, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Michael Gove says that EU is 'refusing to negotiate'. But there is more nuance to EU's approach (short thread):
1. Talks: EU have said they are open to talks but have so far ruled out renegotiation. Why? (i)WA is outcome of compromise where both sides gave in; (ii)believe solution to backstop lies in trade discussions, not in reopening WA; (iii)don't think alternatives can be found in time
2. Substantive change: potentially but only if UK gov comes up with credible, workable alternatives. Reports of last week's meeting between UK's new EU Sherpa (Frost) and top EU Commission officials suggest no alternatives were put fwd. EU unlikely to negotiate until that changes
3. Not entirely a surprise: many in EU believe PM will be testing different options over the summer & that there will be no formal discussions (with EU) until September or after party conferences in October. Problem is time.
4. Time is short: so if UK Gov is serious abt renegotiation, waiting until Oct is a risky strategy - if anything, the more frustrated EU leaders are abt lack of progress, the less likely they will be to meet the UK half way. No-deal threat won't carry weight as EU feel prepared.
5. No deal preparation: expect this to dominate debate over next couple of weeks but I wd not rule out further talks just yet. END.
6. Wd further talks make a difference: Another key question, esp. for Brussels, is whether any tweaks/change wd actually be sufficient to make it through House of Commons. They wd need to be persuaded..
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