, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1. Opposition to the backstop is dumb. Yes, there are "alternative arrangements" we could look at. But what value do they add? For sure we can deal with the customs aspect through tech and behind the border enforcement - but why bother?

#Brexit thread
2. The point the ERG morons miss is that while you could notionally devise a system that eliminated the need for border checks in respect of customs, there has yet to be a computer system devised that can carry out the physical inspections.
3. So what they propose, as I understand it, is a system of of behind the border checks at point of origin under "trusted trader" schemes. Which is fine but you have to build up that systemic trust. The other option being clearance facilities near the border. Well ok, but...
4. All you end up doing is adding a massive tier of added controls that did not exist previously requiring a lot more paperwork and a change of regime. Thats going to add costs and kill trade. Eventually the system would adapt but we are back to the question of what is the point?
5. As the UK diverges, these checks become more invasive, but we are still then working on the assumption that EU standards are accepted in NI and/or UK mainland. So producers are going to default to the EU standard for max market potential.
6. This largely renders our own system of standards redundant in NI. So in effect, NI voluntarily ends up staying in a more bureaucratic version of the single market operating to EU rules as though there were a backstop in operation.
7. From a technical perspective the backstop on offer is one that requires the least adaptation and the best continuity for NI business. The political argument against is that NI would be treated differently economically to the rest of UK but...
8. that much is a fact of life. For as long as it shares a land border with the EU then there are proximate issues that will influence the economic and social life of the province. So what are we actually achieving here? Answer: bog all.
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