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
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE The handling of this process has upset not just the SNP (predictable, you might say) but also the pro-Union, Labour-led administration in Cardiff who wrote last month to warn the UK gov approach would "accelerate the break up of the Union". /4

@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE The bill itself confirmed the Scottish and Welsh worst fears on 'mutual recognition' - they'll have to accept whatever UK Govt accepts in trade deals on food standards. They fear a'race to the bottom' - not surprisingly they don't trust assurances on standards /5
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE The non-discrimination clauses also cut across areas like Scotland's minimum alcohol pricing rules - an area of interest to US trade negotiators also. More fuel to the Scottish nationalist fires /6
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE And Sec-46 gives sweeping authority to Westminster to spend money in areas that are devolved to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - from infrastructure to cultural and sporting activities that UK ministers judge to “directly or indirectly benefit the United Kingdom”. (!!) /7
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE As one government aide in the Welsh Assembly said the change means Westminster can not only “apply the UK brand” to projects funded by the scheme, but “bypass the Welsh government altogether” - enjoy that Brexit Festival 2021, like it or not /8
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE One of the mysteries is that if - as some surmise - Scotland is a big fear for senior Tories, why have they handled the IM Bill so abrasively. We know @michaelgove is worried. He briefed cabinet in July on polling numbers, per @GeorgeWParker and @RishiSunak got the message.../9
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE @michaelgove @GeorgeWParker @RishiSunak And yet the #Brexit 'no deal' juggernaut rolls on - with @BorisJohnson apparently believing that the Scottish issue is no bar to a 'no deal'.

And indeed, it's not as though a deal of the kind they're negotiating would placate Sturgeon/SNP /10
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE @michaelgove @GeorgeWParker @RishiSunak @BorisJohnson As @rafaelbehr speculated, one scenario is do a 'no deal', assume SNP wins big in May and then simply refuse a Referendum, and use the impotent Scottish nationalist anger to stoke the base of English nationalists and win big in 2024, with Labour killed off in Scotland /11
@ff @MureDickie @PickardJE @michaelgove @GeorgeWParker @RishiSunak @BorisJohnson @rafaelbehr Nothing that has happened this week dissuades me from the impression that @BorisJohnson govt has set its face to the constitutional, legal and cultural storm, calculating that they will ride it out and emerge stronger. Am struggling to see a way back now. Hope that's wrong. ENDS

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Peter Foster

Peter Foster Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @pmdfoster

12 Sep
These are desperate times, but clinging to any strands of hope @BorisJohnson sets up so many outrageous straw men you could - just about - see it as creating the space for a deal 1/… Image
@BorisJohnson The hyperbolic "blockade" he mentions is driven the the fact that the Protocol (that he signed, I know) says that IF the two sides can't agree which goods are 'at risk' of going across the border into the Single Market then the default is that all of them are /2
@BorisJohnson This has arguable allowed the EU to be lazy - play hardball - since it can always fall back on the default.

The Internal Market Bill moves to close this avenue off - which in theory could change that negotiating dynamic, but in the process has just blown the negotiations up. /3
Read 15 tweets
9 Sep
#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
Read 7 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

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!