And as the Political Declaration makes painfully clear, it doesn't know. Or cannot agree rather. /3
Leave aside that the Juncker Commission is months from expiry, @WeyandSabine of DG Trade (for it is she) asks what UK wants? There is a pause
Do we want to set up a (time-consuming) unicorn hunting group to find see if tech fixes can work on the Irish border?
What DO YOU WANT?
Same old question. Same old non-answers, very likely.
Which brings us to the nub..../5
Get a divorce deal done (settle accounts, grandfather citizens rights, guarantee no return to hard border), so we can cut ourselves some more slack to work out what we DO want.
The next cliff approaches.../6
It's a political pivot away from the old core question: what do you want?
A customs union or a customs border in the Irish Sea? Or unicorn hunt. /7
Talk to the dreaded experts and it really doesn't add up. /8
Which brings us to where we are now./11
1) Ultra-remainers need to accep #Brexit will happen. There was a vote. Reversing it risk undermining the foundations of our democracy
2) Ultra-leavers need to accept Brexit requires trade-offs. Sovereignty is no longer absolute /13
It says to hard Brexit folk, "we need to stay in a Customs Union", but we get lots of other autonomy (particularly on free movement).
And to remainers, we are leaving the Single Market and EU/14
But as they consider this, they must consider the alternatives:
- a massively divisive second referendum (if you thought the last one was nasty!)
- a 'no deal' Brexit that would be hugely costly and NOT change the questions noted above. You'd still need a deal, just negotiated on our knees.
I hope not. We need the first vote next week. We need to get close to the cliff.../18
But no-one should be complacent./19
Happy New Year everyone. It's gonna be big one. 20/ENDS