireland economy + N/S co-op /3
Read 4 tweets
Day 3 of the #ProrogationCase hearing at the UK Supreme Court. Previous threads can be found here (follow the nested link for Day 1): THREAD 1/
This morning, we have 4 "oral interventions". These are written statements, read out by QCs. Each written statement is read out by a different QC. Neither the Public Law Project nor Shami Chakrabati's written statements are on the timetable. 2/
First up, a "short statement" on justiciability by Mure QC on behalf of the Scottish Govt; "Court has competence to protect the constitution as much as it can protect individual rights." "Authority for closer ("anxious") scrutiny where constitutional principles at stake." 3/
Read 45 tweets
Proposal by Finland (which currently holds EU presidency)to impose deadline of 11 days on Johnson government to come up with written proposals on how to replace backstop with the threat that otherwise it is “over” is understandable but surely impractical /1
I chatted yesterday with Luxembourg PM @Xavier_Bettel who expressed again - what one hears from all EU figures - a) frustration at lack of concrete, legally enforceable UK proposals b) warning that Johnson can’t turn up last minute with said proposals at EU leaders summit /2
Mr Bettel emphasised that EU leaders need to be able to consider UK proposals before they sign up to them. They need to discuss document with their cabinet/parliament back home. The Finnish idea is clearly an attempt to force UK hand ahead of summit but if UK doesn’t comply? /3
Read 9 tweets
Baffling that many in Britain *still* think Merkel will be the one to help get a #Brexit deal over the line. Yes, Merkel wants a deal as do EU27. But there are limits to what EU leaders can do (short thread):
1. EU leaders have final say, but @EU_Commission negotiates: EU Commission discusses positions with EU27 before & after *each* negotiating round (and is in regular contact with @Europarl_EN & others). EU Commission is not 1 actor among 28, it negotiates on behalf of 27.
2. Feasibility of deal: so if @EU_Commission say "no", it's usually cos EU27 have said no. Yes, there are times when EU leaders are more involved (and they will definitely be more involved in trade & sec talks). But to assume they will have radically different position is.. silly
Read 8 tweets
After @LabourList published all the CLP motions that have been sent to conference I roughly plotted all of the anti #Brexit motions geographically…
@LabourList I found that by region the following were roughly sent:

- about 25 from Greater London
- about 10 each from the East, South and Yorkshire and Humber
- about 7 each from South West and Scotland
- about 5 each from Northwest, West Midlands and Wales
- about 5 remaining scattered
@LabourList This means about 42 anti #Brexit motions were sent from London, South & SW regions, meaning majority of @UKLabour anti Brexit motions did not come from 'the south'

Media sometimes like to paint Remain vs Leave as North v South but reality is few seats voted >60% one way or other
Read 4 tweets
I've gone back and transcribed the Arlene Foster doorstep. The key points (she has opened the window slightly for a "unique" arrangement for NI and for a tweaking of the backstop, but only if both nationalists and unionists are onside) are below.

#Brexit #thread
Asked about possibly accepting proposals seen as "unique to NI" she basically said possibly:

"Well I think it's important, if you look at that letter of August 10 2016 (with Martin McGuinness), we did talk about were there were differences in Northern Ireland because of (cont)
(cont) "the very fact we're on an island, we do exist and will have a land border unlike the rest of UK, that was in the context of also respecting the constitutional position of NI."
Read 9 tweets
Afternoon session starting on day 2 of the #ProrogationCase. My morning commentary can be found here: THREAD 1/
O'Neill QC starts with a riff on how he's the only unennobled QC present at the Supreme Court hearing. Now arguing that distance confers difference perspectives & quoting Rabbie Burns. This could be more entertaining for a lay audience if he carries on like this. 2/
Sidenote: O'Neill families historically claim descent from the Kings of Ailech. Back in the Supreme Court, more Burns quotes. Entertaining the Justices with references to 1066 & 1966 + WW2 being only dates that matter to English. He's awa doon a rabbithole with this. 3/
Read 43 tweets

"The NHS has been destroyed... and now you come here for a press opportunity?"

"There's no press here."

"What do you mean there's no press here, who are these people?"

Caption contest.

Read 6 tweets
Day 2 of the Supreme Court hearing on prorogation of Parliament. Yesterday's threads can be found here: THREAD 1/
This morning, the QC for the Government's case will be submitting his skeleton argument (a summary which is supported by evidence, case law, affidavits etc in folders known as bundles). This afternoon, it's the turn of the QC representing the 78 Parliamentarians in Cherry case 2/
Yesterday, we heard from the teams that *lost* the cases that are being appealed to the Supreme Court. That's because in appeals, those doing the appeal go first. Pannick spoke for the Miller case, which lost in High Court; Keen argued for Govt which lost Scottish case. /3
Read 46 tweets
.@JunckerEU and @MichelBarnier addressing @EUparliament on Brexit - main points
1. Backstop proposals: EU still waiting for proposals but confirm that talks have been taking place (though focuses more on what the UK doesn’t want, rather than what it actually does want)
2. Constructive talks: with PM in Luxembourg and “in part” positive. Translation: talk is easy, finding a deal less so.
Read 8 tweets
Today we are voting on the whether Brexit is a "Regrettable event" & that UK financial obligations will continue in the case of a no deal. Enjoy other cherry picked fantasies of @guyverhofstadt's Brexit steering committee today! (With the equivalent power of a student union)
All your favourite unelected officials are here today.
Barnier admitting that backstop is all about a Customs Union.
Read 20 tweets
Can we have a Labour #Brexit reality check please?
1) lot of good people getting themselves all bent out of shape on the #LibDems policy of #RevokeA50 without really absorbing that this is all about Labour zigzagging on a #FinalSay

It's Corbyn's fault for demanding a GE!
2) a reminder of recent history.

