, 18 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. I am now completely ambivalent on the EEA option. The reason I no longer care is that the #PeoplesVote campaign have campaigned the hardest to undermine this option. They are also ultra hard brexiters. Their rhetoric is identical to that of the ERG.

#Brexit thread
2. Leaving EEA means a massive drop off in exports. There's little in the rest of the world that compensates for its loss since we already have advanced trade relations with most major partners. Trade wise its a dumb idea. There is a cliff edge as 3rd country controls are imposed
3. Brexiters, however, cannot be persuaded otherwise. The less sane ones believe the BrexitCentral dribble about "fwee twade" and there's nothing I can do to correct that. Primary sources no longer carry weight. It's all about prestige opinion that fits the narrative.
4. And then from my own perspective, I've only ever been an EEA supporter out of pragmatism. It goes way beyond trade and still doesn't return the level of control we ideally want. I just take the view that any mode of Brexit comes with a bitter pill to swallow.
5. So there is no right answer to this. It really comes down to your own personal estimation of how radical Brexit needs to be. Personally I'm not down with no deal Brexit because it's too much of a blow and will likely see a future govt grovelling for whatever deal it can get.
6. And then there's the Norway Plus movement in parliament who have taken the EEA option and mangled it, failing to understand how it works and insisting we have a customs union, which for me is a red line.
7. I could be persuaded to take a pragmatic line on a CU if I thought it particularly solved anything but largely its only really beneficial to automotive sector who will likely shaft us anyway. Not forgetting that an FTA gives us a 50% ROO threshold. CU is overkill.
8. I am also convinced that customs formalities, given a long enough transition can be resolved through a combination of rudimentary harmonisation and MaxFac. There seems to be a cottage industry of problematisers - all of whom are remainers. Pinch of salt needed.
9. I think, therefore, though imperfect, May's deal will probably have to do. It keeps us in the game and buys us the transition we need to prepare. Not only are we not prepared for no deal, you can't prepare for that level of chaos.
10. More to the point, public opinion in NI would suggest the backstop is more popular than the DUP tell us, and frankly, I am not going to lose any sleep at all if NI continues using EU food safety rules in their slaughterhouses. BIG who cares?
11. The end point of signing May's deal probably means an advanced FTA with a number of tacked on bilaterals on everything from Euratom to air services and a level of MaxFac that goes far beyond anything currently in existence, with a view to phasing out the backstop.
12. That then gives us most of what we want in terms of domestic control and most of what we want in respect of trade. We live to fight another day - which indeed we will need to to correct May's mangled customs arrangement which has the same effect as a formal CU in the interim
13. The point for me is that I can live with May's deal, mindful that it is only the divorce terms and the future relationship will be a continuum we can renegotiate in future. That's how bilateral relations work. It has the merit of getting the ball rolling with the exit process
14. It will still mean a major blow to trade because there I no way that even MaxFac and regulatory cooperation can have the same effect as the single market and being out of the SM probably means worse FTAs with others. There is still a cliff edge. But I really have no sympathy.
15. Both sides has conspired against the Efta option and even the advocates of Efta in parliament just want it as a second prize rather than seeing the value in being a proud member of a new north atlantic alliance. I would want us as a full and committed Efta member and sod a CU
16. The people's vote pondlife can wail all they like but the refusal to accept the 2016 verdict and the ongoing poison pen campaign against the EEA option has consequences and they can share in the blame. The ERG adopted their rhetoric wholesale.
17. I do not see that the EU will radically shift from its current position and is not minded to extend for the UK to sod it around even more, and even if the Norway Plus fools win the argument, they still have to sign a withdrawal agreement with a backstop.
18. Beyond that, I just don't care so long as we leave. If parliament can't get its act together then the fault lies with them alone. If they didn't want no deal then they should have voted for a withdrawal agreement when they had the chance.
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