I looked at this piece by @michaelgove in an effort to understand what it is that prevents the current government from agreeing a free trade agreement with the EU. thetimes.co.uk/article/michae…
I find this as “explanation”.
What are these “restrictions” and “arrangements that tie our hands indefinitely” that we are being asked to sign up to? Oddly, given that we are asked to be shocked and outraged, no details are provided.
Fortunately, we are aware from wider commentary that the issue is subsidy control.
At this point it is worth remembering what a certain @Michaelgove told @CommonsFREU in March: “The subsidy regime that the UK proposes to put in place after we have left the EU will be one that the EU will recognise as a robust system.”
It is the UK government’s refusal to make good on that commitment that is the root of the current problem.
That is despite the fact that many convinced hard Brexiters believe that a robust U.K. subsidy regime would be a good idea.
It is significant that @michaelgove is so vague about what the issues preventing an agreement are. That’s because he must realise that when they are written down, most people - including many passionate Brexiters - will indeed be shocked and outraged.
But the shock and outrage will be that the current government sacrificed a free trade agreement on the altar of a sudden and unexplained hostility to the idea that there might be some robust legal regime governing its ability to throw money at whatever businesses it likes.
NB I know that fishing is also an issue.
But the same point applies: if the only issues preventing an agreement are subsidies and fish (a tiny part of our economy and one where there is, as @tconnellyRTE explains, a deal to be done) the shock and outrage will be that the current government refused to budge.

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More from @GeorgePeretzQC

19 Oct
This is very good indeed. A couple of comments (with the odd excursion into subsidy policy, as that’s my hobby).
1. I’m pretty sure Edgerton isn’t saying this, but there’s a danger of looking back at 1950s-1970s corporatism (subsidies/weak competition policy) with rose-tinted spectacles. The British state wasn’t much good at it: the Tories and then Labour abandoned it for good reasons.
2. But I think he is on the nail in pointing out the deep lack of capacity now of the British state. That is one reason why I don’t think a “trust us to be competent” (or even “trust us to be honest”) approach to subsidy policy is sustainable.
Read 9 tweets
19 Oct
This essay on judicial review, democracy, and the Left is now online at @thefabians website. fabians.org.uk/wp-content/upl…, from page 23.
One of the points made is along the lines of my recent thread here: it’s that the alleged tension between effective government and judicial review/human rights protection is illusory.
The vision of the state that is at the heart of the social democratic/Fabian tradition is a state that provides people with the services and support that they need in order to flourish. Such a state needs to be effective.
Read 6 tweets
16 Oct
This, by @iainmartin1, is a hopeless misreading of the real problem: the failure of the U.K. government to make any acceptable proposal on a subsidy regime.
As I explain in the thread, the current government’s position on a subsidy regime has veered all over the place over the past year. Slight move back to the original position recently, but still hedged around by hopelessly ambiguous language (“administrative” regime).
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
It is, I think, rather an over-statement by @SBarrettBar to describe this as a “consensus”: especially on a day when @HLConstitution said that it was an “open question”.
Nor, I think, is it right to say that the issue of whether there is a measure is straightforward.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
This is savage criticism of every aspect of the Internal Market Bill.
Powerful criticism of the devolution aspects of the Bill. Like me, the Committee considers that the @Michaelgove claim that this is a “power surge” to devolved governments is “surprising”: their Lordships’ euphemism for “complete tosh”.
As to the aspects of the Bill dealing with the Protocol and breaching international law, they are damning. They have this to say about @SuellaBraverman and her advice.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
I agree with @SteveBakerHW: the way out of the subsidy control impasse is for the current government to agree to “robust guarantees” on an independent and enforceable subsidy regime in the U.K./EU FTA.
The reasons why such a regime is in the U.K. interest anyway were set out in the letter linked to here (the signatories include committed Brexiters). The proposal builds on Conservative commitments in the election (also linked to). uksala.org/leading-uk-law…
It is (genuinely) surprising that @DavidGHFrost is “surprised” that the EU might expect UK movement back to a position flagged up by the Conservative manifesto.
Read 5 tweets

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