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Steve Bullock @GuitarMoog
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This is an political argument made very often about the possibility that Article 50 is unilaterally revocable. It’s almost become an orthodoxy, but I think it is overblown to some extent. 1/
As we have seen, the cost of invoking Art50 is huge. The economic cost in terms of uncertainty and confidence, of investments put on hold, and markets reacting. 2/
But there’s also the political cost of goodwill, trust and good cooperation with other EU Member States, and the cost of international standing with non-Member States.

Invoking Art50 is a non-trivial move, with immediate and wide consequences for the MS doing it. 3/
Now add to that the lost trust, standing and influence that an MS using Art50 in this way - as a mechanism to extract special conditions, with no intention of actually leaving - would experience once it had revoked.

It would be loathed for it. 4/
If the rest of the Member States believed it had been done fo this strategic reason, any political capital that MS had would be blown away, with a mountain to climb over many years to regain it. 5/
Trust would be destroyed. The duty of sincere cooperation in the Treaties would have been breached. 6/
This sound like the fluffy stuff people dreaming about “The European Project” like to talk about, but it isn’t. Trust, goodwill and sincere cooperation are essential to the working of the EU. 7/
People love to focus on voting, but Council rarely formally votes. It’s the objective of every Presidency to not have to, and to work by consensus as far as possible. This helps to achieve compromises, and to make sure that member states are listened to in negotiations. 8/
An MSs, even a médium-large one, invoking A50 in bad faith, then revoking would pay a huge cost as they would be ignored and zoned out of otherwise consensual negotiations for years. Their promises in negs would mean nothing. They would not be trusted. 9/
And, internationally, non-MSs would see a partner willing to lie to them and screw them over. 10/
So I think that the likelihood of any Member State actually using this as a negotiating mechanism, in bad faith and contrary to sincere cooperation, would be much lower than many think. The costs, as we are seeing, would be huge, and the future would be bleak for any that did.11/
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