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Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #EUCO

Most recents (24)
Let's try to round up the week in Brexit, shall we?

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

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

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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?

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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

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

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Read 13 tweets
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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:

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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)

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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

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Read 16 tweets
The lessons of Salzburg:

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Good will matters.

A distinct sense that some of today's comments come from exasperation as much as anything else

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Time matters.

All well and good to ask for 'maximum progress' by Oct #EUCO, but that means mvt now, when May is least able to deliver

Plus the Art.50 clock ticks on

3/
Read 5 tweets
So here's the tension in Art.50 talks.

More detail in Pol Declaration is good for getting towards end-state EU-UK relationship, but is likely to mean less chance of agreeing Pol Dec/WA in first place (as it'll require shift from Chequers)
Add to that the Tusk line just now that Oct #EUCO remains central to the timeline and both sides have to make a rapid decision about the PD
Expedience suggests a vaguer PD, so May can hold on to something more to sell back home, but at cost of locking in a course of action in future relationship talks from March.
Read 5 tweets
Tusk: Key pts of Brexit discussion

WA needs operational IE backstop.

Pol Dec'n should be as clear as possible

Oct #EUCO 'moment of truth' & pt of decision on extra Nov mtg
Last point is main one: EU not going to extend timeline now, on basis of what occurred in Salzburg.

UK will have to show good will and substantive advance to secure Nov #EUCO
I'll take this all as corrective to worries that softer words this week were being taken as start of moving on their red lines
Read 4 tweets
German Chancellor Angela #Merkel: "I explicitly want to commend the work done by @MichelBarnier and his team [...] all member states are being involved in the process in an excellent manner, which results in a high level of unity." #SalzburgSummit #EUCO
#Merkel: "It has become clear today that we need substantial progress until October, and that we then aim to finalise everything in November." #SalzburgSummit #EUCO
#Merkel: "On the basis of #Chequers, there are a multitude of commonalities, esp on internal security, international cooperation, and many other issues." #SalzburgSummit #EUCO
Read 5 tweets
Let's unpick Barnier's "6 to 8 weeks" timeline for a deal on the WA:

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politi…

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That's the first half of Nov, when we hear ever more mutterings about a special #EUCO

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Given the downgrading of the Oct #EUCO (now only one day) in light of non-progress, the new mtg wld be the most convenient first point to get the WA signed off

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Read 11 tweets
Here's a thread attempting to set out the #Brexit timetable for the next few months, based on this insightful @brunobrussels article:
thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/a…
Salzburg Summit 20 Sept:
"Shouting over the “backstop” + starting point of a '“political declaration” on the future relationship that will be thrashed out at a sequence of summits'
Tory party conference 1-3 Oct:
Hoping "Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers in the Conservative European Research Group" do not do anything to prevent the next planned steps
Read 12 tweets
European Parliament has just had an update on #Brexit from @danutahuebner who chairs the @EPInstitutional committee and is on the Brexit Steering Group (1)
▶️no idea when Brexit deal will arrive at European Parliament
▶️last point that Parliament can vote is first plenary session in March 19 because the second session would be too late
▶️negotiations have intensified but she hopes this isn't "a trick" (2)
▶️She had a meeting with @ukineu Sir Tim Barrow about the endgame
▶️political declaration on future relationship will not be legal text or legally binding
▶️views shifting towards political declaration being general because not enough time to negotiate the detail (3)
Read 5 tweets
This is an important development, for several reasons:

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Firstly, it's a much more public recognition of what was already widely understood: progress has been too minimal since March(!) On WA issues to allow for an Oct #EUCO conclusion

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That in turn means that there's a drop in pressure to bust a gut right now to get things moving (Not that anyone was very obviously so doing)

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Read 7 tweets
I repost this, mainly because the situation has moved rather a lot since:

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At the time (March), things looked a lot more open, so the various scenarios were quite balanced in their likelihood

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However, the intervening delays and disagreements have now shifted that balance quite markedly

