Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Brexitforensics

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Government today acknowledged publicly a few weeks before the event what Sky News #brexitforensics revealed 11 months ago, and was the subject of numerous gagging orders on business - that they will not be able to enforce No Deal customs controls on 29.3 because they can’t.
Here’s the video report from last year on what the industry called the “throwing open the borders” solution in a No Deal situation... simply not enforcing at the border checks
Insiders say there aren’t the agents, staff, checking areas to be able to enforce changes at border. Firms will instead have to register for a new system & volunteer info later, but won’t be checked on way in for 12 months. Some doubts that new customs system will be ready too
Read 7 tweets
On #ALLOUTPOLITICS now my report from Oslo on the Norwegian option... featuring actual Norwegians (and Icelanders)

“I don’t want EFTA to be the rebound partner that the UK comes to after breaking up with the EU” says top governing party MP @vampus
Icelandic Foreign Min @GudlaugurThor reminds me his nation definitely not in EU & not only has he just signed an EFTA trade deal with Indonesia, but that Iceland signed one with China (one repeatedly cited by the Vote Leave campaign as an example). Says “v positive” re UK joining
General message from Norway:

- They’d love to have us long term.
- Not as a short term staging post.. Wd destabilise EFTA-EEA
- Icelanders v keen, and annoyed that UK pols keep on saying EEA is same as EU, and point to signed external trade deals (cited by Leave campaign in ref)
Read 6 tweets
Governor Carney:
Government plan: 1.25 and 3.75% hit to GDP growth, inflation lower
No Deal/ no transition Brexit: sudden tariff barriers, border problems “for some time”

by 2023 GDP 10% lower -
Unemployment up to 7.5%,
sharp fall in sterling, tariffs push up inflation to 6%
Governor Mark Carney to @AdamParsons1 “Our job is not to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst”...
No Deal No Transition disorderly Brexit leading to a severe cliff edge recession acc to Bank of England scenario modelling:
Full @bankofengland Brexit impact scenario modelling for Treasury Select Committee - it’s much worse than the Government analysis this morning... Carney: advisable to have transition period…
Read 8 tweets
Russia blocks UK post Brexit WTO tariff carve up plan...

This was exactly one of the pre referendum Cameron Government Brexit warnings
I first wrote about this process when it was going well in July 2017 on a visit to the WTO with Liam Fox…
They let me into the basement archives where I found the last set of UK trade schedules - the process of negotiating this with EU going well at that time:
Read 11 tweets
Road Haulage Association at Brexit committee today confirm my story from March - a number of organisations obliged to sign non disclosure agreements before discussions re: Brexit border with Government -not impressed with what they have been told, but blocked from talking details
Here’s the Sky News #brexitforensics story from March: RHA conforming they signed that the customs system they were shown “won’t work” Government “not listening”
no doubt in my mind from multiple sources that important industrial and logistics providers feel gagged by these NDAs in telling the public the reality/ correcting erroneous optimistic political claims re Brexit border preparedness.

Cant think of a precedent.
Read 4 tweets
the biggie: basically businesses that import and export from EU advised to buy software, invest in warehousing, customs processing, renegotiate commercial contracts & “consider their role in EU supply chains” when WTO most favoured nation tariffs apply…
This is the Government officially advising businesses that World Trade Organisation tariffs “would apply” on trade with biggest trade partner - and rules of origin too and that they should consider the “impact” on their role in EU supply chains..
Government advises businesses to put steps in place to “renegotiate commercial terms” if it can’t negotiate terms with EU, to reflect customs and new tariffs that may apply on U.K.-EU trade and to base this analysis on existing terms for trade with non-EU countries
Read 7 tweets
BREAKING: In a major Freedom of Information project @SkyNews has obtained dozens of Brexit Impact studies conducted by local councils around the United Kingdom

