Brexit seems to have run completely into a wall. This will be a thread on how to leave the European Union.

It's written by someone who thinks the idea is ludicrous so before you attack me leavers, instead think how objective that makes me, and how honest I'll be on the issues.
There are a number of significant hurdles associated with leaving the EU so we'll move away from the politics and divide them into bite sized chunks that everyone can understand.

When we've done that we'll look at what we have at the end and decide how we approach it now.
There are some principles to establish. The thread won't indulge in revising history. When you're in a 40 year relationship, signing article 50 without a plan was clearly an act of extreme stupidity. But sign it we did. So we build from where we are now, not where we should be.
We'll be neutral on politics but not on lies. For example we can discuss own laws, our borders and our money.

But we can't solve a lie about a brexit bonus funding the NHS. There won't be a bonus so let's be truthful and assume you accept that if you want to leave the EU.
So let's jump into it, imagine it's day 1 for a new Primeminister inheriting the chaos of an awful negotiation, ridiculously jingoism, lots of lies, a split country and brexit fatigue.

But nonetheless you have to figure out how to leave the EU.

What's the responsible way?
There are some topics any responsible politician must address.

1. Understanding the situation
2. Honouring the reasons for the vote
3. Removing stuff people didn't vote for
4. Uniting the country
5. Salvaging as much of the economy as you can and maybe creating a better future.
1.0 Understanding the Situation

If you haven't read my 50 tweets on the contradictions of Brexit, you should read it attached below. It'll help understand some of the complexities we're going to face.

So now you know we have our work cut out for us.
To be successful we have to solve each of those issues.
1. Our trade situation
2. Ireland
3. Immigration or the concerns about it
4. Sovereignty or the concerns about it
5. Our Geographic position
6. Our codependence on energy, medicine, flights and other stuff.
1.2 we can look at these all in turn, take them one by one and then add it altogether. Let's start with trade.

It's become fashionable in some leave circles to say it doesn't matter how poor we'll be, brexit NOW.

Which is fine, but let's at least try to limit the damage eh?
1.3 if you're in the screw the country walk out now camp, no politician can help you, there's too much damage and too many casualties. Try reading the thread I posted above and then come back for more.

Our job as a reasonable Primeminister is to mitigate the damage.
1.4 in the contradiction thread I talked about 40 years of European trade integration. Buts its not just trade. We've built our entire infrastructure around Europe. And politicians have been promising businesses easy access to Europe for the UK for decades. That needs solving.
1.5 You're a responsible leave PM so you're not gonna brush this under the carpet, instead you're honest about it and how you'll solve it. What needs doing?

A) multinational promises
B) trade focus
C) infrastructure

Let's get into those.
A) You can't solve multinational issues easily. Your predecessors promised easy cheap access to Europe.

So you have a choice.
Either you stay in the Customs Union (CU) and Single Market (SM) or you replace those deals. For screw the deals option see screw the country tweet.
1.7 Getting deals and investment took decades. Replacing them even with the world's best trade negotiators will take years. And you have Liam Fox.

You sigh. You already have economic reasons for staying in CUSM at least short term. Now this issue is forcing the same conclusion
1.8 What about trade focus? So you know roughly 40-50% of your trade is with the EU, depending on what you count. And you know that's decreasing over time... But that decrease is going slow. What options do you have to reduce your dependence on Europe and make it up elsewhere?
1.9 it's not like you're gonna stop trading with Europe overall. Whatever happens businesses will still trade. But you need to manage the disruption carefully and if eventually you're out of the CUSM you'll also have tariff burdens and other inefficiencies to deal with.
1.10 So what are we talking about? Well let's say for the sake of argument that 25% of your European trade is at risk. So that's roughly 10% of your overall foreign trade. That's the gap you need to close before you can even think of leaving the CUSM.
1.11 a 10% trade gap might seem small but its enormous. Your task is to create a sector as large as financial services is right now, and make that sector entirely independent of any reliance on Europe.

