The EU must obviously do its utmost to protect the Good Friday Agreement, and itself and its Member States against the shock of a no-deal Brexit, but there is nothing much that it can do to stop the UK deciding on a destructive, lawless path if that is what the UK wants. /1
And if the UK insists on persisting with the IM Bill, the EU should not entertain any idea of talks with the UK. Even the slightest hint that breaking the WA is acceptable would send the message that intentional breach could be used again for leverage in the future. /2
No deal is obviously a terrible outcome, but it may be preferable to a deal that the UK govt will then seek to undermine on a sporadic basis when it suits. /3
Legal and economic certainty are vital to secure peace and prosperity, and with the UK govt emboldened to go rogue, there certainly wouldn’t be any. 4/4

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More from @John_Cotter

10 Sep
Johnson has now really painted himself into a corner: keep the offending clauses in the UK Internal Market Bill and it’s no more negotiations and no deal; take them out and it’s an embarrassing climb down. Which leads me to think, he may leave them in, because... /1
A. He’s daft/arrogant enough to think he can wing a no-deal Brexit and he can confidently expect to spin it as the perfidious EU’s fault. He can also spin it as him asserting the UK’s boundless sovereignty to his boneheaded patriotic base, and... /2
B. He just can’t sell the climbdown. It makes his government look, in plain language, idiotic, reckless and weak.

So, buckle up... 3/3
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
‘Sovereignty’ as understand by Brexiteers in government seems to amount to nothing more than a belief that the executive has the right to pursue any action it wishes without any constraint, internal or external, legal or political. /1
Parliament can be prorogued illegally when it becomes an obstacle. Judges are engaging in politics when they rule the govt has acted unlawfully. Lawyers are derided when they act to prevent the govt acting illegally against their clients. /2
Electoral manifestos mean nothing as soon as the promises made therein become expendable. International law can be openly breached when it gets in the way. Serious media is avoided when it asks probing questions. /3
Read 6 tweets
31 Jul
When I first moved to England, I was made module leader for Public Law. I inherited what was a traditional, standard module, where one of the early lectures was on the rule of law. Basically a run through the differing conceptions of the rule of law: Dicey, Raz, Bingham. /1
In one sense, it was odd to be giving a lecture on what I would’ve considered legal theory: it was not something I recall being mentioned at all when I studied constitutional law in Ireland or Staatsrecht in Germany. /2
I surmised that in the absence of a codified, written constitution, there would be a sort of emotional or psychological need to try to piece a constitution together and to attribute certain structures to it to hold it together (basically, Dicey’s life’s work). /3
Read 12 tweets
30 Jul
Paul has tweeted this, so I don’t have to. But, I’ll go anyway. I’ve said it before: it’s rather easy for white, middle class *English* remainers to be all “let’s take Brexit on the chin” and reconcile with leavers... /1
1. Being Irish, I am still appalled and offended at how leavers were and are willing to use Ireland’s economy and peace as collateral damage in their pursuit of their project. /2
2. Most leavers showed no interest after the referendum in reconciling and by and large still have none. They ignored the closeness of the result and by and large got behind the pursuit of hard Brexit. /3
Read 9 tweets
21 Jul
Why Member States not complying with Article 2 TEU values such as the rule of law is not just an issue of morality for those States and the EU, but an economic problem and threat to the integrity of the EU internal market. An (explainer) thread. /1
I’ll start with a sad and cynical observation: not everyone hears or cares about appeals that rely solely on moral values such as democracy, the rule of law, and rights. Some issues have to be reduced to economics before they will be heard. /2
In this thread, I make the case that Member States, such as Poland and Hungary, that breach fundamental EU values, and face no real consequences for doing so, constitute an economic problem for the EU and a danger to its Internal Market. /3
Read 20 tweets
6 Jul
No-deal Brexit/thin gruel Brexit: a *clumsy* and not completely earnest blame game parable...

Thread 🧵

Leavers: “Let’s get rid of the roof.”

Remainers: “Why?”

Leavers: “It is interfering with our view of the sky.”

Remainers: “Not really a reason to get rid of the roof. Can’t you just look out the window? Or install a skylight window? Or go outside?” /2
Leavers: “No, that isn’t enough sky. We want to see more sky, but indoors.”

Remainers: “But the roof protects us.”

Leavers: “That’s okay; we’ll build a roof that fully protects us and is completely transparent.”

Remainers: “Wouldn’t that be prohibitively expensive?” /3
Read 9 tweets

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