Profile picture
Steve Peers @StevePeers
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1/ This is a great thread on the legal effect of WTO law. The broader relevance is that WTO law is being pushed by no deal Brexit fans as a magic solution to any problems that might arise. Here's some thoughts on the overall context of this dishonest claim.
2 The starting point of Brexiters was that the EU would give the UK anything it wanted in a trade deal.

Now the argument has morphed: no deal is necessary because the UK can get much of what it wants even *without* a trade deal.

The magic ingredient? International law.
3 Like any legal argument, there are three elements here.

A) the substantive element: are we right about the law?

B) the procedure: how easy is it to litigate this claim?

C) remedies: what exactly do we get if we win?
4 On the substantive arguments, many Brexity claims about international law are contestable, to say the least.

But *even if all those claims are correct*, there are procedural difficulties enforcing them, and remedies are limited. Holger sets out the details of this re WTO law.
5 I've seen people argue "the EU can't do that because of international law", as if invoking the words of some treaty would magically stop the EU doing something.

It ain't that easy, folks - even *if* your legal interpretation is correct.
6 Well, maybe the WTO is some kind of exception, harder to enforce than most international treaties?

Nah, it's the *other way around*. For example, I've seen some people claim that the law of the World Customs Organisation would stop the EU doing nefarious things. Let's see...
7 Here's the dispute settlement clauses in two main WCO treaties: the Kyoto Convention and the Istanbul Convention.

Note: the dispute settlement process here isn't even binding unless the parties to the dispute agree to it.
8 A) "So let's amend WTO law!" That can and does happen, but it's a slow and difficult process.

Also, since the WTO works in practice by consensus...the EU would have to agree to any such amendments anyway.
9 B) "The EU settles trade disputes informally!" Yes, sometimes in the WTO, and very often with FTA partners. But a no deal scenario would be fractious.

Anyway, Brexiters are selling the EU as an evil dictator one minute, and a reasonable dude the next minute.
10 Overall: some of the substantive arguments being made might be valid, but the process to enforce them is difficult and the remedies are limited.

As magic legal arguments go, "international law means no deal Brexit is fine" is a Muggle. //
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Steve Peers
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!