, 22 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. For me it's really not worth getting worked up about the customs union in May's deal. My main objection to it is that it's overkill for the very little it actually solves. That, though, is no reason to reject the deal. #Brexit thread
2. Supposing we are part of a customs union, yes the EU can negotiate preferential access to UK markets in terms of tariffs. Technically the other country doesn't have to reciprocate, but in most cases they will - because there is more to trade than tariffs.
3. In international relations, reciprocality is the norm, and where we don't find it, they can, to coin a phrase, go to the "back of the queue". Being free of the single market means we can grant certain regulatory preferences if we so wish.
4. There's our services markets, government procurement, digital rights, air services, intellectual property and mode 4 services visa rights - and being that the UK is the second most open market on government procurement, it's not a good idea to piss us off.
5. The ERG have fetishised tariffs, believing the freedom to strike our own deals means we can make things cheaper. Aside from the hundreds of tariff agreements the EU has where already we have little in the way of tariffs, it's a massively simplistic argument.
6. More to the point, with tariffs already low (global average 3%) - and chewed up in currency fluctuations anyway, it;s factored in as the cost of doing business. It's unpredictable costs that value chains do not like.
7. On that score, things like fraud, counterfeiting, paperwork errors, port delays, official corruption, tax evasion, and irregular standards enforcement all costs substantially more than tariffs and this is the sort of thing we want to eliminate.
8. This is where we can mimic the EU's policy of developing and proliferating global standards and standarding customs formalities, or increasing supply chain security. Trade facilitation measures are worth substantially more.
9. In a lot of respects we have reached trade normalisation with a number of key partners where without investment there is little scope for growth even if we did tinker with tariffs. The challenge therefore, is a matter of increasing the profitability of value chains.
10. That's where we need to roll up international development aid with trade policy so that we can assist the developing world in eliminating fraud, counterfeiting and all the things that drive up insurance and logistics costs.
11. There are a lot of misnomers about trade and ignorance is not confined to Brexiters. Even remainers say that if we are in a CU then Liam Fox's job is redundant. This is not so. Singapore has no tariffs, yet still has an active FTA schedule, as does Turkey. How can this be?
12. There is nothing at all stopping us running an independent trade policy. We just have to be a bit more creative about it. That the ERG think a CU kills that gives you a clue as to how their perceive trade. They have a completely one dimensional view.
13. They do not recognise the potential of non tariff trade concerns because to them that's all piffling detail only bureaucrats concern themselves with. It's why they also know bog all about how the single market works. It is a cultivated ignorance.
14. Where trade is concerned we have largely shot ourselves in the foot by leaving the EEA in that there is no imaginable combination of FTAs with other countries that could hope to rival or replace it. By contrast the CU issue is neither here nor there.
15. Ideally we would be better off out of the CU but as an interim measure it probably makes it easier to roll over the deals we have so it's best to learn to walk before we can run. Eventually we will leave it since the technologies emerging make CUs largely redundant.
16. I'm not going to lie and say it ain't no thing and I'm not happy about it but that's tough titties, Susan. Negotiations are over and we lost out by not getting our act together. The fact is this deal is better than no deal because no deal is literally an unmitigated disaster.
17. Overnight, no deal radically changes the business model upon which our trade has evolved for decades. You can't make that kind of seismic interruption and expect things to carry on. You can't introduce a barrage of non tariff measures and expect supply chains to function.
18. To say that this deal is not Brexit because it involves a CU, vastly underestimates the scope of the EU and overestimates the significance in the EU stack of the customs union. We *are* leaving the EU with this deal. Ending FoM and quitting the single market which is big!
19. As to the non regression clauses, the benchmark will be whether we uphold the global standard, which we will because the EU rules we implement are derived from global conventions anyway. That's why there isn't going to be sweeping deregulation.
20. Most of the objections to the deal are straight out of the Grunt-along-with-Redwood Karaoke book - and it's needless hyperventilation. Trade relationships are inherently complex and they have binding features. That's the nature of the game. Get used to it.
21. If by now you think we can function on WTO rules alone one can only assume you either live in a cave or slavishly believe anything JRM says. The man is pondlife and he knows less about trade than I know about tact and good taste. It really is time to put on the big boy pants.
22. The deal could have been better, but that is something of a moot point since y'all'd have whinged about that too. Brexiters have played a dishnest game in weaving the narrative that any deal is a betrayal. If that's your game, then it's deeply cynical and nihilistic.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Pete North
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!