, 39 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
So, back to Brexit. And, with apologies for the delay, I'd just like to share some highlights from the @UKandEU report we brought out last week, which is available here: ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/upl… (Bleeding massive thread) (1)
It's a biggie, and if what I"m about to say doesn't tempt you sufficiently, it also, in a departure for us, has a handy pull out wall chart, a bit like the World Cup ones but better, that will let you reminisce happily about the last 3 years or so. (2)
So @Usherwood kicks us off, with some salutary reminders about the predominance of our politics in the negots: the notification to trigger Art 50 was driven by a anxiety in the Conservative Party that May might never deliver rather than because a robust strategy was in place (3)
This is a useful palliative to those who glibly say ‘she should have delayed’. She was under huge pressure. Equally, the decision … to call a general election was similarly much more about the perceived weakness of Labour than any benefit to the UK’s negotiating position (4)
Next @StevePeers rattles through the WA. He asks whether the UK could have negotiated a different one and concludes possibly, if the UK’s settled intention from the outset was to continue participation in the single market and/or agree a customs union with the EU (5)
Next up, @sarahobolt Voters are as divided along Brexit lines as they ever were. Vast majority haven't changed their minds since 2016. The Brexit divide has hardened though we are united in one respect: the vast majority of people are unhappy with govt's handling of Brexit (6)
This matters. Distrust in politicians was one of the drivers of the Brexit vote in the 2016: people with little trust in politicians and government were much more likely to vote in favour of leaving the EU, and the Brexit process has exacerbated this lack of faith in politics (7)
Our own @DrAlanWager and @matt_bevington remind us that almost all Brexit-related legislation has stalled: the Trade Bill hasn’t returned for final consid by the Commons. The Agriculture Bill is yet to be scheduled for report stage. The same goes for the Immigration Bill (8)
And they point out – correctly – that It is curious that a prime minister who has relied more often than not on the opposition has spent such an inordinate amount of time talking to the benches behind her (9)
In the EU, @CatherineDVries argues public support for remaining rose across Europe after the referendum. BUT, this does not mean that people are satisfied with the direction of EU. Is it really a ‘maze that one cannot exit’? Thisis a negative case for Eur cooperation (10)
Thomas Sampson (still not on bloody twitter – can you sort him out, @dhingra?) By mid 2018 UK GDP was approx 2 percentage points lower than it would have been if the UK had voted Remain. Brexit has cost the UK around £350 million per week in lost output since the referendum (11)
Moreover, the Brexit vote increased consumer price inflation by 1.7 percentage points in year following referendum. In 2018 business investment declined for four consecutive quarters and recorded its lowest annual growth rate since the financial crisis a decade earlier (12)
Turning to section two, on the present, @whatukthinks points out the problem facing Common Market 2.0 Brexit is that most Remain voters want the Brexit decision to be reversed, while for many Leave supporters it looks all too much like still being part of the EU (13)
A salutary reminder from Meg Russell @ConUnit_UCL that in 2016 May suggested that parliament would play little role in the Brexit process. MPs have not felt able straightforwardly to indicate their own preferences (14)
The usual conflicts they face between conscience, constituency, party and nation have been heightened . The usual default of Commons’ agreement with government depends on factors currently absent: cohesive parties with agreed policy objectives, and a partisan majority (15)
Meanwhile, @DrAlanWager and I ponder when, and how, a crisis of politics evolves into a crisis of the constitution. We can conclude that the key determinant of whether the current crisis is political or constitutional is whether it can be resolved through an electoral event (16)
Next, @sarahagemann reminds us few in EU expected the UK to adopt a position where it would reject membership of the SM and CU. Now, if the UK gets a ‘fudged’ exit, the EU will lose credibility and pressure may increase for other governments to consider their commitments too (17)
Turning to @jdportes, he argues that the performance of the UK economy over the last ten years has been, by historical standards, dreadful. He points to weak productivity growth, a dysfunctional housing market and aggressive fiscal consolidation as contributory factors (18)
