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katya adler @BBCkatyaadler
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1) Again and again I’m struck by the chasm in thinking between leading MP’s on #Brexit and the viewpoint of EU leaders - and remember, if you want a deal, it takes two to tango
2) There is ZERO appetite or intention in EU circles to renegotiate this withdrawal deal
3) The EU would love the U.K. to remain a member of the club but if we’re leaving - then this is the divorce deal
4) But this is not the future EU-U.K. trade deal. That will only be negotiated in detail after Brexit day. That trade deal can take any shape UK decides: v close relationship like EEA or far more distant one like Canada but each choice has consequences under EU law
5) The EU-U.K. customs relationship need never come to pass. It is in withdrawal agreement as a binding guarantee on N.Ireland and is designed to be superseded by a new EU-U.K. trade deal
6) The reason that customs relationship is U.K.-wide is because that’s what the PM wanted, not EU. If U.K. government never wants to trigger the backstop it can choose to extend the transition period instead in order to finalise the new trade deal
7) Though that of course has consequences too: you may not like the UK-wide customs backstop but transition means ongoing freedom of movement and payments into EU budget
8) If the U.K. parliament rejects this divorce deal, the EU is not mindful to renegotiate under the same conditions. But it will likely extend article 50 if there is a general election or a second referendum
9) Why? Because a) the EU wants to avoid a no deal scenario and b) it would love the U.K. to just change its mind and stay in club. Macron, Tusk et al convinced Brexit is lose lose for both sides
10) But wanting to avoid no deal doesnt automatically lead to EU openness to renegotiating this exit deal. If the U.K. is leaving, EU leaders want to close this chapter. They feel have enough other uncertainty on plate with Trump, Putin, political challenges in Poland, Italy etc
11) And while the current political Brexit turmoil is all-consuming in U.K. it is waaaaaaaaay down the running order of European news bulletins. Take the main evening news on France’s Tf1 last night as an example
12) Main reason for that is because Europeans view Theresa May as their negotiating partner and she says the Brexit deal is done. Cabinet ministers, incl Brexit secretaries can come and go but she is still standing and sounding v determined
13) So EU leaders are putting their blinkers on and have cleared their diaries for 25 Nov when they intend to sit down with the PM and sign on dotted line of Brexit deal to formalise it
14) Donald Tusk says the Brexit summit will take place unless something ‘extraordinary’ happens. Eye-brow raising events in U.K. politics right now are clearly not extraordinary enough for him and other EU leaders to cancel .. yet
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