The Brexit files show a picture of councils exasperated by central government and scrabbling to make contingency plans.
SHETLAND: This study from Highlands & Islands shows the % if loss making farms under different scenarios. Not a great look for WTO - 86% of sheep farms making a loss. The study expresses concerns about falling land prices as well.
EAST SUSSEX: Concerns about a Social Care crisis being compounded in East Sussex (we found this in lots of places) - 11% of their Social Care workforce are EU nationals and they already have a staffing shortage
Read 12 tweets
VIDEO: My report on the Dover District Council Brexit impact report obtained by Sky News on the M20/ Dover, no Plan B, no space for any checks, and “temporary” 13 mile M20 lorry park necessary for “many years” until permanent solution: #BrexitForensics
LONG READ trying to make sense of what happens re post Brexit checks Dover/ Calais/ Channel Tunnel, M20 lorry park, juxtaposed checks or not, food checks, stockpiling, reopening Ramsgate..already hard shoulder strengthened to cope hundreds parked lorries:
And then there’s this - which is rather telling...
When first announced, Government said Operation Brock, the M20 lorry park plan, wasnt about Brexit, it was about an interim solution to a long term successor to Project Stack. No mention of Brexit in ministerial statement.
Read 6 tweets
NEW: Sky News obtains internal Dover District Council Brexit Impact report warning that “temporary” 13 mile “Operation Brock” Brexit lorry park across the southbound M20 Motorway carriageway could last “many years” as permanent solution not ready #brexitforensics
Dover DC internal report:
No Plan B on No Deal Brexit M20 plan

permanent Stack solution not in place for ‘many years’..Kent CC documents say “not until 2023 at earliest”

Questions if “fully understood” by Govt that no space for Dover checks…
Read 10 tweets
BREAKING: Dover Brexit Impact Document obtained by @SkyNewsPolitics shows plans for Lorry Park on the M20 for “many years”
Dover clearly EXTREMELY nervous about traffic mitigation measures not working “there does not appear to be a Plan B”
THREAD: The report is pretty excoriating about central government and the lack of clarity on Brexit “We are unaware how the government will be allocating funding”
Read 18 tweets
And major Brexit development with Jaguar Land Rover boss saying “we have other options” if UK imposes a WTO model trading on his supply chain costing £1bn+ a year, saying he doesn’t want to be forced to close plants...
Speth tells @Petercampbell1: “we built this company up in 8 years. All that will be undone. It can go down the river so quickly”...
Blimey these are extraordinary quotes from Jaguar Land Rover boss - “we’re in a cycle plan, I have to make a decision...I just can’t wait wait wait wait” he tells @Petercampbell1 about stalled investment on new production while awaiting if he’ll still get frictionless EU trade
Read 5 tweets
V newsworthy Brexit exchange in new C4 fly on wall US embassy documentary - occurs when a very worried head of the Federal Aviation Agency Michael Huerta arrives worried about plane tickets not being valid when UK EU air safety status “evaporates”
FAA’s Huerta points out to the US ambassador that schedules need to be set six months out “If they don’t know what future state is, its very hard for them to sell tickets... concern this is not high enough up the agenda at DEXEU” - Ambassador then talks about how to elevate it
but that’s not the thing. (Though we were on to this story with our #brexitforensics film at the same time)
when FAA’s Huerta gets a briefed by US embassy political/economic staff - opens up by asking:
“Does the public have an notion of what the conditions of exit actually are?”
Read 9 tweets
Blimey - Jaguar Land Rover has shifted all production of its Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia originally was to be also produced in Solihull... Corbyn raised it to PM at G7 questions
In September then JLR boss told me that the Slovakia factory was a “hedge” for uncertainty over post Brexit customs uncertainty for their integrated supply chains...…
This is the statement from JLR:
Read 5 tweets
Live on Sky News Tonight - new #BrexitForensics story as European Governments issue advice to their exporters not to use parts from Britain - Top car exec tells me “catastrophe” for UK auto
Dutch Government official advice to its business community warns its manufacturers “if a large part of your product consists of parts from the UK” they may lose free trade terms for exports.

“After Brexit, parts made in UK no longer count towards this minimum production in EU”
The Government would argue that this is premature, but the likes of the Dutch are already advising their manufacturers to reduce dependence on UK:
“Trade with the UK will become more difficult after Brexit... consider looking for alternatives”
Read 13 tweets
on this No Deal “doomsday scenario”..

In March I did 2 #brexitforensics stories - one re unusual gagging clauses injected into consultations with business, & 2. “throw open the borders” plan for No Deal Brexit, referred to in memo leaked to S. Times today
reports of this memo confirm my story then, which was widely followed up in press, and in Commons at the time - that UK wont enforce customs, livestock, phyto sanitary and other checks if there’s No Deal, because it can’t. Hopes that EU reciprocates:
... But fairly evident now EU will enforce its customs laws duties, checks and regulations, if that was ever in doubt. In any event, it is not within our power, or any UK politician to make guarantees over what EU27 will do... so trying to work out consequences seems v necessary
Read 7 tweets
Exclusive: Secret Brexit agreements cover No Deal “open border” plan to not enforce customs checks at UK border
Full Story #brexitforensics
Govt privately acknowledges no space for checks at key borders.
No Deal scenario discussed under NDAs involves not enforcing checks on as ‘pragmatic approach’, expecting reciprocity from EU.
Industry says its not happening:…
Government responds to our story.
Dexeu spokesman: “We want to have a customs arrangement that ensures trade with the EU is as frictionless as possible .

