, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
.@guardian reporting that British diplomats based in Brussels will pull out from EU meetings within days. While this sends a strong political message to EU (UK will leave on 31 Oct), it cd be damaging for UK influence longer-term (short-thread):
1. Part of EU conversations: As a member state, UK is part of EU discussions: it knows what policies are on the agenda, how different EU countries feel about them (divides!) and who (in Commission, Parliament and the Council) is working on them. UK also has a say and vote..
2. Lot harder from the outside: once you are a third country, you are no longer at the heart of EU circuit. No MEPs in EU Parliament and no diplomats in Council working groups (some exceptions, for e.g. Switzerland and Norway participate in Schengen working group).
3. Technical meetings: you can take part in EU technical meetings (when legislation is being drawn up) - but requires EU consent. Plus, discussions evolve and policy can look radically different once it's been through Parliament and Council review.
4. Should UK care? Well yes, for two reasons.
5. No deal: UK Gov no-deal committee has said that UK wd continue to recognise EU standards under no deal (c/o @MrHarryCole reporting this weekend). These EU rules change all the time - makes sense for UK to be part of discussions while it still can (i.e. until 31 Oct).
6. Relationship-building: much easier when you know *who* in EU Commission is working of policy and *who* is debating it in Council working groups and EU Parliament. But people move jobs - and churn higher when new Commission about to start. Reminder: new Commission on 1 Nov.
7. Trust: To get people to tell you what is going on, you also need their trust. Harder when trust between Gov's is at an all-time low. Even harder when you don't know who is sitting around the table.
8. Conclusion: EU decisions likely to continue to affect UK (and vice-versa) at least in short-term. Far from pulling out, UK shd make the most of being part of EU structures - from knowing what new policy is on the agenda to who is working on it - while it still can. END.
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