Headscratcher. You sit down with your best economic "experts" noone knows how

Now I don't know what this sector is, or even whether it could exist. And maybe the Primeminister wouldn't know either. But what's certain is whatever it is, it'll need time to build and time means we need to stay in the CUSM, at least while we build it.
A third CUSM tick.

C) was infrastructure. And it's the simplest to solve in that until I know what I'm doing with those multinational deals and new foreign trade sector, I don't know what to build.
So for now I have no choice but to maintain what I have with Europe

A 4th tick in the CUSM box
1.14 so that's trade. Whatever I do long term, for now I'm dependent on the EU. The only decision to make is whether I want to influence the laws or not. We can come back to that but for now my negotiating team has at last a clear objective. Stay in CUSM... For now.
Unfortunately we're not done with this section. But some of the next issues are easier to solve.

Take Ireland.

No problem anymore.


Well at least for now.
1.15 Ireland becomes an issue again in the future when we dump the CUSM. If we dump it. Partly that depends on what the magic 10% sector is. Maybe that sector can work in the EU?

Either way if Ireland does become an issue we're not going to repeat the mistakes of our predecessor
If we ever leave the CUSM there will need to be a customs border with Ireland. Since it cannot be in Ireland without destroying the Good Friday Agreement, then it must be down the Irish Sea.

Since I'm in bed with the DUP and they'll never support that, this is a future plan

Which is fine, we need time to build the magic 10% sector anyway and we have to stay in the CUSM while we do that so, we can save this bit of the plan for a time when we're out of bed with the DUP.

So that's Ireland done. Easy.
1.18 the next one on your list to solve as Primeminister is Immigration.

This is going to be a tough one so you might want to get a cup of coffee and a snack and settle in for a while.

Your first decision is how honest are you going to be about the real situation.
1.19 Your problem is that so many people have been lying about the issues for so long that most people don't know what's true anymore.

Even if you do try to tell the truth you fear the right wing press will shout terrorist or demonise migrants whatever you do.
1.20 Maybe the first thing to do is to get clear on what the issues really are and then figure out how to handle them?

Ok we can do that.

1. Migration reality.
2. Economic impact
3. Population concerns
4. Potential solutions.

Good list. Let's get stuck in.
1.21 Migration reality.
Mostly everything youve read is nonsense.
That doesn't mean that there are not legitimate or illegitimate concerns from the population, but those concerns have very little to do with the reality of the situation so let's be honest. At least with ourselves.
1.22 let's first inject reality. I'm going to take 2016 figures as 2017 still isn't completely adjusted and 2016 was a fairly average year.

Inbound migrants were
EU 250K
Expat British 74K

Emigrants were
EU 117k
Non EU 88K
British 134K

So immediately somethings up.
1.23 Firstly if there's a change in the make up of the UK, British people leaving is an issue for you. And since the vast majority of those Brits are leaving to go to the EU, particularly to retire in Spain, that's a factor to think about.

Freedom of movement works both ways.
1.24 Then the second thing is that non EU migrants are actually higher than EU migrants. So clearly leaving the EU is going to do nothing about that.

You dig into the data more. Turns out half the EU migrants are coming from western Europe. That's your high skilled migrants.
1.25 So if there is a problem, presumably it's in the 20% of migrants who are coming from Eastern Europe?

You dig more. Almost all of the EU migrants have jobs. And almost all the British people do too. it's hard to say they're taking out jobs. Maybe they're suppressing wages?
There's a lot of political noise around this topic. But the best realistic data you can find says that while there is a very small impact on wages from immigration, there's definitely no impact on employment.

Here's the problem. impact on wages comes from non EU migrants
You have a dig at the non EU migrant data. Turns out most of that is students and people moving to live with families. That's why they end up taking slightly lower paid jobs but... You also make more money in student income than you lose in any minor salary decrease.
But hold on there do seem to be loads of EU migrants here right. Are people imagining it?

The truth is the population of the UK has changed from across the major ex pat groups. In 2001 this was Irish and Indian. Now the largest groups are Polish and Indian.
1.29 And there are about twice as many poles now as there were Irish then.

