1. An FTA does not provide for internal market concepts (in the area of goods) such as mutual recognition, the ‘country of origin principle’, and harmonisation. Nor does an FTA remove customs formalities and controls, including those concerning the origin of goods.

#Brexit
2. There are additional instruments such as mutual recognition of conformity assessment but that is contingent on a level of equivalence - essentially the same rules or better. This, though, is far beyond the "Canada style deal" asked for by the Tories.
3. For the EU to entertain any such requests they would need firm guarantees on LPF as well as the UK outlining what rules it will use and commit to direct consultation on any changes. This includes state aid.
4. Some Tory MPs are labouring under the illusion that an FTA would do away with the border down the Irish Sea. Not so. This is clearly stated in the Notices to Stakeholders. An FTA does not remove customs formalities.
5. That health warning was placed in every single Notice with a hope that it might sink in but it is doubtful a single Tory MP has read them. They just do as instructed by the party. Some think that an FTA replaces the NI protocol. May's deal allowed for this. Johnson's does not.
6. That, however, is with the caveat that the EU could not grant single market rights over and above what is in the most advanced FTA by way of the MFN principle. If haulage rights were granted to UK they must also be extended to Ukraine.
7. There was only ever one whole UK solution that would do away with border formalities and that was the EEA agreement. That would also have removed any direct ECJ involvement.
8. Had we committed to this in the beginning it would have changed the sequencing of the talks and would have made the WA a much slimmer document being that certain rights and obligations were carried over.
9. Tories, however, got carried away with the idea of mutual recognition of standards, despite the EU not doing this in any circumstances. It only does equivalence. They preferred the snake oil of Shanker Singham to reality.
10. This perhaps tells us why they thought they could play it fast and loose with the WA, believing they could side step it at a later date. They preferred their own tribal fictions over expert testimony. It's an insulated groupthink.
11. Now, though, they believe that the EU is so afraid of no deal that threatening to collapse the WA, thereby unsettling the NI question, the EU will simply cave in and make unprecedented concessions to a departing member that it would offer no other.
12. Quite simply, they are mad. They have no concept of how the EU functions or the wider system of trade rules, and somehow think that antagonising the EU makes them more inclined to cooperate. They have a distorted idea of negotiating.
13. The fact remains, though, that the WA was turned into a front stop rather than a backstop and it is permanent - deal or no deal. Johnson did that in full knowledge. Rowing back on it now just says we are not honest brokers.
14. The UK refuses to set out its state aid regime, offers no guarantees on food safety rules, continues to snub Barnier and routinely demonstrates that the UK cannot be trusted. Subsequently any deal is not worth the paper it's written on.
15. If the internal market bill goes ahead, the UK will be placing goods onto the single market without authorisation, in contravention of the NI protocol. That much is a complete departure from the rule of treaty law. Banditry.
16. In response to that the EU has to consider its options. It is bound by its own rules and WTO rules to equally enforce its third country controls. It cannot allow the UK to put goods on its market without an agreement. Yet the oaf calls this a "blockade".
17. But when you have the Speccie and the Telegraph doing your dirty work for you, and gullible, servile Tories willing to soak it up, the Tory party falls into line behind a UK government that has no regard for its own agreements let alone international law.
18. IF this is the way we are doing it then there is next to zero chance of an FTA, and what should have been a relatively amicable departure will turn into a hostile departure - making trade relations all that much harder to normalise the the future.

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More from @LeaveHQ

24 Sep
1. I don't like Rishi Sunak. I don't like groomed, manicured and fast-tracked politicians. It means he's sponsored by a vested interest. I don't know who that is but a man connected to Indian big business is bad news. Smells like a corporate takeover.
2. We are told he's an "enthusiastic brexiter" but there's no track record or eurosceptic pedigree. Just a collection of passionless anodyne brexitish statements. I honestly don't think he cares either way and that bothers me.
3. I dislike classical Brexiteers because they're foaming ideologues and thick as shit but at least I know where they stand. I don't know who Sunak is. He keeps his opinions close, keeping his nose clean for when the opportunity for promotion arises.
Read 8 tweets
23 Sep
Particularly it demonstrates that leavers were right in that national government are reduced to regional implementation agencies with no knowledge of, interest in, or control over regulation and external policy.
This was particularly evident in the indicative votes where Labour MPs voted for a customs union because they thought it had something to do with inspections at ports. Parliament was institutionally ignorant of the EU and little has changed since.
Remainers say we never lost control - but we certainly did by giving that control away and leaving it all for the eurocrats and civil servants to sort out - so key instruments of policy have been functioning on autopilot for decades with virtually no political scrutiny.
Read 8 tweets
22 Sep
1. When May's draft deal was published I was horrified by it. I momentarily became a no dealer. But it didn't take long to realise it was the only deal we were going to get and we couldn't afford not to take it.
2. Initially I was uncomfortable with the backstop. Though it wasn't a customs union, in conjunction with a future FTA, it had the makings of one and in so doing eroded some of the point of Brexit (if the backstop was ever activated).
3. Whether it would be is highly debatable but at least we had a loose political agreement to work towards phasing it out if it were. There was reason enough to assume good faith and it was within the realms if the possible.
Read 21 tweets
21 Sep
1. The key is and always has been effective contact tracing and enforced isolation. That system isn't working, so we're bound to lose control. One might argue that since we're never going to get to grips with it, we are as well just getting back to normal.
2. But the whole system rests on the impression that something is being done. If no official measures were being taken, people would take their own, using violence to enforce. If the state retreats, you get anarchy ... which is what we're beginning to get anyway.
3. The only credible exit plan is to be able to say we have an effective track and trace system in place, it is working, cases are declining (or will decline) so we can start to relax restrictions.
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep
What we're seeing isn't right wing authoritarianism. It's Johnsonism. A government that will go to any lengths to avoid owning up to its unforced errors. It's cowardly incompetence. If it was RWA it would at least be doing something halfway useful.
It could conceivably become RWA next year when Johnson has cocked everything up so badly he starts hemorrhaging votes by which time he'll turn his attention to immigration or crime, but largely headline populist policies they announce every few years but never amounts to anything
A real RWA government would look to confront wokeism in public institutions and take on the blob in academia. They would get round to deporting illegal immigrants, abolish the London mayor, scrap the supreme court and do away with the HRA.
Read 22 tweets
16 Sep
1. Methinks the Tory no deal plan B involves junking the WA with a view to weakening Ireland's place in the single market. The #InternalMarketBill essentially grants the UK government licence to place goods on the EU single market without authorisation. ...
2. It is assumed Ireland is then forced to put controls along the border - but it won't, invested so much politically in saying that can't happen. Instead it will institute certain behind the border controls notionally for the entire union, but in practice only for Ireland.
3. More than likely this will result in more stringent checks for goods travelling between Ireland and the mainland EU, instituting a market surveillance system where trucks will be inspected on the basis of risk. They'll soon work out which regular loads are kosher.
Read 12 tweets

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