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Pete North @PeteNorth303
, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. I am told I should welcome the efforts of @betterbrexit. I'm not impressed. It's too little, far too late and ill thought out. EEA might well be a large part of the solution but it is not a miracle solution and moving into it from the position of being an EU member is not easy
2. To maintain frictionless trade we would need a customs protocol to go with it along with a series of negotiated annexes which may take a number of years to complete. It's not as simple as just filling in an Efta application form.
3. EEA has often been described as an off the shelf solution (even by me) but it is only off the shelf insofar as it is an existing framework. It still needs to be beaten into shape and will have to take into account the concerns and red lines of Efta members.
4. So the notion that we could up end the EEA system for the sole benefit of the UK for only a short period is misconceived to say the least. There is almost as much work in negotiating a UK EEA settlement as negotiating an FTA.
5. So then the "plan" from BetterBrexit doubles the workload as they seem to think we would use EEA as a temporary settlement while we negotiate an FTA. They really haven't thought it through. Moreover, once we had moved into the EEA position there would be no point in an FTA.
6. If the end destination is an FTA then we might as well stick to the current negotiating schedule. They also miss the point that an FTA means becoming a third country and it's only marginally better than no deal as we are still subject to third country controls.
7. The whole point of arguing for the EEA was to eliminate the cliff edge and minimise the economic harm, and then use the institutions of the EEA to evolve the relationship, securing opts outs (in the way the system is designed to do that)
8. If the aim is to become a third country outside of the EEA then there is next to no point in using it as a transition. If do go for the EEA then we have to go in as a fully committed member of Efta and with a view to retaining participation in the European family of nations.
9. This, though, is a total waste of breath because MPs needed to be on the ball long before now and should have mounted a much more effective opposition from the beginning. Instead they sat idle. At this stage in the game a handful of deadbeat MPs isn't going to achieve anything
10. For EEA to get any traction it would need the support of a high profile leaver like Gove - but he has been somewhat mealymouthed about it. Without leaver support its going nowhere and with advocates like Soubry it's dead in the water.
11. At this point there is too much work involved in unspinning a lot of the remainer lies about the EEA, not least the "rule taker" myth which is accepted as fact and now adopted by the ultra Brexiters. It is a testament to the effectiveness of the remainer lie machine.
12. At this point it doesn't help at all having intellectual lightweights and layabouts like Nick Boles ploughing in half cocked not knowing how the EEA system works and a half informed ally is actually worse than an enemy.
13. Personally I don't see any scenario where EEA will make a breakthrough unless the details of the future relationship are shunted into the transition period at the last minute. Then it will have the merit of eliminating the need for the NI backstop.
14. For the moment the EEA simply isn't popular enough Remainers don't want any Brexit, especially not one that can work, and the ultras don't want a relationship of any kind. The sensible path, therefore, is languishing in background with few advocates of worth.
15. I actually think that there probably won't be a deal now. Chequers will not be accepted by Brussels and the Tory party will shoot it down and May if needs be. I think it will actually take a disaster for minds to focus and only then will EEA/Efta find popular support.
16. What has dogged this from the beginning is an institutional ignorance of the EU from number ten through to the lowly back benchers, most of whom have taken tribal lines on the issue or are simply slovenly detail-phobic wastrels like Nick Boles...
17. So in a lot of respects we are going to get the Brexit we all deserve. The remainers have wasted two years and millions of pounds chasing a second referendum that was never going to happen while undermining the one solution that could have avoided a disaster.
18. The only silver lining is that the bent Tories who set about a WTO Brexit will be crucified when the economy tanks. I think we will see delicious karma all round. They'll probably even put Corbyn in Number Ten. The antisemitism noise doesn't seem to be denting Labours polling
19. Ultimately we won't see any clarity in the Brexit debate until people start to see tangible manifestations of what it means to be a third country and watch as the Tory "fwee twade" experiment falls flat on its arse and demolishes fishing and agriculture.
20. EEA could have worked but it needed competent and honest defenders, of which there are very few, and the late coverts routinely get the details wrong as they have ignored all the technical debate over the last three years. The media hasn't got to grips with the issues either.
21. Consequently my energies are directed toward preventing "no deal" if at all possible but I don't honestly think we have the competence or cohesion to pull off a deal of any kind. Our politics is too broken. The era of even moderately competent government is over.
22. In the end the EU doesn't want to devote masses of diplomatic and political energy to #Brexit thus delaying its own timetable. It will assist us once we make a choice and stick with it but will not sod around with EEA transition to then go through the whole process again.
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