Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #backstop

Most recents (24)

For the day that’s in it, here’s a thread on #consent.
Or, rather, Consent as it's being referred in the N.Ireland hiccupy-part of the #Brexit process.

@DPhinnemore & I have been working on all of this stuff. Here’s 1 article on it. More to come.

1/15
blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/201…
@DPhinnemore We can all agree that consent = a good thing.
& when it comes to post-conflict NI, particularly so.
A history of mistrust & misuse of power means that making laws that work for people of all backgrounds = vital.
It's also important that democratic processes are seen to work.
2/15
@DPhinnemore There is no ‘principle’ of consent in #1998Agreement per se, but it's there in 2 main forms.

The 1st = majority consent.
No change to the constitutional status of NI without it being approved by the majority of people in NI. Hence the provision for a #borderpoll in future.

3/15
Read 16 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
Is the #Brexit #backstop anti-democratic?

A persistent argument against it is the claim that it makes Northern Ireland a voiceless "rule-taker".

Here's a mega-thread based on research with @hayward_katy taking a closer look at this issue.

1/25
Boris Johnson insists on calling the backstop ‘anti-democratic’ noting that there is no ‘sovereign’ means of exiting it and it applies to ‘large areas of single market legislation in Northern Ireland’ over which the people of NI have ‘no influence’

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…

2/25
The DUP take a similar line.

Nigel Dodds has claimed that the backstop ‘would see laws made in Brussels impacting the economy of Northern Ireland with no-one in London or Belfast able to vote on them or even ask a question about them.

mydup.com/news/article/c…

3/25
Read 25 tweets
#FridayFeeling #FridayThoughts #FridayMotivation

It's Friday. Let's have some fun and get to know our foes in this Rogue Government's Cabinet a little better.

#StopTheCoup
First up, the PM & aspiring dictator, selected by 0.13% of the population, but who hasn't yet faced a GE as PM - something he considered an #AffrontToDemocracy when Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair.

Johnson: the poster-boy of the #BrexitCoup.

#StopTheCoup #BrexitIsNoJoke
Not officially in Cabinet, unelected bureaucrat & grand vizier Dominic Cummings nevertheless sets the agenda, calls the shots & yanks BJ's strings.

Cameron once called him a 'career psychopath'. He is in contempt of parliament & appears to be amoral. #StopTheCoup #BrexitIsNoJoke
Read 28 tweets
Short thread in response to proposals put forward by @FaullJonathan et al. as an alternative to the #backstop.

They claim to offer a compromise that both UK & EU can accept.

It's a sophisticated proposition but is it a runner?

1/5
@BBCr4today
#Brexit verfassungsblog.de/an-offer-the-e…
First, worth noting (and it's a pity this is so) they downplay the complexity of the NI/IRL challenge + exaggerate the scope of the #backstop.

For instance, the @BelfastAgmt meant much more than "the elimination of a physical [Irish] border".
See: bit.ly/2PfdPO5

2/5
& It isn't true NI wd be in a different regulatory regime to GB (ie EU's).
#Backstop wd mean NI alignment in v.specific areas.

Nor that the UK would be in the EU's Customs Union.
It would be in the customs territory of the EU.

Such detail matters. bit.ly/2HqdmSK

3/5
Read 5 tweets
Great one on #backstop. The only thing is, backstop doesn't remove the need for #customs procedures. Under the backstop an A.UK document would be needed. That's similar to what Turkey currently has under their CU with the EU /1
For Turkey you currently also need a pre-notification and a #customs declaration. The backstop DOES NOT clarify what customs procedures other than the A.UK doc would be required. Not enough details to be able to say how frictionless borders would be /2
I hears customs declarations would be removed but the need for pre-notifications would stay. But bottom line is we don't know what customs procedures would look like under the backstop / end
Read 3 tweets
PM Johnson has made the removal of the #backstop the make-or-break matter when it comes to an exit deal with the EU.

So this thing is pretty damn important.

Time for a quick recap of what the 'loathed and detested' backstop actually is?

