Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #EUCO

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Another #Brexit #thread
1/ Here's the thing about the Theresa May — Jean-Claude Juncker spat over whether May was vague or not at the #EUCO summit table about her Brexit demands. It’s a sideshow because the undeniable reality is that Westminster-at-large is vague.
2/ Westminister is undeniably vague via there being no majority for any type of Brexit, yet an absolute insistence from the British government and opposition leader that nevertheless a hard-ish take back control Brexit must happen.
3/ That cul-de-sac is Theresa May's fault. Other leaders might have called Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Strugeon, Carwyn Jones and Arlene Foster round a single table and told them they weren't leaving until a tolerable version of Brexit could be agreed or, per above, tolerated
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Danish Prime Minister @larsloekke say that it is now up to the House of Commons to define what the UK actually want 1/4 #euco #eudk #Brexit
"it is necessary that you get some homework done in the British parliament which has handled this challenge very different to what Denmark did, when the Danes voted no to Maastricht or as the Irish did when they voted no to Lisbon, "said Danish PM @larsloekke 2/4 #euco
"In both countries someone took the responsibility on them to decide what to do. In both Denmark and Ireland somebody took upon them to say what can unite us on our country and what should we ask from Europe," said the Danish Prime minister 3/4 #euco
Read 4 tweets
Before this week's #Brexit shenanigans, I said this:

"With May as Prime Minister there can be no Brexit deal"

I stand by that statement

I see no way that the #EUCO - ongoing as I write this thread - can give May anything that'll appease the Brexit hard liners in her party

🇪🇺 is not going to make the backstop time limited or allow 🇬🇧 to unilaterally withdraw it. So the deal on the table is essentially unchanged
The Tories reaching across the political divide to Labour still looks like a ridiculously long shot as well:…
Read 16 tweets
1/The election of @_A_K_K_ , the announcements of @EmmanuelMacron, the possible deal between @EU_Commission and Italy - what does this all mean for Eurozone reform?
In short: Nothing. Because the ship will sail tomorrow and will not come back any time soon.

A thread pre-#EuCo:
2/ The Euro Summit will sign off tomorrow on next steps in 3 areas of Eurozone reform: Banking union, crisis management, and fiscal policy. Rather than kicking the can down the road again, it will define the political perimeter in each of these areas for the foreseeable future.
3/ On banking union, the summit will adopt the rules for using the backstop for the Single Resolution Fund and the conditions under which the backstop can see the light of day before 2024. The ESM treaty will be changed accordingly in the near future.
Read 11 tweets
#Brexit #thread
1/ If you don’t follow Brexit every day, here’s some advice. Let go of any illusions that this drama is about trade protocols, residency rights or the status of the Irish border. Brexit is the story of a proud former imperial power undergoing a mid-life crisis
2/ The rest of the world is left listening to Britain’s therapy session as they drone on about their ex-spouse, unable to see, admit or address their own flaws.
3/ The promise of Brexit was that it would make Britain feel big again. “Britain is special,” the Brexiteers assured British voters, who cast their ballots accordingly. But Brexit has proven that for the first time in modern history, Britain is small.
Read 22 tweets
I'm awake far too early, so let's try and make sense of yesterday before today's dose of Brexit Silly Buggers kicks off, shall we?

Before we get to the main event, let's no forget that the Wightman ruling that dropped first thing yesterday is also important

The ECJ took on the AG's line (as they are prone to do), but with some important changes

Read 19 tweets
Quick thread on Brexit latest:

1/ Olly Robbins is in town talking to the Task Force. Word is that May wants some kind of declaration clarifying that the backstop won't be needed, that it's temporary etc
2/ So, three key questions: what will the content of the declaration be; what will its legal weight be; and will it be ready in time for the #EUCO on Thursday?
3/ So far sources are reticent about whether a General Affairs Council, which is meeting tomorrow in Brussels anyway, will have a last minute Article 50 formation - but one source says it can be arranged at the last minute (GACs do the work of preparing summits).
Read 12 tweets
So we've established that there's lots we don't know about the coming weeks, but what do we know?

Firstly, we know the elements the gvt is committed to to approve the WA/PD:
- 'meaningful vote' motion
- Withdrawal Bill
- CRAG laying before Plt

Second, we know the EU is waiting on the UK before it moves on ratification

Dec #EUCO (13-14/12) will be first checkpoint (as May will outline options)

Read 7 tweets
Live feed of May presser at #euco…
Aaaaand, it's FoM front and centre. Very obviously the lead pitch for all the coming ratification debates
Again, we're following the script of 'letter to the nation' (h/t @jonworth)

Read 10 tweets
#EUCO presser

We're going for the very short statements then. Actually, not much to be said
was Juncker suggesting some MS weren't unhappy about UK departure?
If I could face it, I'd start a list of "things we'll be bringing up in the future relationship negotiations" for the EU MS
Read 9 tweets
A few observations:

1. Consistent message from EU27 over next few days: regardless of who is PM/asks to renegotiate, this is it on the withdrawal agreement - substance cannot be improved/changed
2. The withdrawal agreement is the “easy” bit. Trade talks will be far more difficult, complicated and take a lot longer. By the time they’re done, and a new relationship is fully in place, most of the 28 leaders at today’s #EUCO will no longer be in office.
3. It will be interesting to see this coming week how the UK models the economic impact of what it imagines to be the future trade relationship deal given May has acknowledged there cannot be frictionless trade within her red lines. Friction, less trade (and more barriers)
Read 4 tweets
I've been thinking a lot about this argument - that MPs should approve the Withdrawal Agreement as a measure to avoid the possibility of No Deal - and I think it is a serious concern that Remain needs to address properly.