V Bogdanor has a piece on the constitution. Brexit shifts a country from a protected constitution into an unprotected one. EU entry transformed British constitution. Brexit, far from returning us to the status quo ante, could transform it even more (19)
God this is a fab report. And it gets better. @p_surridge argues that for all the talk of realignment, economic values cross-cut the referendum result and the old logic of the two-party system could reassert itself (20)
Next @TimBale argues Brexit may blow the party system apart. Divisions on Eur haven't been deeper, more salient or more entrenched. But argues Tories, will prob hang together – partly for fear of hanging separately and partly because we’ve forgotten how much they agree on (21)
Back to @jdportes Impact of May’s deal will be negative. Govt's estimates forecast a hit to GDP of 2% to 4%;. our own estimates are 2% to 5.5%. Also, signif pol (and poss economic) downsides to becoming a “rule-taker” in important areas of economic and regulatory policy (22)
We’ve even got a piece by @SamuelMarcLowe of a rival think tank I won’t tag here, obvs. Key takeaway? The question of what role the UK will play in the global trading system cannot be fully settled until the UK clarifies the depth and scope of future relationship with the EU (23)
And guess who? @jdportes turns to immigration and argues a less open and more restrictive migration policy would have a negative impact on output and productivity (24)
On devolution @McEwen_Nicola points out there have been considerably more formal meetings between Scottish, Welsh and UK ministers in the 32 months since the 2016 referendum than in the 17 years of devolution that preceded it. (25)
But she concludes ‘[If] Brexit… [weakens] the autonomy of the devolved institutions without increasing their influence over UK policies, relationships between the UK’s territories may become ever more strained’ (26)
Turning to NI, @hayward_katy points out that Brexit has exacerbated the centrifugal forces at work within Northern Ireland politics. Few people, with the exception of those on the extreme fringes of politics, are looking forward to what comes next for Northern Ireland (27)
As for England @DanielWinc and @RWynJones argue Brexit has led to renewed attention to differences and divisions within England itself. As a political identity, Englishness is both potentially powerful and protean – capable of being mobilised in various ways. (28)
Philip McCann and @r_ortegaargiles argue most Leave-voting regions are more dependent on EU markets than Remain-voting regions (29)
One key narrative of EU Referendum was that of the ‘metropolitan elite’, which implies that the rich, elite networks of London are those which primarily benefit from membership of the EU, while others do not. However, the evidence suggests that the opposite is the case (30)
There’s more! @DrAlanWager and @matt_bevington summarise findings from our surveys of experts. When YouGov polled public on who they trusted most on Brexit, economists from think tanks and universities came top of all professions listed. Always trust the wisdom of crowds…. (31)
Next @CSBarnard24 explains what happens to EU law . All EU law becomes part of UK law as ‘retained EU law’. Moreover, looking to the future, ‘it is a truth not universally acknowledged that free trade deals inevitably involve restrictions on the parties’ sovereignty’. (32)
David Runciman has a lovely piece on Brexit and democracy. MPs haven't felt empowered to block Brexit. It has left them increasingly unsure about their role as representatives: do they speak for the people like them or for the people who have no one else to speak for them? (33)
Parl needs new voices and new ways of hearing voices that are otherwise excluded, whether in the form of citizens’ assemblies, a wider range of minority parties or more direct democracy. I do think that @helenhet should take steps to get the Luddite Cantabrian onto twitter. (34)
Talking of Helen, she points out that Brexit is an existential matter for the EU, which is losing its strongest military power, its second-largest economy, and its premier financial centre where more than half of all Eurozone borrowing and equity issue occurs. (35)
The EU can make a show of the risks of secession, or it can accommodate a special status for Britain in regard to the single market, to try to keep Britain on the EU’s side as the Atlantic security relationship diminishes (36)
And on UK in the world, @LawDavF argues that when it comes to international security and defence, Europe has struggled to act as a significant, autonomous body. (37)
However, if the idea of the 1970s that the Common Market would provide a vehicle for British influence is no longer credible, nor is the idea that it is possible to exercise significant international power acting alone. (38)
That’s it. It’s fab, like I say. Download it, read it, SHARE IT. I'm off back to bed (END)
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