1/14
The #backstop is there specifically to meet the UK’s commitments to avoid a hard Irish border & protect the 1998 Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement & peace process.

This isn’t just of benefit or interest to the island of Ireland.
A broken Northern Ireland means a limping UK.
2/14
How does the #backstop work?
A v.brief explanation:

Having to apply & enforce customs procedures & rules around market access makes a border ‘hard’.
(just talking trade here)

Put simply, the greater the hassle in getting goods across a border, the harder that border is.

3/14
Read 14 tweets
A small number of commentators such as Eoghan Harris are advocating dropping the #backstop. There is absolutely no logic to this - indeed it would be an incredibly stupid strategy. It's simple to see why.
If @BorisJohnson and the Brexiteers aimed for a trade agreement that would keep the @BorderIrish open then they would have no problem signing up to the backstop which would never be required.
The fact that they don't want the backstop shows that they aim for an agreement that would require a so called hard border. This was always what they wanted as they want to do trade deals with other countries.
Read 6 tweets
THE KEY QUESTION at the nub of the fuss re: #Brexit, the #backstop & @BorderIrish is this:
What the heck has the European Union got to do with #peace here❓

Well, the ANSWER is, when all's said & done, pretty simple.

It’s about the British-Irish relationship.

THREAD 👇 
1/
This was acknowledged by the EU itself 35yrs ago in the Haagerup Report on resolving the conflict.

I'll explain this now by summarising my paper from Cooperation&Conflict @SAGECQPolitics.

[& you can see the Report here. Hurrah for @CAINWebService] 👉
2/
111 people were killed in 1981.
In May 1981, @EuroParl_EN passed a Resolution recognising the EU had ‘no competence to make proposals for changes in the Constitution of N.Ireland’.

110 were killed in 1982.
The Troubles were raging. And there was little prospect of resolution.
3/
Read 18 tweets
Jeremy Hunt says the Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn is the 'biggest threat facing British politics'
telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
Jeremy Hunt: 'I do recognise that we are never going to have a deal to leave the EU with a backstop. It has to change or has to go'

Follow LIVE updates: telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
Jeremy Hunt says the #backstop 'traps us into following EU customs tariffs'
telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/…
Read 8 tweets
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed last weekend Angela Merkel was willing to renegotiate the #Brexit deal since he had spoken personally to the German Chancellor. I checked his claims with a government spokesman in Berlin (thread): thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/92…
1/Hunt said he had talked to Merkel on the fringe of D-Day commemoration. The spokesman did not want to confirm any content 'since all conversations of the Chancellor are confident'
2/Acc to Hunt Merkel had stated 'with a new British PM the Europeans would certainly look at all solutions'. Berlin however points to Merkel's statement at the #Brexit Council April 10: EU27 'have again underlined that the Withdrawal Agreement applies and will not be changed...'
Read 7 tweets
Adding my t'pence worth to commentary from @DavidHenigUK & @MichaelAodhan on ERG's 'Clean & Managed Brexit' report today.
It's notable that, of the list of amendments they wish to see to Withdrawal Agreement, none are specific to Protocol on IRL/NI containing the #backstop 👇1/3
This is what it wants for @BorderIrish in a future UK-EU 'FTA Plus'.
So. A few Qs:
- what does a 'compliant' border mean in this case?
- does it mean tech that isn't new to Irish border, or tech that exists elsewhere?
- same for 'currently available' admin & tech procedures.
2/3
A 'seamless border' is an oxymoron.

[Ends].
3/3
Read 3 tweets
Sir Graham Brady plans to table an amendment the Withdrawal Agmt (WA) bill to make it law that Alternative Arrangements (AA) to the #backstop must be in place by end of transition period.
So, he says, the backstop wd still be in WA text but it wd be clear it'll never be used.
1/7
Brady says the proposal would simply be bringing forward the #AlternativeArrangements from the Political Declaration up front in the UK legislation implementing the WA.

