Thread on the Internal Market (IM) bill and Brexit.
For what it’s worth I think Boris is right with the IM bill. We can argue whether it breaks international law or not, or whether it only breaks international law if enacted (or not).
We can argue that enacting IM will prevent the UK breaking other international treaties and which then should take precedent. We can find lawyers backing all arguments.
We can point to other examples where countries have broken international treaties (including the EU and many members of the EU unilaterally). We can argue whether the UK should be better than every other country in the world (in this regard).
But ultimately, I think there are two big issues to consider as a result of the bill’s existence.

First, does it make it more or less likely that we end up with a sustainable FTA with the EU.

Second, does the bill threaten the UK’s reputation with the ROW.
On the first, I have absolutely no doubt that the bill makes the chances of a sustainable deal more likely. The EU was using the NI protocol to force the UK to sign up to remaining under the EU orbit/control.
Not only do I believe Boris could never agree such a deal (political suicide), but I also believe that even if he did, such a deal would not have been sustainable.
Ultimately the British people will not accept EU control without representation. The alternative – handing control of NI to the EU - would also ultimately be unacceptable to the people of the UK.
History is littered with international treaties that failed to last the test of time & often the authors themselves recognised the problems as they were written. Lloyd George, for example, famously warned the seeds of another world war were embedded in the Treaty of Versailles.
The EU, however, does not believe this. It believes that like every UK PM for the past 50+ years (with one notable exception) Boris is talking tough to the home crowd whilst looking for a way to give the EU what it wants but be able to present it as something different at home.
What Boris has done with the IM bill is show EU that this is not the case. Yes, he wants a deal, but if EU is unwilling to agree a Canada style FTA (i.e. accepting the costs of being outside the SM & CU but nothing more) he will accept No Deal – and not at the price of losing NI.
The EU has still to make the same choice it has always had. A rapid or gradual divergence from the UK. I still believe that they will ultimately choose the latter and that the IM bill makes this more likely.
But what about our international reputation? Whilst I do not believe it is a good idea to routinely break international treaties and that doing so does confer some reputational/trust loss, I do not believe that the IM bill falls into this category.
Why? Because whilst the ROW may not know the minutiae of the UK/EU negotiations, it does know what the big picture is. It knows that this is (exactly what it is) a choice between the UK remaining under EU control or re-entering the world.
Rather than see the IM bill as a sign of weakness in this regard, the ROW sees it as a sign of strength.
It sees a UK preparing to leave EU control. And contrary to Remainer arguments, the ROW really wants to see the UK back on the world stage.
Asia & Lat Am aren’t busy trying to get the UK into the CPATPP simply to target some of the EU’s trade surplus. Rather it is because this partnership is viewed by its members not just as a trade deal but as a bulwark against Chinese expansionism and aggression.
In that regard members view an independent and sovereign UK as an important military, intelligence, diplomatic and yes economic partner in the alliance.
In Asia the UK leaving the EU is seen as another Falklands moment.
Up until the Falklands war Asia viewed the UK as a weak, bankrupt low self-esteem nation in perpetual decline. The Falklands transformed their opinion and demonstrated that the UK was prepared to stand up for itself.
It is the same lens through which they view Brexit and the IM bill.
Not a repudiation of international law, but as part of a process of regaining its independence from the EU.
I believe the IM bill both makes a sustainable deal with the EU more likely & strengthens the worlds perception of the UK. I commend the IM bill to the House and to the country.

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More from @DerrickBerthel1

7 Aug
Thread on current lack of democracy in the EU & how that can be changed

Without leaving the EU, how do national voters elect a Government to repatriate decision making powers transferred to the EU or change a decision historically taken by the EU?
The honest answer is within EU you can't & as more decision making powers are transferred to EU this disconnect between electorate & elected reps widens. National Governments promise things they no longer have the power to deliver & then blame Brussels creating greater resentment
National leaders increasingly sign up to deals at EU level which they know their electorates do not support (and they would never get through at home) increasing the disconnect and the pressure builds as the demos no longer feels their views or votes matter (because they don't).
Read 8 tweets
4 Jan 19
1/ESRC-sponsored Party Members Project, run out of Queen Mary University of London and Sussex University, has published Brexit polling today of all voters, Tory voters & Tory members. Some thoughts:…
2/ First this polling gives us an opportunity to gauge the validity of Conservative Home polling. Spoiler alert – it suggests Conservative Home’s polls, at least on this subject, appear pretty robust.…
3/ It confirms that the often-quoted figure that some 70-75% of Tory members voted to leave the EU in 2016 is about right. This poll has the figure at 72%. Conservative Home at 71%.
Read 20 tweets
19 Dec 18
1/Thread I have been asked to clarify how @HansMaessen oral evidence to Parliament proves once and for all that, to quote Hans Maessen himself, a hard border on the island of Ireland “is a fictitious problem”…
2/To recap. Maessen told the NI Affairs Cmttee there was no need for a hard border btwn ROI/NI under any circumstances. That the solution already exists, does not require new technology but can be “solved” simply through existing customs admin systems the UK and EU27 already use.
3/When asked if possible to have no infrastructure at the border?
“Yes. You do not need a bespoke system, it is there.. in the UK, Ireland, in all member states...It is the transit system, & the import & export declaration systems…no border infrastructure necessary on NI border”
Read 25 tweets
16 Dec 18
1/Thread on Irish border
It is frequently stated that the reason the UK has to sign up to the Backstop in the WA is because the UK is legally bound both through the Belfast Agreement & Dec 2017 EU/UK progress report to prevent any trade friction on the Island of Ireland.
2/I wanted to share some thoughts:
First, lets deal with often quoted argument that the Good Friday Agreement explicitly prohibits any trade friction on the island of Ireland. Here is the Agreement.…
3/After reading it I find that there are ZERO mentions of the word friction in the document at all & only 1 use of the word trade - as part of the phrase “Trade Union”.
There are, however, 10 uses of the word border in the document.
Read 26 tweets
14 Dec 18
“Free trade agreements do not offer free trade. That’s why a number of global trade organisations and experts do not refer to them as free trade agreements but regional/ preferential agreements. Read Prof Bhagwati’s work on this”.

I wanted to add some thoughts on it:
2/ I agree 100%. Free Trade deals & Customs Unions, are simply mechanisms to give preferential arrangements to some over others. But Brexiteers are not naive and do understand this. Brexiteers want free trade deals with everyone but they want them on different terms to the EU
Read 17 tweets
13 Dec 18
1/Polling by BMG on Brexit and May’s withdrawal agreement some thoughts:…
BMG interviewed more than ten thousand adults living in Great Britain
2/ The public reject Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
50% disapprove of the deal compared to just 25% that approve
3/ On a second referendum
51% want their MP to vote against a second referendum vs 45% who want their MP to vote for it
Read 12 tweets

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