Trouble is for those people who object to that, the horse has already bolted. The migration from the EU had happened and we said this wouldn't be a chain that did wouldshouldacoulda. They're here now.
[Now at this point I want to make it clear. I have no objection to hard working poles in our country or any other nationals. We need and welcome them. But I am going to attempt to represent the anti immigrant view point in order to discuss it.]
So where did we get to.
Almost all of our current migrants are non EU or highly skilled labour or due to British people leaving.

20% of our migrants are Eastern European but almost all of those are in work.

The large populations of Eastern Europeans already migrated.
To add more to this, even if you object to Eastern Europeans, many of them are doing seriously important jobs in, for example, the NHS. So if you're going to object, please do so carefully or you'll find as we have now that you create a crisis in NHS recruitment.
1.32 But the worst thing is just figuring out what it is that those who hate migration actually hate in order to do something about it.

Let's start trying to tick off problems we don't have.

People are probably OK with students, family members and skilled migrants? Yes?
1.33 they're probably OK with NHS, fruit picking and other similar jobs, provided they're here only while they're in work.

They might object to the migrants already here but no one is seriously going to try repatriation any more than anyone seriously suggest repatriating indians
1.34 Presumably they're also OK with non EU migrants that don't fit into any of those categories. Our hostile immigration service also already makes it impossible for them to come here unless they have a legitimate reason. Hard to tighten that up more.
1.35 so that leaves us with unemployed EU migrants who don't have a job, aren't studying and aren't moving to live with their spouse.

That's 6% of EU migrants or 3.5% of the total annual migrants.

You scratch your head. How is leaving the EU going to solve the migrant problem
1.36 Ok now you've run into your first serious problem as Primeminister.

Clearly lots of people are concerned about migration. You get that.
And many were told and believed the EU was the cause. You get that too.

But leaving the EU will solve just 6% of the problem
Well the people voted. I guess they knew and wanted it anyway.
You shrug your shoulders. Short term there's nothing you can do anyway as you're stuck with CUSM and to keep that you have to keep Freedom of Movement.

But there is one thing you can do.
Though you know it won't have much impact you will do what no British Government has done

You will implement the immigration policies the EU already allows. Any EU migrant must after 3 months prove they are working, or in study or have enough resources to not need benefits.
This is going to cost a lot of money to administer, and won't solve the things some people are concerned about, but it will be what the people voted for.

The best thing.

You can do it immediately to show action even before you leave the EU. No negotiation needed.
And that's all you can do about immigration. In fact even when you leave the EU you can't do any more than you've already done, unless you stop skilled migrants coming.

So that's the new policy. Let's call it the 3 month check policy.

The next topic is sovereignty
1.41 Sovereignty

What a dilemma this one is. We're going to make our mythical Primeminister a Leaver.

But there are rules.

S/he is a Leaver but both honest and pragmatic.

S/he truly believes the UK is best out of the EU (confounds me why that could be but let's run with it)
Conversely our PM can't lie.
S/he knows we need international agreements.
S/he knows the EU is actually more democratic than the UK
S/he knows that almost all EU Legislation has been approved first by the UK
S/he knows the UK led the expansion into Eastern Europe.
1.42 So the PM won't lie about these things because that means s/he forces the negotiation team to discuss invalid points. Like Ireland.

Instead s/he will calmly make the case for how the UK will extract itself from Europe with the minimum of fuss and damage to the country.
1.43 The first problem you face then is what the reality of the situation is.

The EU is essentially a confederation of nations choosing to work together in the interest of their citizens.

many people hate the commission but the nations and people who are also the EU are friends
1.44 Somehow you need to separate this "good EU" from the "bad EU".

Another problem is "bad EU" isn't bad. It's a bunch of people like your civil service back home who are working for the nations and citizens of the "good EU"

Actually more democratic than the civil service.
Another problem is of course that as the civil service of the EU, the "Good EU" is expecting it to negotiate on its behalf. They gave it clear instructions it can't break.