The rationale is that by making backstop unusable, it will create a majority for the WA in the Commons.
2/7
Brady says EU & UK govt have to recognise that his AA amendment is only means of passing WA.

He admits he is yet to persuade the PM but claims that "Downing Street has people actively engaged in looking for alternative arrangements" to the #backstop.

3/7
Read 7 tweets
Amid speculation that Varadkar is under pressure from Macron & Merkel to manage a harder @BorderIrish in a #NoDeal, let's recall UK govt's own 'solution' = effectively to have no controls NI/IRL & *more* GB/NI.

Who can think that serious, responsible, sustainable or good for NI?
Outside the EU with #NoDeal, @BorderIrish separates the UK from the EU's customs union & single market. New rules apply.
As any parent knows, rules are there for a reason. Ignoring them does not make them irrelevant. It exposes you to risk & makes you an awkward pain in the ass.
Q. How to manage this if applying the rules also brings risks?
A. Adjust the rules.

This can't be done unilaterally [pointless for a 2-sided border].
#Backstop = an example. Flexibility on both sides means that having as few controls as poss. NI/IRL & GB/NI is *within* the rules
Read 3 tweets
That moment when the attorney general of the UK in #brexit debate talking about the #backstop, makes the case for Scotland to hold a second independence referendum to leave the United Kingdom. In England parliament is sovereign, in Scotland, the people are. | #scotref #indyref2
"If fundamental circumstances change, in the view of the United Kindom Then it would attempt to resolve the matter in the joint committee. It would attempt to resolve it politically. But if ultimately the sovereign right of this house and the sovereign right of the british....
... government at the time, if it took the view that indeed those fundamental circumstances had indeed changed, then it has an undoubted legal right to withdraw from ANY treaty." - Attorney General
Read 6 tweets
So the Westminster NI Committee has issued its #Brexit #Backstop report - a Friday Night Special. What's in it?

Less and More...
They acknowledge that the four non-DUP parties in NI are happy enough with the Backstop as is, but say that parliament isn't. They want something else.
1. A "justiciable" (how?) change in the Political Declaration to say that the WA isn't the baseline for the future relationship/
2. They want the EU & UK to agree and clarify what a hard border actually means in the next three days (before Tuesday). Good luck with that one, lads
Read 7 tweets
To summarise results from the @IrishTimes/MRBI poll:

Opinions in NI on #Brexit:
- overwhelmingly reject a hard Brexit; 67% want UK to stay in CU & SM
- wd vote to remain in a 2nd ref
- wd prefer checks on goods btn GB&NI than checks on @BorderIrish.

1/4
irishtimes.com/news/politics/…
Opinions in IRL on #Brexit:
- 54% satisfied with Irish govt handling of Brexit
- but almost equal split on whether should compromise on #backstop
[cf. @skynews poll]
- also split btn those saying checks on goods going to EU wd be preferable to those going across the border.

2/4
On a #BorderPoll:
- rising support for border poll (36% inc 55% of Catholics)
- see graphs below [can't assume preference re: Irish unity on basis of religious denomination]
- in the Republic: 49% say there should be a referendum on Irish unity, & 62% would vote in favour.
3/4
Read 4 tweets
@MichelBarnier, addressing a Spanish audience, cuts to the chase: withdrawal agreement is the best possible for citizens and budget but also for aviation and fisheries.
The UK has grossly underestimated the consequences of #Brexit, says Barnier. It will need to build up a whole new administration in very little time.
#GibraltarWatch: Barnier, in Madrid: “There is a protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement saying what will happen with #Gibraltar.” Now, moving on to the more important question of Ireland...
Read 9 tweets
In an effort to show why it is hard to explain what's happening #Brexit wise in UK at the moment, I made some slightly whimsical opening remarks to the @IIEA #CountdowntoBrexit event today.

They are the ‘Illogical Truths’ of Brexit.
(to be taken with a dash of salt 🧂)
1/6
1. The UK has not yet come to terms with leaving the EU.

