, 23 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. There is a goliath dishonesty afoot among the leave camp that I want no part of. Everyone from Gisela Stuart through to Spiked Online, CrapX and John Redwood are pretending that anything that isn't no deal is not #Brexit. This is a sickening lie.
2. International relations are a rich tapestry of agreements ranging from exchange of letters through to mutual recognition agreements through to formal MoUs and FTAs. Nobody deals one default terms alone.
3. To that that end every nation on earth has binding obligations both with trading partners and international organisations on everything from fishing to space policy. Everything functions on integrated systems of rules.
4. Any relationship with the EU involves some kind of compromise. Being outside of the EU, becoming a third country and becoming the junior in any bilateral relationship was always going to have bitter pills to swallow.
5. I weighed that up and accepted that risk when I voted to leave. Unlike the leave blob, I accept responsibility for the consequences of my choices. As have most grown ups.
6. The leave camp was warned that if they did not produce a realistic, deliverable plan then the arrangements for our exit would be decided by someone else. Cummings, Elliot and the VL gang elected to ignore that warning.
7. Since the referendum the ERG have indulged in fantasy Brexit wargames, moving around brigades on the map that they do not have; ignoring the legal and technical realities of our predicament.
8. Being that May has been in an impossible bind with a gun to her head for all this time, she has been crippled by the contradictions and paradoxes that the ERG toddlers cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge.
9. The EU, therefore, has written most of the script while we have pissed away all our time and leverage - while MPs who still struggle with basic terminology have failed to unite behind a viable alternative. We are now out of time.
10. The situation could have been salvaged if parliament had got its act together or if the ERG had come up with something credible but that window closed some time ago. It was pretty much over last december. We've wasted a year.
11. In that time, the Tory right have used their not inconsiderable resources and media contacts to cycle the same handful of lies through their respective propaganda vessels in respect of the viability of no deal.
12. If at this point you are still claiming we can function with no formal relations, in contradiction to the EU's stated legal NTS position you are engaged in a campaign of political lying. Or you're being used.
13. The fact is that just about everything you can name is in some way governed by a system of rules evolved over four decades, much of which is still not fully understood and you can't simply unplug it at the wall and expect things to carry on as normal.
14. In respect of that, Brexit was always going to be a negotiated long term process taking anywhere up to fifteen years to establish a new bilateral relationship to cover the depth and complexity of international trade and transboundary cooperation.
15. Assuming we can salvage some functionality at Dover, this says nothing of air services agreements, fisheries, maritime surveillance, digital rights, intellectual property, marine and air pollution - all of which has implications for international relations not covered by WTO.
16. As to the deal, it could have been better. The fact it isn't is nobody's fault but ours. There comes a time, though, when you have to accept responsibility. The deal is the deal and it is ultimately the product of Brexiter intransigence and colossal ignorance.
17. So it comes down to a simple estimation of whether we can afford as a country to terminate all of our formal external relations. And we can't. We don't have the capacity politically to take on board all the problems it creates. Just leaving SM is a big enough deal on its own.
18. Even with Mays deal there is still a cliff edge because leaving the EEA will exclude us from key EU markets and make normal operations impossible. To say that May's deal is not leaving is a gross dishonesty. You may not like the terms, but it is leaving.
19. You were never going to get a sweet deal. We didn't hold all the cards and what leverage we had we squandered early on. This way we at least buy ourselves another window to try and change tack to something that would avoid a backstop. We can still pivot to EEA after the fact.
20. The fact is, trade only functions with a high level of legal and technical cooperation. That is the very essence of the discipline. if you are not integrated with Eu then its with someone else. Adopting rules is part of the game. There is no perfect sovereignty.
21. Its one thing to want to be out of the political union, but my vote is not consent for an ultra right wing economic agenda, and especially one devised on the basis of ERG fantasising and assumptions of people who couldn't tell you what a non tariff barrier was two years ago.
22. The time for petulant footstamping is over. Winning the referendum came with a number of obligations and responsibilities. It was up to leavers to engage with reality and set out realistic objectives. The people you chose to lead you refused to. Now suck up the consequences.
23. For the record, Efta was always the most intelligent way out, economically, strategically and geopolitically. Early on that could have been possible but ya'll decided to worship JRM because he told you want you wanted to hear. You can thank him for what you're stuck with.
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