Your predecessor has given your civil servants no instructions at all which is why they're struggling
The previous administration also didn't help by constantly insulting the members of the EU civil service. So they're now not taking anyone in the UK seriously.

You're not going to turn them around now. But you decide immediately to stop the aggressive and language.
Thaf out of the way you now need to decide what sovereignty actually is and what you want to have control of.

The UK is subject to lots of international agreements that it complies with in organisations like NATO or the UN. So it isn't actually law that's the problem.
What you and others object to is the idea that somehow you're being dictated to by Brussels.

You're familiar with this problem. It's exactly how Scots feel being dictated to by Westminster.

Thing is you know that the "good EU" instructs the "bad EU" to make laws.
1.49 It's kinda hard to believe that you're being dictated to when you're setting your own areas of common legislation, like mobile phone tarrifs.

And you want to keep those things even if the UK leaves the EU because you sponsored them.
So when it comes down to it people are bugged by is the idea that the EU is dictating stuff to the UK whereas the reality is the UK is pushing stuff in the EU.

Oh and sometimes you lose a vote with the "good EU" . But there's far fewer of those than you want to admit to.
Ok. What are your options to solve this mess? Well firstly you're gonna stop talking about the EU as one thing. It's unhelpful and misleads people.

You're gonna talk about EU nations when you mean good EU and EU civil service when you mean the commission
1.52 that might not catch on but if you repeat it enough people will begin to understand there's a difference.

Then you have to deal with the we brief the EU civil service not they force stuff on us problem.

This is the largest decision you're going to make.
1.53 different member nations interact in different ways with the EU. Because the UK is centrally controlled and led by the executive it chooses not to take to parliament its ideas for EU nations. Instead ministers bypass parliament to make EU laws.

This causes the resentment
1.53 you have a grand plan. You're going to reverse the British side of the equation.

Instead of forcing their schemes into the EU civil servants and then blaming the "EU" for things, Government ministers will need to get parliamentary approval for any thing proposed or voted on
1.54. The UK can only propose or agree to EU laws that Parliament first approves.


Ministers need to get parliamentary approval for any qualified majority votes they participate in.

Your civil servants and ministers look at you in absolute horror...
1.55 "But but but", one stammers, "that means you're taking power away from the executive and giving it to parliament. Noone does that".

Yes you say, which is why parliament will approve it.

Overnight the UK parliament will be in direct control of UK interactions with the EU
1.56 you need to buy yourself time to create your magic 10% new trade sector remember. And while you do that you need to be in the EU.

With this change you immediately hand EU law making sovereignty publicly and clearly to parliament.
1.57 this doesn't solve your issue permanently. For some leaving is a mantra. But it does give you time to work on the "good EU" and it demonstrates that your activities working with the "bad EU" are transparent and under control of Parliament.
1.58 now you have sovereignty under control, and you have a rational and fair description of Europe, you can sit back and decide which bits of Europe you want to try to take with you when you leave.

And we'll deal with those in the next section.
1.60 Geography.

We're in the home stretch now. The penultimate issue to solve. You'll call this the "you can take the EU out of UK but not the UK out of Europe" problem.

Here's the thing. In or out of the EU we have to solve some problems that are not based on arbitrary stuff.
1.61 Geography is unmovable and places some considerable limitations on how we operate.

Fishing is an excellent example. The rabble rousing that was throwing fish into the Thames was the height of political irresponsibility. Everyone knows it's more complicated than that.
1.52 or did Farage, rees Mogg et Al think they could find more money to fund a Navy to police all the fishing areas?

So while there are lots of Geographic problems to solve we're going to deal with 2 crucial ones and one that's a political boogeyman

1.53 Ok so food. Presumably noone, even Leavers, want to place a 20% price rise on their fruit and veg as well as a load of other daily goods from their weekly shop. One of the lies you know you've inherited is the they need us more than we need them lie.
1.54. It was a big porky. EU exports from the UK is about 13% of our economy. EU exports to the UK is about 3% of the EU economy. The other problem is deficits. It's true we have a trade deficit with the EU, hence the lie. But that's because deficits apply to goods
1.55 UK imports many goods from EU, like most of your salad, fruit and veg.

