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Sunder Katwala @sundersays
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
"Why don't people read the deal?" highlights a problem.

The legal text will not be comprehensible to the general reader, whether a citizen or a member of parliament. The legal text is not intended to be.

So 99%+ of people will rely on interlocutors, of various kinds.
Ideally, such legal texts would be accompanied by accessible plain English guidance notes

Unfortunately, would be harder to negotiate than legal text.

Govts on all sides would see clarity & transparency endangering their negotiating objectives,preferring constructive ambiguity
So "wait until you have read it" & "have you actually read it" both broadly nonsense.

95-99%+ of people would need to rely on interlocutors, even if & when they did read it (unless they habitually read these documents in a professional or personal capacity, to get the codes)
Key issue: trust in interlocutors
a) Partisan interlocutors (govts, parties, campaigns) selling a message may dominate
b) Expert interlocutors can make important contributions, if trusted on quality *and* objectivity
c) media play key role, esp in balance of (a) & (b) being heard
Here, social media does do something + for transparency & democracy: it does reduce the distance between citizens & experts. You are click away from eg @anandMenon1 @StevePeers and others who understand it & do want to annotate accessibly.
How effective depends on
* levels of appetite among MPs, media & citizens themselves for understanding
* levels of trust that expertise objective, rather than partisan in motive. (This gets harder given the sociology of political polarisation, esp around educational status)
Ironically is v.likely that many of the small groups of people who do read it all will have the most polarised views.

People who identify with "at least I took the time to actually read it" as a credential mainly have (one of two) partisan motives for wanting to say they read it
Citizens can have a well-informed view on a budget without reading Treasury red books, of BBC without reading its Charter.

Very many people cast *well-informed enough* votes in elections & referendums (eg EU, Scotland) without reading primary documents, treaties & manifestos
I will certainly want to read the Political Declaration in full: it will be interesting to see if that is accessible or just as opaque.

There is limited value in trying to read the 500 pages given that we would all then depend on annotated explanations of the sections & points
The full text (PDF): I do not recommend trying to read it! No political declaration yet…
The Political Declaration is perfectly accessible/comprehensible; its just very empty of content

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