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Tom McTague @TomMcTague
, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Waking up this morning wondering how on earth a Brexit deal can be salvaged? Remember, we’re still talking *divorce* not future relationship — Ireland remains key. New idea in play: 2nd transition “bridge” to future FTA to stop backstop coming into force…
To those in govt now talking of chucking Chequers for looser arrangement: IT DOESN’T SOLVE PROBLEM. Looser relationship is on offer, but only if UK signs up to Irish backstop, creating separate customs zone in Northern Ireland to rest of the UK
Second thing many MPs don’t seem to understand: the backstop is not a backstop. It is the legal reality in Northern Ireland on January 1, 2021, unless something else replaces it which keeps the province as closely aligned as the backstop envisages: ie UK wide super alignment
In effect, the backstop is Northern Ireland’s future relationship. Hence why it is so important. Strip out the customs border element of backstop and most of the rest falls into place, inc Canada+++. But EU think UK will fold so are not willing to compromise on this core demand
Conclusion 1: fail to solve Ireland and everything is off.
But, but, but:
Persuade the EU to concede on customs and the two options are:
1. Canada-style FTA with special NI carveouts
2. Norway plus customs union
(Chequers, as we know, “does not work” for EU)
Conclusion 2: UK wide customs union solves lots of problems (while creating new ones of course)
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