Here's an attempt to. 1/
Note that other excellent commentators have also made this argument, such as @FabianZuleeg. As Fabian (and DAG in the linked piece above) has also pointed out, this is likely to look a more compelling argument to MPs as things get more tense 2/

Despite signals from Tusk and others this week that Brexit can still be stopped if the UK wishes it to be, it’s likely that the message from the #EUCO on the 25th will be that the choice is to agree Withdrawal Agreement as it stands, or reject it. This is also UKGov's stance. 3/
Read 25 tweets
So, the end of another week of Brexit.

What have we learnt?
Well, about as much as we might have expected, i.e. not much
The pre-#EUCO sense had been that there'd be no big progress, and certainly no deal, and that is seemingly where we've got to
Read 15 tweets
My lukewarm #EUCO take. Cancelling/not having the November summit makes it seem very unlikely that, as some had thought, last weekend was all a piece of theatre to make it look like May had put up a hard fight before she caves. 1/
EU wants a deal, but the distance between UK&EU on IE/NI border is still apparently great, and EU27 cannot confidently predict that it will be resolved, along with some sort of Political Declaration, by a November summit. 2/
Add to that May's doubling down on the very issues that present the biggest obstacle - defining checks on goods as the marker for constitutional integrity, insisting on a time limit, backstop to backstop etc - in the HoC on Monday. 3/
Read 5 tweets
So Theresa May arrives at EU summit and, like a dream sequence, repeats that "considerable progress" has been made since Salzburg but "problems remain on Northern Ireland backstop".

So what can we say back in the real world? /1
UK Negotiators just spent nine days straight reaching about as far as they can go on #Brexit fudges.

In summary, the EU will NOT give the UK an all-UK customs backstop. But it WILL agree to an all-UK customs arrangement in the future relationship document.

This didn't fly./2
When @MichelBarnier addresses EU leaders tonight, he will have to give an honest assessment of whether more talks can really move this on - in the absence of "new facts" as @eucopresident Donald Tusk put it.

Hard to see how - at which point the ball may be back in May's court /3
Read 16 tweets
Theresa May needs to convince EU27 leaders that she can deliver – me, on the status of Brexit negotiations ahead of today's #EUCO…
You can call it a backstop to the backstop, backstop 2, whatever, but the bottom line is that to conclude a deal the UK needs to agree to a legal text that prevents a hard border in Northern Ireland in all circumstances – and there is no fudging around that
The feeling among EU officials is they have done everything they possibly can to reach a deal. The scope and shape of the deal on the table is pretty much it. The ball is now firmly in London's court.
Read 7 tweets
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Ireland could support a one year extension to the transition, but that it could not be a substitute for the Irish backstop.
Varadkar said the backstop could be temporary, but “only unless and until” another solution was agreed that would guarantee no hard border on the island of Ireland
Ahead of the #EUCO summit he said the UK had already agreed in March that a backstop was necessary and required to be in the WA. This was now “a matter of trust”
Read 3 tweets
So, as we say nowadays, here's some connected thought about what May should be proposing before the #EUCO dinner today. (1) The UK agrees to stop trying to split the Withdrawal Agreement from the Political Declaration, recognising that both stand or fall together, and that ...
(2) the Irish problem cannot be resolved without an agreement on a PD that paints a clear picture of where we're all going to end up in our future Association Agreement; (3) the UK thanks @MichelBarnier for the helpful suggestion that the transition period is extendable; but ...
(4) the UK government must acquire the right (for political and constitutional reasons which her EU partners will understand) to trigger such an extension of the transition period (which we can call an 'implementation' period); and ...
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Let's try to round up the week in Brexit, shall we?

Personally, the big thing that's struck me is how we're sitting on our hands, waiting for announcements

The core negotiating teams have locked themselves up good and proper during this week, and briefings are being kept to an absolute minimum

Read 13 tweets
Lots of briefing ex Downing St tonight on “historic” backstop deal being close. My sense is that the level of optimism in Bxl is not much different to that expressed by @MichelBarnier yesterday, ie things moving but still a good bit to go (“a mountain to climb”, acc to one source
All the action is around the UK-wide customs backstop, or temporary customs arrangement. London wants it strictly time-limited, IE says it has to be all-weather. So duration, rules, legal base all need to be worked out...
As well as how it will impinge on EU’s own trade deals with third countries (ie, are they negotiating for 27 or 28 countries?).
Read 6 tweets
So, what to make of today?

Over the weekend, lots of +ve optics and warm words, to get mvt from the conference-season slump

But lots of reining in during the day

Partly, it's sensible expectation mgt: one might have had the impression that suddenly everything was hunky-dory and the work of a moment

Read 13 tweets
Some important comments on #Brexit from @campaignforleo at a modest press conference in Brussels. He said there's a good opportunity to clinch a deal over the next fortnight. (1)
On a UK-wide customs arrangement: "A lot of countries would take the view that any UK-wide arrangement is really a matter for the future relationship rather than a backstop which is for N Ireland and Ireland. Also there's the whole issue of the level playing field..." (2)
He pointed out there is currently no N Irish Assembly or Executive to approve any new regulatory checks, as reportedly being considered by the UK government. (3)
Read 6 tweets
Interesting to see how it's just as UK debate sits down for a bit on Brexit, to recover from conference season, negotiations w EU step up
If past fortnight has been about domestic management, then coming fortnight will be about UK working w EU to find ways to get mvt on WA/PD
Because of that hiatus after Salzburg, there's now v.little time left to achieve mvt in time for Oct #EUCO, hence the rush now
Read 11 tweets
Salzburg: a positive take:

In the midst of all the shock and gloom, let's see if we can build a more constructive view of this week's events (as a thought exercise, if nothing else)

At one level, if we're being Mayish, nothing has changed. EU objections to Chequers have been stated before, together with the comments about it having some positive elements

Read 16 tweets

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