Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #EUCO

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Right. So #Brexit extension update...the clue is here, I think - in @BorisJohnson reply to Ken Clarke, which as I observed in PMQs suggested that Johnson is not pushing an 'alternative date' at the EU /1 thread
@BorisJohnson Now, he might be pushing a short extension date in private, but that seems unlikely because a) his position vis a vis want no extension and risk of leak from EU side and b) dubious legality of doing that given Benn Act /2
@BorisJohnson So Johnson is saying "it's in hands of EU"

And EU is saying "we want to hear from Mr Johnson what he wants".

Mmm...that sounds like a kind of stalemate. /3
Read 10 tweets
So how did @BorisJohnson pull off the 'pivot' to his revised Northern Ireland-only 'frontstop' - it's the weekend so here is a 3,000 word long read charting an incredible journey. /1 Thread

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
@BorisJohnson The end - though we didn't know it - was in the beginning.

Per sources, as @BorisJohnson was taking office, there were briefings in 70 Whitehall (DexEU) for in coming officials, including @DavidGHFrost who was to become sherpa.

Solutions and fixes were mooted. /2
@BorisJohnson @DavidGHFrost Per sources, the solutions, respecting all EU/UK redlines, included time limits, exit mechanims and hybrid customs solutions like those proposed in May 2018 by NI civil service.

They were put in a memo and.../3

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northe…
Read 31 tweets
OK.

This changes the whole arithmetic and procedure for tomorrow, if Speaker allows it to be voted on.

With Labour backing this will likely pass. So Johnson MUST ask for an extension. MPs will not be bounced into a decision.
I have also hence deleted my vote prediction tweets for tomorrow, because it is now highly likely that all of this will not actually come to a vote.

As Boles, Letwin and Hammond, P are backing the Amendment, it's odds on to pass.
Also note to #EUCO, @eucopresident, Macron, Merkel et al - that extension request is going to be coming!
Read 3 tweets
Mini thread: #Brexit

The game of “No deal” chicken between Remain and the EU 27 / Boris can be solved in favour of the latter. If the deal is voted down and EU 27 feel forced to extend to avoid no deal, they can grant the extension based on a general election as a requirement.
So the extension would require the PM to ask Parliament again either to pass the deal or vote for a general election in which dozens of them would lose their seats. @BorisJohnson majority govt then passes the deal at once.
That way, Remain cannot hold the EU 27 to ransom by voting down the #BrexitDeal. The #EUCO can call their bluff and say “extension = election, now vote again”

Spoiler: Deal passes.
Read 3 tweets
Right then

It's the pre #EUCO #BrexitDiagram you have been waiting for!

V29, based on knowing we have a framework for a Deal
I admit V28 put the chances of Johnson even getting a Deal as too low - only .2

However the total impact of him having done so is not that significant, because the chances this works in London are v slim still, due to the DUP (still only 10% chance Deal passes)
This also accounts for there being the extra session of Parliament on 19 Oct

And also Labour firming up its position on #PeoplesVote
Read 5 tweets
The Brexit deal:

europa.eu/!kQ64wy
#Brexit agreement:
-fair and balanced
-protects peace and stability on the island of Ireland
-fully protects our Single Market

We recommend #EUCO to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland/NI and revised Political Declaration
europa.eu/!Rp76DV
The revised Protocol responds to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland with the aim of protecting peace and stability.

All other elements of the Withdrawal Agreement remain unchanged in substance, as per the agreement reached on 14 November 2018.
Read 4 tweets
Senior EU official: Barnier will brief EU-27 leaders

"Maybe we will have a deal & maybe not.

1/
Official: "Maybe we will have a deal and maybe not. But one thing is clear; if we are to have a deal it will be a legally operational solution preventing a hard border on Island of Ireland, protect good friday agreement, all Ireland economy and integrity of the Single Market.
2/
"If those principles not respected, there will not be any deal."

Ambassadors reassured by Barnier last night that things are on track and those principles will be respected.

3/
Read 7 tweets
So. #Brexit latest. Some signs of increased optimism from 24 hours ago - tho caution urged.

Tl;dr: 'hybrid' landing zone is close for Northern Ireland/Customs, but issues remain on the future declaration (which bears on NI arrangement)
1/Thread

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
After very downbeat assesment by @MichelBarnier to EU ambassadors on Sunday, the noises off are suddenly audibly more positive.

