Short thread on @IanDunt’s interesting (and very good) line of argument on @OhGodWhatNowPod talking about the incremental approach to #RejoinEU: 1/
I have been a vocal and passionate opponent of a soft Brexit, BRINO, Norway, EEA/EFTA solution as I see it as unsustainable, democratically outrageous, rule-taker not rule-maker, worst of all worlds. It is all those things, but 2/
that works in both directions. If we go from full EU membership to BRINO then that’s highly unsatisfactory and unsustainable and will only lead to pressure to pull away further. But if we go there from a skinny deal/no deal Jacobin hard Brexit, the momentum is reversed. 3/
Over the next few years, it is inevitable that we will slowly and steadily align ourselves more and more with the EU. The law of gravity still holds, geography is what it is. We will head for errr MIABNA (membership in all but name - profound apols 😐) 4/
At that point, all logic & momentum points to #RejoinEU - why take all the rules but have none of the say? That’s the moment for a successful grass roots campaign to take us back home. Until then, incremental steps to reverse the direction of travel and get us to MIABNA (yuk) /5
The bigger challenge (I agree with @sturdyAlex) is getting the EU to have us back. So in parallel to incremental (re-)alignment we must pursue reform. Perhaps break-up of UK will help. Either way, we need deep constitutional & electoral reform to equip us for the future. 6/6
PS I’m not saying there is no space for a #RejoinEU movement right now - there absolutely is, and we have to occupy that space. But we mustn’t be naive - it will take time for that to go mainstream. It will though, I’m sure.
Happy Ending! I’ve turned this thread into a blog post to flesh out some of my arguments as to why we need to let go of old Remainer rows and use this hard Brexit as a base camp for our climb back to Rejoining via the refuge of EEA-EFTA.…

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More from @ottocrat

28 Oct
I went for a test this morning. It was a shambles, hardly inspiring confidence. The kids in fluorescent Serco vests wearing ill-fitting masks meant well, were trying their best, but it all felt distinctly amateurish.
I was surprised by the lack of PPE worn by Serco staff. So in mitigation the rule was to keep car windows closed at all times. Meaning we couldn’t communicate! Shouting through windows or calling their mobiles. Meanwhile we’re all steaming up as we sneeze & cough. 😳
Tests are self-administered, ok, we can do that. But how to match the test to the person? QI codes only given via email, not text, so no codes for my kids. Had to complete in pen - but we had no pens, & they couldn’t give us any. Staff seemed clueless.
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep
Think for a second. Imagine you’re the EU’s leadership. If one partner gets away with unilaterally rewriting a treaty, all the EU’s treaties are rendered worthless. The EU *has* to take a stand.
The scorn and bad faith shown by Johnson over years, decades, earn him zero right to goodwill or favours from Brussels. But even if the EU wanted to help him out, it couldn’t afford to. The price would be far too high. ‘Pacta sunt servanda’ is all that makes the EU work.
Fortunately, the EU is an economic superpower (which it is because of the international rule of law). That means it has teeth. It will use them if it has to, in defence of its most precious, most essential ideal: pacta sunt servanda.
Read 7 tweets
7 Jun
OK I've got room in me for one more thread tonight before I sit down with a glass of wine and my crochet. A few months ago I posted this thread where I described the steps taken for the EU to conclude agreements with non-EU countries. 1/
I'd like to expand a bit on the 'mandate' part of the process. This is where the Member States give their instructions to the Commission to negotiate an agreement on their behalf. It has the force of law - they adopt 'negotiating directives'. 2/
Whenever I go into a negotiating session, the one thing I always make sure I have with me is the mandate. It tells me what I must include, and tells me how much wiggle room I have. It's the blueprint for any agreement. 3/
Read 20 tweets
7 Jun
From Andrew Rawnsley’s Observer column. Look: everyone in the UK seems to think we are still in Brexit crisis mode, where the European Council would regularly step in to unblock things. We are not. Brexit has happened. This is now a trade negotiation with a non-EU country. >
> As such it has a completely different dynamic, one very familiar to the EU, we do this all the time. The UK has not remotely begun to digest the facts of life in this new reality. Whining about “sovereign equals” cuts no ice in the EU & sounds needy & desperate back home. >
> An EU-UK agreement is a big enough deal for it to reach member states’ leaders desks, for sure - but it is still an EU deal with a non-EU country. If you want to understand the politics of that, look at what happened with TTIP. >
Read 6 tweets

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