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Read 10 tweets
Aua, das tut weh: #Seehofers Demontage durch die Vertretung der Bundesregierung in Brüssel passt in einen Thread. 1/6
Seehofer versprach Großbritannien einen speziellen Deal in der Sicherheitspolitik post-#Brexit. Den wird es nicht geben — schrieb @GermanyintheEU an die @EU_Commission. Der kurze Brief im Wortlaut: 2/6
"Mit Schreiben vom 27. Juni hat sich Bundesminister Seehofer zur künftigen Zusammenarbeit..in Fragen der inneren Sicherheit geäußert. Ich möchte klarstellen, dass es sich hierbei um ein in der Bundesregierung nicht abgestimmtes Schreiben handelt." 3/6
Read 6 tweets
How about we start this lovely morning with a trip down memory lane?

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You'll recall the Maastricht treaty: bane of eurosceptics, source of so many woes, embodiment of federal visions? Whatever

Today I'm more interested in its signing

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If you think back to then (those of you old enough to remember the early 1990s), you probably think about this: the late-night debates and arguments in 9-10 Dec at the #EUCO
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Read 13 tweets
A quick couple of thoughts on the 'darkest before the dawn' view of Brexit:

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The next couple of weeks really do matter for Brexit, not least because several other, earlier crunch points resulting in stasis

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EU broadly accepted that last week's #EUCO wouldn't produce much, largely because of the promise of next week's White Paper (WP)

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Read 17 tweets
My take on #EUCO compromise on #EUmigration for @delorsinstitut: Most proposals build on existing ideas & EU leaders fail to move beyond lowest common denominator. THREAD delorsinstitut.de/en/all-publica…
1/7 Decision to expand Frontex mandate is not new. It basically resembles decision to establish EBCG & MFF proposal (€ 21bn for Frontex & Border Management Fund)
2/7 Idea of 'controlled centres' appears as continuation of hotspot system. Unclear how human rights safeguards & detention are handled. Also: EASO/EUAA lack mandate to process asylum claims. 'Rapid & secure' processing would have to be done by MS
Read 8 tweets
My mind keeps returning to this extraordinary and ridiculous #Brexit tweet from Downing Street earlier:


1/12
Commemorative copies of the EU (Withdrawal) Act.

Seriously, commemorative copies of the EU (Withdrawal) Act?

The Brexit equivalent of Charles and Diana commemorative mugs, as one wag said to me on Twitter.

2/12
Ultimately history will judge whether the Withdrawal Act was an important staging post on the route towards Brexit.

Trying to pre-judge the historic-ness of it (or not) just looks crass. Like something from The Thick of It.

3/12
Read 12 tweets
Understand Italy threatening to block everything at #EUCO. Source says PM Conte “arrogant and made a fool of himself” during very heated discussion
Note: Italy blocking conclusions on everything because of immigration before immigration even discussed. You can see why other leaders irritated
Read 3 tweets
Some thoughts on the idea of establishing refugee “reception centres” / “disembarkation platforms” outside the EU's borders, which will be discussed at #EUCO later this week.

While the concept has some merits, its implementation is fraught with problems. [THREAD, 1/ ]
The idea, in short, is to create centres outside the EU (e.g. Northern Africa, Balkans), where refugees can lodge their asylum claims & have them assessed by authorities. If asylum is granted, they can then travel on into EU safely. 2/
There are some attractive aspects to this model. Deaths would be reduced as refugees would no longer need to cross the Mediterranean (>3.100 deaths last year) to claim asylum. Smuggling business would go down & threat to Schengen zone would be reduced. 3/
Read 15 tweets
A couple of points on issue connection at this week's #EUCO

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Brexit is on the agenda, but right down the list, as EU has plenty of other stuff to deal with.

Info here: consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/eu…

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That other stuff is proving problematic, and pressingly so, so expect it to take up much of the bandwidth tomorrow and Fri

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Read 12 tweets
A quick reminder of how the EU handles Brexit:

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(this is in anticipation of Thurs/Fri when ppl complain 'EU isn't talking much about it' (and again for Oct & Dec and even any special Art.50 mtgs)

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#EUCO meetings now only discuss Art.50/Brexit at two points:

informally when UK is present (eg at dinner)

and in formal session, when UK is absent (after main EUCO)

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Read 11 tweets
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