POST-BREXIT: Kupchan (Biden Foreign Policy Adviser) - “The bottom line is that Brexit is an act of self-isolation. Britain (is) no longer the bridge to Europe it (has) been. The UK is going to have to figure out how to make itself relevant at a time when it is inwardly focussed”.
POST-SUEZ: Acheson (US Sec of State) - Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role. The attempt to play a separate power role — that is, a role apart from Europe, a role based on a ‘special relationship’ with the United States, a role based on being head of a...
....’commonwealth’ which has no political structure, or unity, or strength — this role is about played out.” A senior adviser to the President-Elect of our closest ally indicates we’re no further forward in 2020 in determining an effective role in the world than we were in 1962.
Geopolitically, both Suez & #Brexit were acts of self-harm, born out of (English) delusions of grandeur. Both decisions were made by narrow elites convinced of the exceptionalism and power of Britain. Both decisions made Britain less secure. Time we changed who made our decisions

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More from @DrPhillipLee

10 May
This Govt is appallingly, consistently inept. By not taking obvious decisions in Jan/Feb it has already unnecessarily killed tens of thousands & is destroying our we’ve got this idiotic #StayAlert message. It is hard to stress enough: IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS
No one with half a brain could read about #ExerciseCygnus (based on a relatively mild ‘flu for which a vaccine would have been available quickly) & *not* conclude that we were hideously unprepared for the more virulent and not-yet-treatable #COVID19…
In these circumstances, ANY half decently-motivated Government that was reasonably balanced would put measures in place early to contain the virus and protect people, particularly those most at risk, while working for a global solution (we won’t be safe unless everyone is).
Read 5 tweets
16 Apr
This isn’t accurate. In January, what were our ventilator and testing capacities? When did @MattHancock first read the Exercise Cygnus report from 2016? How can he claim we were one of the best prepared? Compared to who? We knew of #COVID19 threat in January. Why decision delays?
And here are a few other questions which should be asked at the #COVID19 briefing this afternoon - and repeatedly until we get honest and satisfactory answers.....
Why did the Govt at the time of Exercise Cygnus choose not to publish the final report, or at least share it with key partners? How could highlighting the ventilator shortage in the NHS acute sector not be in the national interest? It would have given us time to prepare
Read 10 tweets
30 Mar
We could have been ready for #COVID19. That’s what makes me so angry about this Government’s mishandling of this pandemic....1/
In late 2016, I took part in a government exercise to test how we’d deal with a pandemic when I was at @MoJGovUK. It was called Ex Cygnus. @cabinetofficeuk was in charge of running it and acting on the conclusions @NickFerrariLBC… ...2/
This was a well-developed 3-day exercise. Ministers had to decide what to do as the overwhelming scale of the pandemic became apparent. (NB in contrast to #COVID19, there was a treatment for, and vaccine against, this virus; yet the realities & outcomes were still sobering) 3/
Read 14 tweets
27 May 19
On #Brexit, these #EUelections2019 show that, if a political party stands in the middle of the road, it gets squashed. That‘s what I predicted when I resigned from Government last year. And it’s what has happened to @Conservatives and @UKLabour
So what next? If the purpose of government is to follow the will of the people (at any cost), the only politically viable Brexit is a hard one (WTO etc). But neither major political party will get a Westminster majority by delivering Hard Brexit without explicit public consent
And forget any soft Brexit. It’s not politically viable (for the record, I’ve always held that it’s the worst of both worlds) and anyone thinking we get further concessions from the @EU_Commission by playing hardball is living in cuckoo land. The WA is it, take it or leave it
Read 5 tweets
4 Dec 18
What a day for #Brexit! All in all, we’re in a more powerful place now to do what’s right for the country.
‘No deal’ is dead: the @EUCourtPress Advocate General‘s opinion is that the UK can unilaterally revoke article 50 under certain circumstances. So we don’t have to leave the EU without a deal unless we’re irrational enough to decide that’s what we want
Parliament will rightly now be able to consider the Government’s legal advice on the ‘Withdrawal Act’ before it has to vote whether or not to accept the Govt’s #Brexit deal next Tuesday
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul 18
Tonight’s votes in @HouseofCommons on #Brexit were really quite shameful. The Government adopted changes that went against the proposals in its own white paper (that it had only agreed last Friday). It changed its position at the last minute
The first duty of Government is to do what’s right for our country and to be honest. This sort of last-minute change undermines both and I certainly couldn’t in all honesty support it. That would be politics at its worst....
Instead, the Government must face up to the #Brexit challenge, be honest with people about what’s possible and what isn’t, #SuspendA50 until it has worked out what it wants - and later offer a #2ndEUref once it has established good, realistic options for our country
Read 4 tweets

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