It hasn't got to grips with nature of the other side (despite being there 40+yrs).
Nor with the process (e.g. future negos still to come).
& it hasn't come to terms with consequences of leaving (e.g. border controls).
2/6
2. The #backstop per se is not The Problem, but the sheer fact that it is a compromise.

And a compromise is inevitable.
Plus backstop is rarely discussed in light of NI/IRL needs but in terms of what it means for future UK-EU rel'ship - which it is not intended to determine.
3/6
Read 6 tweets
Dear journalists, politicians & intelligent folks:
Seven questions you should ask anyone who purports to have an alternative ‘solution’ to the @BorderIrish #Brexit #Backstop:

1/8
1. Where is this technology/system used at the moment across a land border? (specific examples please)
How long & populated is that border?
How many crossing points? [How many 'designated' for customs?]
How many goods vehicles & private vehicles cross that border everyday?
2/8
2. What amount of paperwork/info (inc. in electronic format) is required on the goods crossing the border in order for this tech/system to function effectively?
How far in advance?
How is the connection between the data submitted & the goods crossing the border verified?
3/8
Read 8 tweets
Theresa May's machiavelic plans have to stop.

If she really believes her negotiations are that Strong and Stable, she should stop this embarrassing political circus and openly go for her No-Deal #Brexit plan, instead of sneakily engineering it.

We know that's your plan. 1/10
When she decided to put forward her support to #BradyAmendment, she knew it would be rejected by the EU negotiators.
It was even said yesterday before she decided to support it.
But it is a sneaky way to put forward a No-Deal #Brexit and later putting the blame on the EU. 2/10
The #Backstop was negotiated BY the UK to comply with UK's red lines:
✔ No hard border (#GoodFridayAgreement)
❌ No customs unions
❌ No single market
❌ No freedom of movement
The EU wanted a soft #Brexit. So no Backstop. 3/10
Read 12 tweets
A quick thread on May’s statement, for the bedtime tweeters.
Ignore the claim there are 6 key issues.

All that is worth looking at is what she says she will not do;
what she says she will do;
+ what she says might do.

TL;DR: There is no Plan B.

1/12
gov.uk/government/spe…
What she won’t do:
Revoke Art. 50 (that’s just rude);
Extend Art.50 (so No Deal remains live);
Call a 2nd referendum (she doubts it’ll win)*

* Though she doesn't completely rule out the possibility of Parliament bringing this forward.

2/12
What she might do post-Brexit:
Take lessons from her mistakes in these negotiations when it comes to negotiating the future relationship.
She’ll be more inclusive: ‘engaging’ with elected reps from NI (and [randomly] English regions), & businesses & other normal people.

3/12
Read 12 tweets
Breve hilo sobre lo que se viene esta semana en Reino Unido sobre el #Brexit
El 25 de noviembre el Consejo Europeo (reunión de Jefes de Estado y Gobierno de miembros de la Unión Europea), dio su visto bueno al ACUERDO DE SALIDA del Reino Unido de la UE y a la Declaración que establece ciertas luces de lo que será el futuro de las relaciones entre ambos
Este acuerdo se llegó tras 20 meses de difíciles negociaciones entre el equipo de la Comisión Europea liderado por @MichelBarnier y el equipo negociador británico liderado en un comienzo por David Davis (renunció después)
Read 33 tweets
Today UK govt published its unilateral 'commitments to Northern Ireland & its integral place in the UK'.
I'd read it not just as an effort to get unionists on board #WithdrawalAgmt but a nod towards post-Brexit governance.
Here’s an ‘essentials’ guide..
1/
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
It comes on the 2nd anniversary of the collapse of the NI Executive.
I really hope that isn’t a coincidence.
& if it isn't, it's a pointed reminder to those who claim to be concerned abt the representation of NI that they cd put more effort into getting Stormont up & running.
2/
The DUP came out quickly to reject it, underwhelmed & unconvinced.
Others will be too, but we cdn’t expect detail or substance on commitments at this stage.
(Besides, perhaps it's a duty of politicians in NI to bring forward proposals re: enhancing representation of NI..?)
3/
Read 12 tweets

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