, 8 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Baffling that many in Britain *still* think Merkel will be the one to help get a #Brexit deal over the line. Yes, Merkel wants a deal as do EU27. But there are limits to what EU leaders can do (short thread):
1. EU leaders have final say, but @EU_Commission negotiates: EU Commission discusses positions with EU27 before & after *each* negotiating round (and is in regular contact with @Europarl_EN & others). EU Commission is not 1 actor among 28, it negotiates on behalf of 27.
2. Feasibility of deal: so if @EU_Commission say "no", it's usually cos EU27 have said no. Yes, there are times when EU leaders are more involved (and they will definitely be more involved in trade & sec talks). But to assume they will have radically different position is.. silly
3. Technical: @EU_Commission are masters of detail: know EU treaties inside out, WTO rules, existing FTAs and - crucially - how Brexit negotiations impact their trade negotiations with other countries. So even if they wanted to give the UK a good deal, they might not be able to.
4. Unity: There is nuance to EU27 view: EU leaders more willing to give @BorisJohnson benefit of the doubt & will push when they think Commission is being too rigid; some favour long extension etc. *But* they remain united: EU27 want a deal - and a deal that also benefits them.
5. Speaking of: EU27 know unity is their strength in external negotiations ("sorry - this position is a careful balance of 27 views"). That doesn't work for internal EU negotiations: EU countries know where everyone stands and where fighting consensus might bear fruit...
6. Finally, there is a way to get the EU to agree to what you want - but the key is to know *how*. I wrote about this for @thetimes but it's also available on CH website: chathamhouse.org/expert/comment… END.
@thetimes Should have mentioned: snippet about @David_Cameron is from @Jack_Blanchard_ 's ever excellent @politico London Playbook!
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