#Brexit things are getting ugly.

This @michaelgove statement about his call with @MarosSefcovic basically amounts, in EU eyes, to: "that’s a nice treaty you have here. Shame if anything happened to it” /1
@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic The British Government reiterates its "commitment" to the Irish Protocol in one breath, while legislating to re-write it in the other - IF it doesn't get the outcome it wants in the Joint Committee negotiation. /2
@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic Mr Gove "hoped Joint Committee discussions would reach a satisfactory conclusion"...

Given move in UK Internal Market Bill, how can that sound anything other than a threat.

Understand call with Sefcovic was "very tense". I bet. /3
@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic The EU will work very hard not to take the bait here, but this is where things can get very ugly.

Like this tasty @MrHarryCole @nick_gutteridge story in the Sun today on EU threatening to "block" GB food exports to NI /4

@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic @MrHarryCole @nick_gutteridge No doubt there is brinkmanship going on in these negotiations - the EU says it can't do a third country listing until UK sets out rules for SPS (Animal/Plant health)...see @MichelBarnier here /5

@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic @MrHarryCole @nick_gutteridge @MichelBarnier The point is that brinkmanship aside, if the UK govt is briefing the sun on food blockades...that's almost comically an expression of a seige mentality in No 10.

Literally: We. Are. Under. Siege. /6
@michaelgove @MarosSefcovic @MrHarryCole @nick_gutteridge @MichelBarnier The EU will watch and wait and see if this is precursor to a deal.

Or the start of a slide into 'no deal' - as increasingly they feel it must be.

Either way, wind up your trebuchets; put the hot oil onto boil; post guards on the battlements; God for Harry and all that. ENDS

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More from @pmdfoster

10 Sep
As #Brexit trade negs head for rocks, the focus on the 'Internal Market Bill was all on the 'notwithstanding' clauses - but the bill's REAL bombs were also on the devolution settlements - See here @FF explainer with me, @MureDickie @PickardJE 1/

@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE And if we are heading inexorably for a 'no deal' exit in January, then the political context for UK is even more important ahead of Scottish parliament elections next May /2
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE To recap, leaving the EU means that the UK 'internal market' is not longer undergirded by EU rules/directives/law.... that power is transferred to Westminster...and that means friction. Just as Brexiters hate Brussels, so Scottish/Welsn nationalists will chafe at W'minster rule/3
Read 11 tweets
9 Sep
Good Morning. It's #Brexit "break the law day" today.

So question (1): what does it mean? Is it serious?

And question (2) for the EU: "waddaya gonna do abaat it? Punk." 1/Thread
So in answer to Q1, it IS serious.

Serious enough for the UK's top government lawyer to resign in principle over the government plans. As me and @SebastianEPayne report here. But why SO serious? /2

@SebastianEPayne Because this is NOT "tidying up loose ends", its a flagrant move to unilaterally define a *mutually agreed* treaty (the Northern Ireland Protocol) in the event of a 'no deal'.

Officials call it a "safety net" but then, if it's so benign ,why did Jonathan Jones quit? /3
Read 20 tweets
8 Sep
Just to take a step back for a moment. The Irish Protocol was designed to protect the all-Ireland economy and peace process after #brexit.

It was an "all weather" vehicle, designed to withstand precisely the storm of a 'no deal' - that's its point 1/thread
It was a very deliberately constructed insurance policy.

So the Government's apparent attempts to re-write it, pare it back is like an insurance company trying to wheedle out of a pre-agreed policy, as @GeorgePeretzQC has observed. /2
@GeorgePeretzQC That cannot BUT have impact on the trust levels between the parties when they come to sign a new insurance policy - this time in regards of the Level Playing Field needed as the basis for the EU giving the UK 'zero tariff, zero quota' access to the Single Market. /3
Read 17 tweets
6 Sep
NEW: 🚨🚨🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🚨🚨🚨UK planning legislation to override key parts of #brexit withdrawal treaty and Northern Ireland protocol - a potentially HUGE move in negotiations; major ructions in Whitehall - my latest via @FT
@FT Per three sources with knowledge of plans the UK Internal Market bill (due on Weds) and this autumn's Finance Bill will contain clauses that “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement”. The EU are unlikely to like this - which I guess is the point /2
@FT Given @MichelBarnier
insistence on the "precise implementation" of the Withdrawal Agreement, the decision to legislate in a way that dilutes those obligations - on State Aid, export summary declarations and tariffs - is not likely to go down well with the EU /3
Read 20 tweets
3 Sep
Logistics & customs industries firing distress flares now over pace of #brexit border preps.

Demanding urgent high-level meeting with ⁦@michaelgove⁩ ⁦@RishiSunak⁩ ⁦@grantshapps⁩ via @FT 1/thread
@michaelgove @RishiSunak @grantshapps @FT First the letter itself - short but sweet - and important to note that it comes from the experts. The groups that actually move stuff and do stuff. I am not an expert, I can only report their concerns - which they are clearly now escalating. /2
@michaelgove @RishiSunak @grantshapps @FT There are also other signatories to that letter - including some household name logistics companies - for which discretion is the better part of valour.

But they are deeply worried on three counts:
1) IT not being ready
2) Biz having no time to adjust
3) Govt not listening /3
Read 14 tweets
2 Sep
All this. All the predictions of costs of no deal (GDP -5% to -8% smaller than otherwise) are smoothed out over 10 years. But they don’t tell you about disproportionate, concentrated impact on key industries (food, cars, chem, meds) in key (red wall) areas. 1/
When you ask modellers why it’s smoothed out, it’s precisely because localised impacts are so difficult to predict as industries suffer micro-fractures in supply chains when, say, a chemical or an ingredient becomes economically unviable. /2
Even when you ask people in these industries what’s gonna happen in a ‘no deal’ they struggle to tell you. Downstream and knock-on impacts, and how fast industry and consumers adapt to these are really hard to guess. /3
Read 5 tweets

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