Remove goods and look at services we actually have a trade surplus with the EU.

That's btw why the border thing was a problem in Ireland. Services don't care about borders. Goods do. It would hurt us.
1.56 our PM is a Leaver so we still intend to leave the EU, but we need to make sure when we do we don't raise all the prices of every day shopping.

Not just that. There's a triple whammy. Prices go up, plus you have to pay more to fly it in, plus that's awful amounts of carbon
1.57 food is a good example of something you need to get from the EU even when we leave.

A rabid one will say "we can grow our own food we did in the war". Yes we could. That was 70 years ago and everyone was very thin. And had no lemons.
Plus how long will that take to change?
1.58 Energy is a similar issue. Unlike food you can't fly it in. So if you dont use linked power grids across Europe that's a lot of ships coming at you from Saudi. And that's going to cost a lot more, plus a premium for making sure you have spare capacity that Europe helps with
1.59 Someone will say coal mining or offshore wind. Sure. Maybe. In a few years. That all needs time. Lots of it.

It ain't gonna be ready any time soon.

So energy agreements also definitely need to survive leaving the EU, whatever you do.
1.60 and finally fish.
Oh boy
Just gonna mention some important things

Fish disputes predate anything in the EU and back then we were the ones stealing from Iceland

The removal of Iceland had nada to do with the EU and is where most of the problems came from.

So let's dig in.

Yes it's true Spanish fishermen are fishing "our" fish in our waters. But there are so many details behind this jingoistic simplification that it makes you think that anyone who talks about fish this way has no interest in solving the problem... Just making it worst.
1.62 Some basic facts are called for that would be presented to you as PM.
1. Fish quota that the EU sets are based on quota from before the EU minus ensuring we don't overfish
2. UK "stole" Iceland fish in the 70s. They shut us down, that reduced our quota
3. even in EU we restrict who fishes in "british" waters up to 100 miles
4. we increased our haul in the EU from 2004-14 moving us from 4th to 2nd largest catch in the EU
5. Fish dont respect borders or migration routes, that could hurt us if we can only fish in here
1.64 So, you know as PM there is no guarantee that leaving the EU will be better for british fishing, no matter what political stunts are played in the Thames. In fact with a long haul fleet built to roam, the UK could easily be worst off outside the EU and with no other options
1.65 What the heck should your policy be?
Fishing rights are negotiated in 2022. You don't know if you'll have left by then, but you're pretty sure you're going to need to find a way to stay in the fishing policy...ironically enough it's another thing that needs to survive the EU
You look up from your policy paper. Boy that wasn't what was sold at all...there are a bunch of things you need to negotiate that relate to your geography that have to happen even if you leave.
You quickly give instruction for the "UK in Europe after the EU" policy
1.70 International Dependence
So, the final one in just section one of leaving the EU. If you've got this far and you're still reading, I admire your persistence. If you're a leaver I hope you see that you were sold a lot of nonsense and this thing needs thinking about
1.71 I separate the idea of international dependence from geography because it includes things that we could do on our own, but probably don't want to. Those are things that are just easier to do with friends. You could put climate change in here, or air traffic control
1.72 In fact at last count your civil service have told you there are about 700 issues like this that it just doesn't make sense to do on our own and that are managed by the "bad" EU or across the "good" EU. 700 is a lot of things to get into even in an epic tweet so instead...
...we'll just look at one. Euratom.
Prior to the campaign no-one had heard or Euratom. In fact even now it's an obscure thing for anyone but a political hack, but your civil servants tell you it's a good case study so you go learn about it.
Although you can wrap it up in lots of political noise, Euratom basically regulates nuclear stuff, including its transport. Nuclear stuff is obviously kinda good for terrorism so you want to make sure you handle it carefully. The rabid ones don't like Euratom coz of the ECJ
The ECJ is basically the high court of the EU that rules on, amongst other things, disputes between nations. The rabid ones don't like the idea that anyone can rule on the UK apart from its own courts, but on issues like Euratom, some neutral 3rd party has to rule.
1.76 If the ECJ didn't rule we'd just have to find another international body to mediate disputes, but that's sort of beside the point because Euratom sits under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and that aint changing. it's either or.
1.77 So why do we care about all this nuclear stuff, we can buy or make our own if we need it right?
Well if you need a medical scan the scanner needs something called technetium to scan you. We do about half a million of these scans a year
1.78 Stockpiling or importing technetium from a long way away is a problem, it has about a half life of a week - which is kinda like the nuclear equivalent of spoiled milk, it goes off quickly and doesn't work anymore.
1.79 Technnetium is made by with a metal called molybdenum in something called a cyclotron. The UK doesnt have any natural molybdenum and doesn't have any of the right cyclotrons. We could build one - but remember this is one issue of 700. We can't build our own for everything.
1.80 So basically this is a trap. We can't make all the things we need, the ECJ regulates the transport of the things we need through Euratom, and if we leave the EU, we leave the ECJ, no more medical scans, lots more cancer.
1.81 As PM you haven't met anyone who thinks when voting to leave the EU they were voting for cancer. Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg are millionaires so they can fly abroad for treatment. You're pretty sure not everyone else is as rich as your MPs so you need a solution
1.82 You've got 700 of these to chew through and you dont like the idea of all of them needing a British solution when you leave the EU, it's just not possible. So instead you need a new policy.
You're going to call it the Homeland in Europe policy
1.83 The reason your predecessor wanted to leave the ECJ was she didn't want it ruling on trade disputes with the EU. You're going to take a different path. Short term you're in the CUSM anyway, but long term you're going to allow the ECJ to rule because of Homeland in Europe
1.84 1Homeland in Europe will be all the things you like and need in the "good" EU, without the legislation from the "bad EU". It's annoying that leaving the EU will mean you no longer have influence over Euratom policies, but stopping cancer treatment is more annoying.
1.85. So that's it. you put the finishing flourishes on your Homeland in Europe policy and look up from your desk. It's 2am and you just got through section one of day one of leaving the eu. At least you know what's facing you now.