Hard details are sparse, but understand that talks are narrowing down on an NI solution./2
@MichelBarnier There appears to be sight of a landing zone between the full Irish Sea Customs border NI originally proposed and the 'Chequers-style 'new customs partnership' for Northern Ireland'. /3
Read 19 tweets
Veteran diplomats and Brexit negotiators here don't recognise the Downing account of Merkel call
Seen as frustration spilling over in Downing Street that the EU is standing its ground on customs with no deal in offing for #EUCO
View is that a very difficult call has been misinterpreted or exaggerated because Johnson offer on regulatory alignment (seen as positive) has been knocked back
Read 10 tweets
The scoop of @JGForsyth is very helpful in clarifying minds in Brussels about what the EU 27 should do at #EUCO next week. Unanimity on wanting to conclude the Brexit circus as soon as possible. The EU wants neither to trap the UK in the EU nor to expel it against its will.1/
Leaders are being advised to avoid pleasing either Johnson (who wants no extension) or the Commons (which wants January). So they will do their own thing and offer only a SHORT - and final - extension (November) in order to put no deal legislation in place. 2/
Such a short extension will pat the ball back into court of the UK parliament, which (under the Benn Act) has to decide whether to accept it or not. Learning from its two earlier extensions, EUCO knows that a LONG extension (January or more) will prolong the EU's crisis; ... 3/
Read 5 tweets
If I was the prime minister I'd knock this farce on the head
New ultimatum is drop the consent principle by Oct 11 or else current proposals will not be on the table at #EUCO
In the interim, apparently, other EU leaders won't meet Johnson
Read 6 tweets
So @BorisJohnson says the backstop must go and he won’t bring @theresa_may deal back to Parliament.

Is that still possible? Maybe. At least nominally. I set out here what has to happen at breakneck speed. /1

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
As @tnewtondunn reported there’s now several cabinet ministers that want a deal. That includes some big beasts am told. Gove and Javid - though don’t know who the three he referenced were.

BUT, as always, Q is what deal? /2
Understand that Frost been given leeway to go further on SPS and industrial goods, but that’s still piecemeal ‘slice n dice’ backstop. Won’t fly. Need to tackle customs. /3
Read 7 tweets
If there was any shred of doubt on the EU side about what @BorisJohnson tactics are here ahead of #euco it seems to have evaporated after last night.

Not seen EU sources so animated for a while... despair on several levels 1/thread

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
@BorisJohnson First despair at the whole Boris 'Trumpson' routine and what it says about sincerity of any attempts to strike a deal which Parliament will back with help of Labour MPs.

"A new low" as one official put it. /2
@BorisJohnson Second, despair at the pitiful 'non-papers' that have been presented...the fourth one this week (on goods from GB-NI) was by all accounts barely even connected to the others. Clearly not a serious basis for a border solution /3
Read 6 tweets
A couple of thoughts on yesterday's ruling by @UKSupremeCourt and its implications for Brexit

1/
@UKSupremeCourt Recall that this case was at the edges of justicability, but Court was willing to extend broader principles into this area unanimously

2/
@UKSupremeCourt If government sought to evade responsibilities under Benn Act, then that would be much less problematic for Court to get stuck in

3/
Read 11 tweets
So Q I hear being posed in Brussels and Whitehall: as @BorisJohnson enters the Westminster firestorm, does he still have credibility to do a #Brexit deal ahead of Oct 31?

In short, it looks very hard, as I argue here after asking around.

1/thread

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
@BorisJohnson "Technical talks" continue in Brussels today, but not even, we are told, at the level of David Frost, the PM's sherpa.

Throughout #Brexit technical talks have always been a byword for marking time in the hope that something better shows up. See negotiations passim. /2
@BorisJohnson On substance the two sides really are comparing apples and oranges.

In a sentence, the UK wants a trade border in Ireland to resolve the #Brexit trilemma. The Irish do not. /3
Read 17 tweets
Taking a step back at the moment, after today it is hard to see how Boris Johnson can still legitimately claim to have "just the right amount of time" to agree _and_ ratify a #Brexit deal before October 31.

Here is a short thread looking at the timeline:
/1
The first draft of the original Withdrawal Agreement was published on 28 February 2018.

The draft was finalised on 24 November 2018, after month of careful negotiations on the text.

The UK has not put forward alternative proposals for Northern Ireland yet. /2
In November 2018, the UK government lobbied the other EU27 countries for a special #EUCO to adopt the withdrawal agreement.

Main argument was that it could not wait until the December European Council, as the UK would need 4 month to get the WA through the Commons. /3
Read 6 tweets
Can No 10's new approach to Northern Irish backstop break the #Brexit impasse? Tldr; it's a tall order - politically and technically.

Been doing a lot of asking about..here's what I discovered. 1/thread

telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
To start with, let's be clear what No 10 is/isn't talking about.

They are ruling out an "NI-only" backstop which leaves Northern Irealand in EU's customs area and single market for the areas necessary to deliver a fully open border. /2
This is the NI-only backstop @MichelBarnier has in his bottom draw.

It was proposed in early 2018 and rejected by UK because it turned NI into a regulatory exclave of the EU.

