, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. #Labour now seem to be unified in calling for a customs union. This to me looks like the sleepy kid at the back of the class suggesting something to make it look like he was paying attention. It is a non-solution to #Brexit. Thread...
2. Because it has the word "customs" in the name, they believe it has magical properties that bring about frictionless trade. As the Commission pointed out a year ago, this simply is not the case.
3. Frictionless trade is the byproduct of a system of behind the border controls which is largely to do with regulatory harmonisation - ie the single market. Without it, there will need to be controls at or near the border.
4. Labour then suggests we must have a close relationship with the single market. This is a deliberate piece of chicanery. You can't have a relationship with the single market. You are either in it or you are not. You are either in the regulatory union or you are not.
5. Outside of the single market there are ways and means by which inspections and customs formalities can be minimised, provided we have agreement and time to adapt facilities, but in now way does this eliminate the same level of border friction.
6. The proposal to tack on a customs union to May;s withdrawal agreement rather overlooks the fact that May's deal more or less does this, following the Union Customs Code as before. Labour's proposal adds nothing and accomplishes nothing.
7. What we see from Labour is little more than game playing, talking about concepts they don't understand, but evading the central point that if we want to maintain anything like the same level of EU trade then it's the single market we need, not a customs union.
8. This deception from Labour is largely because it loses its northern base unless a there are guarantees that freedom of movement ends. It's pure political cowardice and a failure to note that EEA FoM is a different animal to EU citizenship.
9. This only goes to underscore that Labour's official policy is little more than triangulation and evasion and is incapable of adding anything of value to the process whatsoever. By voting down May's deal they have simply doubled the risk of no deal.
10. More to the point, the #Brexit vote was to become an independent country. That means becoming a distinct customs entity able to independently forge its own trade relations without deference to Brussels. A Customs Union, therefore, is incompatible with Brexit.
11. A CU causes more problems than it solves. The only benefit is to avoid the EU's Rules Of Origin regime - so we'd be compromising the principles Brexit largely for the benefit of multinationals like Nissan. Also ignores that an FTA would have a ROO threshold of 50%.
12. But since all sides are determined to take us out of the EEA, and have probably missed the window anyway, there is but one choice - and that's Mrs May's deal as is, and then in the transition negotiate a CETA style FTA with whatever MaxFac we can get.
13. The other choice, of course, is to continue playing silly buggers, wasting everyone's time, only to crash out with no deal then frictionless trade won't matter a damn since we'll have shafted most of our exporters.
14. Should that happen, that will be as much the fault of Labour and the People's Vote morons who have systematically lied about the EEA and not been honest with voters while also utterly failing to understand the issues. It would be a complete political failure.
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