Next up 2.0 Honouring the Vote
Before section 2.0, some people are saying that separating EU and Non EU migrants is predjudiced, in a part of the thread that debated whether leaving the EU reduces EU migrants.

That's not predjudiced. It's the opposite - making sure you compare fairly…
2.0 Honouring the Reasons for the Vote
So we return to our imagined new Prime Minister dealing with the complexities and finding a way to leave the EU. Last section was about being responsible and getting clear on what's good for the country

Now we'll try to think about leavers
2.1 For remainers, attempting to see things from a Leave point of view may be controversial. I've already taken flak merely for suggesting concerns about immigration could be separated from simple racism.

I ask you humbly to bear with me. Understanding is the route to progress.
2.2 It's 8.00am, you slowly open your eyes. Three and a half hours sleep and you just go through your first day thinking about Brexit. But that's why you took the job afterall. It was never going to be easy.

Today is gonna be about honuring the vote, why did peole vote?
2.3 There's already lots of data available to you on the reasons for voting for Brexit but none of it is straightforward. The reason for this is while you can find out why people said they voted, you don't know if that's because they believed something untrue or not.
2.4 So you're going to avoid that problem. You're simply going to list the reasons people have stated and then decide what to do about them. If their stated reasons seem to be based on lies, unlike your predecessors you'll be honest, and you'll correct the lies
2.5 Here's the list your civil servants drew up. Reasons to leave the EU
1. Better trade
2. Sovereignty and laws
3. Immigration and borders
4. Reaction against establishment
5. Patriotism
6. Nostalgia
7. Take back control in general
8. Anything but this
9. Britain changing
You look at the list. There's a lot in there. Where are you going to start? You need a plan.

Well there's an obvious one staring at you, you're systematic in everything you do so you apply your standard approach.

Let's work through these one by one to understand before action.
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