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Garvan Walshe @garvanwalshe
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This has become a monstrously long argument that I haven't fully kept up with because I was among other things fixing my shower. But it seems to me that @EmporersNewC makes a mistake in his argument that the UK was not a different level of opponent of European integration 1/
Specifically he cites various aspects of what used to be called variable geometry - such as pesco's voluntariness, embraced by other countries - as evidence that the UK wasn't obstructive, but was using the system that existed in reasonable faith. 2/
However on the podcast I was hinting (maybe I even said it explicitly) that the main reason there is all this complexity in the European institutional is to accommodate British half-membership 3/
That's why Schengen exists, why the WEU was kept going for another decade until it was rolled in at Lisbon, why there was a special "social chapter" of the Maastricht Treaty, and indeed why there were/are pillars of European integration 4/
Britain was powerful and influential enough to be able to distort European integration in its direction - but also too much of an outlier in most areas of policy to make its vision stick across the EU 5/
The result is an EU with a much more complicated institutional structure than would have existed had UK policy been closer to the centre of EU opinion 6/
It is this effect that I had in mind when I spoke of the UK's distortion or blocking of integration 6/
It's also this that leads me to think that a reversal of Brexit in short term will be bad for both the UK and EU - the centre of UK opinion is too far away from the centre of EU opinion - UK feels itself too big to compromise but is too small to impose compromise on others 7/
I would welcome back a UK that was honestly committed to European integration - that would make the EU better - but unless and until its politics change to become so, I think both the UK and EU can better find stability separately 9/
This will require the UK to go through its own reconfiguration, if it is to survive in the long term as more than England and Wales, but that's a subject for another thread. 10/10
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