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Garvan Walshe @garvanwalshe
, 15 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ In East Germany they used to say "they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work". This Sunday Times story shows that's how the government intend to sell the deal: DDR Brexit…
2/ We're told there'll be (a) an all-uk customs union (b) this will have an exit clause and (c) it will allow a future Canada style deal and (d) that NI will not diverge from the rest of the UK
3/ (d) is false - NI will diverge, but as many regulatory checks as possible will be done away from the border.
4/ The all-uk customs union only prevents customs checks, the regulatory checks are still needed. So if the exit clause is ever invoked, the customs checks between NI and GB will have to be imposed
5/ If the UK is to conclude a Canada style deal with the EU, that would mean it would have to leave the customs union, the border checks would also have to be imposed.
6/ However much they pretend there's no backstop, but it's still there in the end.
7/ This isn't a bad deal for NI, which gets to be in the single market for goods and and trade with the rest of the UK and the rest of Ireland without on-the-border inspections.
8/ But it just postpones the decision the UK will have to make about its future trade policy - does it want customs checks in Northern Irish ports or an independent trade policy until an unspecified point in the future.
9/ I expect that all-uk CU will come with other conditions on state aid, environmental and labour standards (but these, funnily enough were not mentioned in the article)
10/ Business would, under this deal, face more uncertainty, because the "exit clause" required for the development of a new trade policy means manufacturing businesses have no basis on which to plan investment
11/ For the UK as a whole this would constitute a strategic defeat. No independent trade policy, still aligned to many EU regulatory standards, deprived of services, all done to allow itself to implement a worse immigration policy than it has now.
12/ It contains one chink of light for true brexiteers: a future government, unencumbered by the DUP, could invoke the exit clause, impose the customs checks, and finally have its independent trade policy
13/ But if this deal is to last, it needs legitimacy. This means people have to feel they know what they're voting for. This is where a PM needs to establish a narrative that painful concessions have been made in the national interest.
14/ Instead, the government seems to be trying to pull the wool over people's eyes and bounce them into accepting a deal they won't have fully understood.
15/ In this sense it's a continuation of Cameron's attempt to present his "renegotiation" as the huge change it wasn't. That didn't work then. Why will this work now? ENDS.
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