Anti #Brexit/no deal groups focused on a #PeoplesVote 2 years ago. Labour conference last year tried to push Corbyn into an unambiguous PV stance with a ton of CLPs putting motions forward - they were sidelined
3) the Labour powers that be morphed 100s of "we want a PV" motions into "we want a GE, if we can't get that, we look at other options, one of which might be a PV"

This happened - and it allowed Corbyn to fuck about for 2 years
Read 13 tweets
On discussions with the EU about plans for border in the event of a no-deal, the Tanaiste says: "That process hasn’t concluded yet. Our team met the European Commission last week and are meeting them again this week."
"We are now talking very directly about how we can minimise the disruption to the all island economy while at the same time ensuring that the republic of Ireland is not taken out of the EU single market by default." - @simoncoveney
@simoncoveney But he tells opposition: "That will involve difficult choices and a very open discussion in this Chamber in terms of how and why we have made those choices and I hope I will get the support of colleagues in our attempts to get that balance right."
Read 5 tweets
Is a #Brexit deal possible? We're at 20%. That % has received a lot of flack on Twitter (too high!) but I think it's right - basically a deal is possible, but unlikely. Short thread 1/
First what's likely shape of deal? Again important to recognise that @10DowningStreet no longer committed to "frictionless trade" between NI & ROI per @DavidGHFrost meets in Bxl. Instead, only seeking to "facilitate" trade. There'll be a border. Govt seeking to soften it. How? 2/
All Ireland SPS zone, electricity market & common travel area are most commonly cited features. What else? This - the scope - is what's currently being discussed. Obvious tricky issues include customs, VAT, manufactured goods & governance (Stormont & ECJ) 3/
Read 17 tweets
At 10:30 today, the Supreme Court will sit *for 3 days*, with 11 Justices, on the matter of the prorogation appeals. Last time they did that was with Gina Miller's previous #Brexit case. The judiciary are wielding the big guns on this one. THREAD. 1/
Day 1: Couple of hours each for the plaintiffs in the Miller & Maugham/Cherry cases to put their arguments.
Day 2: Couple of hours each for the defendants (HMG & Advocate General, Scotland) to counter.
Day 3: "Oral interventions", 30 mins each. No Shami.
No room for waffle. 2/
For the die-hard politicos with time to spare, this is being livestreamed on…. You can also read 164 pages of legal arguments from the Miller case, Maugham/Cherry case & the Government response. I'll be following the stream & posting updates. 3/
Read 40 tweets
@BBCnews & @SkyNews & the multiple correspondents tasked with reporting/commenting on #Brexit you have a tendency to frame & report on optics not substance. Short thread on why yesterday was a very bad day for #UK @BrigidLaffan
1. GAC ministerial meeting met in Brussels yesterday. UK left an empty chair. Message-we won’t waste our resources on what concerns you even though it was a discussion about ‘rule of law’. Not smart when PM is going to Lux to meet #Juncker. @BrigidLaffan
2. Commission President Juncker & @MichelBarnier were cordial but clear in the post meeting statement. It is U.K’s ‘responsability’ to come forward with ‘legally operational solutions’. Despite the spin there are no such solutions on the table. @BrigidLaffan
Read 6 tweets
Tories have been warned to “steer clear” of Arron Banks and Nigel Farage as #Brexit investigation is ongoing. “How Bad Boy Pact was torpedoed by Britain's FBI”…
Read 5 tweets

There are connections between people/orgs in the whole #Brexit debacle that we just don't know about.

And they are hard to MAP.

So, we want people in tech to look at the best way to map them (e.g. LittleSis). Come to our meetup!…
This will be an @TechForUK Project, and we’re agnostic about the mapping platforms. The main thing will be to make it open source and extendable by the tech and journalism community.
If you want to know more about a LittleSis there will soon be a free training session online (not run by us btw)…
Read 5 tweets
Moment Luxembourg PM points at empty podium…
@Xavier_Bettel⁩ decided to take a pop at the ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩ today for skipping a loaded press conference, not clever Xavier.
He was having a go about #Brexit , and that it /1
Was a mess of our own making and that he did not want #Brexit and threatened to not grant an extension- good, we don't want one.
Included a link to explain Luxembourg as most people won't even know how small it is.
Net recipient of money from the EU though so will be angry that/2
We will stop putting in £1,000,000,000.00 a month- shock horror.
@10DowningStreet asked repeatedly to have the press interview inside and was refused, so he was expected to be heckled.
Wrong @Xavier_Bettel , @BorisJohnson has a backbone and just fodder you off.
Not exactly a /3
Read 5 tweets

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