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Steve Bullock @GuitarMoog
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
The PM makes 2 points here. One is extremely weak, in my view (#peoplesvote undermines democracy). The second is misleading.

Extending Art50 wouldn’t require a “renegotiation” or “reopening” of the whole WA. It would just require changing the dates in it to reflect the ext. 1/
It’s unthinkable that a) EU27 would agree to an extension but not the simple find-and-replace exercise that it would obviously require and b) that they would want or allow the wider text to be reopened. 2/
Let’s remember that both sides proclaimed the text completed and agreed while “20XX” was still in it. Dates can be changed by mutual agreement, and often are in otherwise closed texts. 3/
In fact, there are many reasons that otherwise closed texts can be changed in a very limited way without re-opening them. Factual inaccuracies due to outside events, legal-linguist issues, things referred to changing between negotiation and final agreement etc. 4/
I’m not saying this is a purely administrative change - the dates are quite important - and there would need to be mutual agreement on the changes. 4/
But it would certainly not mean reopening the whole text, or any parts not directly related to allowing for an extension, for the simple reason that EU27 would not want to do that. 5/
I suspect that the actual issue here is that May would not want to change the dates due to the politically self-interested obsession with how it all looks at the 2022 election.

That’s not really a satisfactory reason though, is it?

6/6
PS, As a point of interest, the regulations for the EU’s external spending for 2014-2020 (>€80bn) were finalised with no numbers, only “€XX”, in them, as the numbers depended on a different agreement (the MFF) still being negotiated. MSs got a short memo when they were added.
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