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Thread by @PeteNorth303: "1. This whole debacle is stupid. This is all on the Tory phobia of being a rule taker. This is the issue illiteracy that both sides suffer f […]" #Brexit

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1. This whole debacle is stupid. This is all on the Tory phobia of being a rule taker. This is the issue illiteracy that both sides suffer from. the fact is that unless you are a regulatory superpower you are a rule taker. The only question is how and from where?

#Brexit thread
2. Supposing Mrs May's proposal had been workable, we'd end up adopting rules verbatim from the EU implementing ECJ decisions directly. Tories squeal about this yet bizarrely that is exactly what Switzerland does and Brexiters have been telling us Switzerland is a viable model.
3. So for all the indignation they have shifted the goalposts, denying, of course, the need for regulatory harmonisation to facilitate NI trade. This is pure dishonesty at work. So what about the alternatives?
4. Well there's EU membership - which more often than not means accepting rules - generally via statutory instruments with virtually no scrutiny. Or there's the EEA Efta system - which is a codetermination process and only 27% of the EU rulebook.
5. Brexiters have ruled this out and will shift the goalposts whatever is proposed simply because the game in play is to leave without a deal. That's the only Brexit they will accept. They have collectively become Brexit puritans. So what will this get them?
6. Let's assume they are successful and we crash out without a deal. Immediately we need a number of emergency patches to ensure flights are not disrupted and that Euratom issues are handled. These will be fudges. And the thing about fudges is they become permanent.
7. Then when the penny drops that we need regulatory harmonisation to ensure UK produce reaches its largest single customer, we will see a future administration looking for a customs cooperation deal. And guess what that entails?
8. If you said "Accepting all the rules verbatim and implementing ECJ decisions directly" then you guessed right. As to all the rest of the rules, here's the kicker: EU directives and regulatory initiatives are very often legislative responses to global conventions.
9. So unless we plan on pulling out of a number of energy and climate accords, along with wildlife protection measures, or those labour rights conventions from the ILO, then there's not much scope for deregulation.
10. Sooner or later we would have to normalise relations with the EU which would lead to an FTA which would compel us to operate to EU specifications and global standards under the WTO TBT agreement.
11. So we would in fact end up roughly where we did not want to be but it will take anywhere up to a decade to normalise relations while we bleed jobs for no discernible reason. Trump's trade promises certainly aren't worth a damn.
12. Ultimately what is covered by a trade agreement is actually less important than the institutions created for the governance of those agreements. every EU FTA creates joint committees and dispute resolution systems. Brexit in any case will be no different.
13. We therefore have to look at the mode that afford the UK the most flexibility and the best firewall against the ECJ. And like it or not, that's the Efta EEA system - not least since we have to look at the bigger picture.
14. Losing a substantial chunk of our EU trade with little on offer to compensate will see the UK as a far weaker player in the global trade arena - even more susceptible to rule taking be it form the EU or elsewhere. It is therefore important to safeguard our EU trade.
15. Once we have made the move to the new framework, and by using the institutions of the EEA and Efta, we can shape our new relationship over time. The EEA system is designed to be flexible unlike FTAs which are take it or leave it.
16. That would place some restrictions on the sorts of third party deals we could do but only in terms of relaxing external controls which we don't really want to do anyway. There are many other ways to play the trade game.
17. More to the point, with modern FTAs covering ever more arcane detail and taking longer to negotiate and ratify, taking into account our current capability gap, it makes sense to have the EEA if only as a mid term interim solution.
18. But then as I keep pointing out, a decision to keep the EEA would remove the uncertainty, protect a lot of jobs but mainly it would give us some sort of direction. Short of terminating all formal Eu relations it is the fastest way to leave.
19. This is because if we opt for an FTA we have to negotiate it which will take at least three years but would also require a staggered transition over many more years. And that really will be vassal state status - taking the rules with no say.
20. So if we want a clean Brexit (ie quick and minimal disruption) then we need a smart Brexit, and for whatever the mouthfoamers on the Tory right have to say about it, the EEA still beats the alternatives hands down. It's more say with more control than any other mode.
21. We would then be involved in the decision making to a degree but would also be able to shape the rules that the EU adopts from global bodies which make up the core of single market controls. To say the EEA is vassal state status is factually wrong.
22. If anyone leads us to a vassal state status it will be the ultra Brexiters due to their lack of intellectual rigor, denial of the challenges and a boneheaded geostrategic policy. We need to get this right and the Ultras are playing with fire.
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