, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Interesting proposal by a group of German economics to overcome the #Brexit deadlock over the backstop by creating a "European Customs Association" between EU and UK:


A constructive approach, but I am sceptical
First, by essentially taking the customs union out of the EU and creating an EU/UK structure above it, politically it strongly blurs the line between EU and non EU country, opening the way to further disintegration.
Second, it does not solve the sovereignty issues for Brexiteers. The UK could not strike its own trade deals, and - even with a vote, which is politically also difficult for the EU to accept - could always be outvoted by the EU as a block.
Third, it would make trade policy even more messay than it is today. The EU would essentially need to strike double-mixed agreements - covering Member States, the EU and this new Customs Association. Very inflexible, and not fit for purpose in a quickly changing trade environment
Fourthly, it doesn't address the non-customs aspects of the backstop, in particular VAT and non-tariff checks, e.g. agriculture, food stock etc.
Finally, the proposal underlines how difficult it would be to negotiate a customs union between the EU and the UK even IF there was a political agreement to do so. This will not be done before #Brexit happens, therefore the need for the backstop.
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