Deal “by far and away the highest probability, but we have a duty to plan for the alternative. That is common sense”.
Read 14 tweets
NEW #brexitforensics Government signing series of secret agreements with private sector over Brexit border outcomes/data including for No Deal - Non Disclosure Agreements deemed “extremely unusual” and “paranoid” by Public Accounts Comm chair: FULL STORY…
WATCH: Sky News exclusive #brexitforensics Report on secret agreements over Brexit border -
1. Several sources who basically operate the currently frictionless border, have attended Brexit Border consultations said they were highly surprised to be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements - some refused saying too much Brexit secrecy
Read 13 tweets
“The ewes are lambing in a couple of weeks time, those lambs will be sold in a post Brexit market - I need to know is there going to be a market” says farmer Davies of NFU Cymru - 90% of exported lamb goes to the EU - today’s #brexitforensics film
So I have been going on and on about sheep exports today for a reason - there is a big piece of politics symbolised in this which has an impact on where LAbour go on Monday re Customs Union & Single Market, & thus everything else in Parliament. Thread:…
I put to Carwyn Jones that Wales voted Leave and that means out of the Customs Union:
FM: “Brexit needs to happen but not in the most damaging way... there are territories inside the CU outside the EU - Jersey and Guernsey. There’s a precedent. “
Read 13 tweets
New #brexitforensics today ... on sheep, WTO tariff quotas, leave-voting Wales, & the complicated domestic politics of shiny new free trade deals with eg...NZ/Oz and China...@fmwales Carwyn Jones warning against a “behind closed doors stitch up” that could “destroy Welsh farming”
1. Sheep farming an extreme example to take, but it is a very real one - 90% of exports to EU, frictionless trade - so much to lose from any changes to arrangements with EU OR any opportunities to offer competitors chance for market share
2. Then there is a myriad of other factors - sterling devaluation helping for now, but 60% processing workforce at main abattoirs are EU citizens. Chief vet estimates 325% increase in checks outside customs union.
Read 12 tweets
#brexitforensics Long Read: Customs Union.
“A vs The”
Why is the Govt already legislating on this, including re a common tariff?
Lack of Port preparations.
More extraordinary internal meetings with manufacturers.
Turkey’s trade deals.…
Cabinet & Conservative argument over “a customs union” raging, as you know, being fought via a proxy war between CBI & ERG.
Basic argument the trade-off and timing on when/if: returns from new trade deals outweigh extra friction in EU trade /1
But there is no fudging this any more. Existing manufacturers need to know right now whether or not “rules of origin” will apply, as soon as next year...
NB they don’t exist in a customs union.
Read 11 tweets
My #brexitforensics story: Government will tell EU it wishes to stay in the aviation safety agency EASA - which operates within at least indirect jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice…
EASA #brexitforensics thread:
UK will “offer” to remain within EASA, Government calculates that 40% of its technical expertise comes from UK Civil Aviation Authority
Source: “It is part of the second phase negotiating process, but it would be bizarre if we couldn’t be part of it. Plenty of countries outside of EU are in EASA”
Ref to Norway, Iceland, Switzerland etc
Read 14 tweets
DEXEU finally releases the list of 58 industry sectors for which it has done unpublished Brexit impact studies:
58 sectors cover 88% of the economy, says Government...
released in annexe to a letter from David Davis to Baroness Verma - Davis also goes back to “freedom to trade with and operate in” language
Read 13 tweets
New #Brexitforensics report on Nuclear industry and Euratom withdrawal on @skynews now... Thread:
1. Parts of industry activate continuity plans to relocate nuclear material/ parts, anticipating failure to replace euratom deals by 2019
2. Tory rebellion on Euratom as ex minister Vaizey and Rachel Reeves table EU Withdrawal Bill amendment to delay Euratom exit without plan
Read 12 tweets
done #LongRead 2 for #brexitforensics launch
Car industry worried: Customs conundrum cant be solved "just-in-time":…
1/10 Long Read seeks to see how modern car manuf can function post Brexit -this is Just-In-Time arrival of right front of MINI to right body
2/10 that "front end module" didn't exist four hours before, parts from across EU, made in diff factory, has to arrive at exactly right time
Read 13 tweets

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