It's really important brexiteers are not deceived by the government, and that they understand the A50 process and what is meant by 'a deal'. /1

A thread
At the end of the A50 process there will be ONE legally-enforceable international treaty called the Withdrawal Agreement. This is 'the deal'. The WA allegedly has been 80% agreed. A copy of the March draft is here… /2
Further additions were announced in June… /3
The draft WA includes the financial settlement, citizens' rights and the poison pill of the NI backstop. /4
The backstop effectively keeps NI in the SM and CU until a future solution to the border can be found (ie never). The Govt's preferred alternative applies that to the whole of the UK! /5
This clause is a massive Trojan horse. If the backstop is agreed, then after brexit the EU could just indefinitely oppose any proposed solution and keep us voiceless in the SM/CU. /6
Alongside the treaty, there MAY be a political statement on the future relationship to be discussed AFTER A50 has ended (and the money paid). This is NOT legally binding and is merely a statement of intent. Only the WA will have legal force. /7
Most importantly, anything said in the political statement is trumped by the provisions of the WA which will set the legal framework for EVERYTHING that follows including the future talks./8
So the NI backstop will be the limiting factor on the future relationship trapping us forever if it is agreed. This is why we do NOT have time after brexit to sort it out. /9
If a political statement is agreed, it will be announced with a great fanfare. Far less attention will be paid to the dense legal text of the WA. Lisbon and Maastricht taught us this lesson the hard way. /10
The Chequers plan is a (disappointing) aspiration for the future relationship but adds little to the draft WA. As such, in the context of the A50 legal framework it is a bit of a sideshow although it shows how THIS govt sees the future #BRINO /11
So don't be distracted by the political froth if a political statement is agreed. It will be an unenforceable annex to the WA. The deal that counts is the WA NOT the statement.b/12
The WA is 'the deal' and the pea to watch. Everything that follows is shaped by it. /13
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