No.10 and DUP say it remains unacceptable. BUT..../3
Read 28 tweets
In that meeting Sherpa David Frost made presentation entitled “Approach to engagement with the EU on renegotiation” - in which the repeated idea was to "run down the clock". That was adopted as 'formal policy'. /4
It was difficult to see what the actual detail of a new deal would be - since @BorisJohnson had alread ruled out a) time-limit b) exit clause as insufficient.

So how did he know that wasn't a serious renegotation gambit? Well because the Attorney General told him! /5
@BorisJohnson That happened on Aug 1, at meeting of XS to discuss implications of July 29 meeting.

Cox told Johnson it was "complete fantasy" that EU would drop backstop - and that taking that route would lead to "path to no deal" /6
Read 18 tweets
A quick counter to the argument that if he won an Oct14 snap election, Boris Johnson could turn up at the European Council on the 17/18 Oct and quickly negotiate a new #Brexit deal.

This is not how the #EUCO operates. /1
First, #EUCO decisions are generally well prepared by pre negotiations of the heads of state and governments representatives, the sherpas.

This allows the chefs to evaluate the proposals, to focus on the most important issues, and most often negotiate along clear alternatives./2
Second, on #Brexit, the EU27 have never done any direct negotiations with May

The Commission negotiates for the EU27, and then presents the agreement - if there is any - to the #EUCO.

There will be no direct negotiation betw Johnson and Merkel, Macron, Sanchez et al at the EUCO
Read 6 tweets
About to take a well-deserved holiday. Few final #Brexit thoughts before I do. Perception across EU is that @DavidGHFrost came to Bxl as a spokesperson for @BorisJohnson, not a negotiator. As has been reported, when pushed, no new ideas were tabled as alternatives to backstop
This said, it's clear to EU officials that biggest shift in Govt's approach (besides ramp up of no deal track) is fact it is no longer seeking "frictionless trade." It no longer subscribes to commitments made by @theresa_may in Dec 2017 JR - neither substance, nor "philosophy"
(ie that there needs to be a legally binding operational solution to Irish border in WA). New Govt sees this as a mistake, although many in Whitehall remain of view that TM’s attempt to square Brexit with a soft border was both responsible & a credible attempt
Read 16 tweets
As we get closer to @BorisJohnson Govt, the game in Commons is moving away from theory to reality. Hopes that enough Tories would be prepared to bring down their own Govt are fading as enormity of such action dawns. Will MPs then still be able to prevent no deal? Short thread
The new Govt will do everything it can to deny no deal opponents parliamentary space. Labour won’t be granted any further opposition day debates. Ministers will try to avoid no deal legislation to prevent it being amended by opponents /2
HOWEVER, Whitehall officials believe two Bills will have to be rushed through before 31 October—a Trade Bill allowing the UK to move to WTO terms and a Financial Services Bill to provide certainty for financial institutions /3
Read 8 tweets
In which I rehearse the continuing argument for the Withdrawal Agreement as the only safe way out of the Brexit shambles, and urge the Brits to pay more attention to the jointness of the proposed post-Brexit governance arrangements. 1/
And instead of seeking a further extension of the Article 50 process (which #EUCO is unlikely to grant), the UK should seek to extend the transition period until the entry into force of the final association agreement. This requires the EU to amend the Withdrawal Agreement. 2/
Prolonging the transition period would allow the Brits to make up for wasted time, avoid a legal hiatus, obviate the need to use the Irish backstop, minimise economic disruption and eliminate hairy crisis summit meetings. 3/
Read 4 tweets
To the English reading security bubble. There is a lot of noise on German twitter and in the media regarding the nomination of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the candidate for the position of the next president of the European Commission. /2 #EUCO #vonderleyen
Quite of a lot of these comments, especially by the coalition partner @spdde are defamatory. the reasoning is mostly along the lines, that no one in Brussels knows her, that she mismanaged the #Bundeswehr and so on and so forth. Let me give you some /3
facts about her almost 6 years in office. Under her leadership,
*Germany saw an unprecedented increase in its defense budget
*Germany took the lead in NATO's efforts to deter Russia
/4
Read 8 tweets
Although process still ongoing, here some (preliminary) thoughts/ideas reflecting lessons from current (s)election of #EU leadership. Thread acknowledges that there is no 'perfect process' & assumes that Lisbon Treaty won't be (fundamentally) reformed in foreseeable future:
(1) #Spitzenkandidaten process suffered damage but it is here to stay. #GenieIsOutOfTheBottle: political parties will stick to it. BUT: process needs to be (continuously) reformed in light of previous experience while adapting to specific circumstances at beginning of new cycle;
(2) Key innovation of #Spitzenkandidaten process: introduction of #TransnationalList incl. all lead candidates. Voters should have 2nd vote to choose 'favourite' candidate from #EU-wide list. Innovation should apply in 2024 -> #EP / COM-P / (European) Council should endorse it.
Read 8 tweets

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