Unless the reason for that optimism is an indication directly from the PM that he intends to make concessions to get a deal it is no more than wishful thinking. Important we understand the code of these things.
Sorry to be a bore but it isn't just the UK EU deal. To get the Japan deal the UK seems to have had to give up some access to agriculture quotas in return for future promises. It looks like a Canada deal will also need a UK concession. All normal.
Two things have changed in UK EU talks since June. General agreement on most issues has turned to text, and the Internal Market Bill has been added to the list of fundamental problems, along with fish, level playing field, governance. 95% was always uncontroversial.
I really hope there's a deal soon. But EU optimism of such, as stated today, was on the basis of impending London concessions. UK optimism may be based on impending Brussels concessions. All possible. But a long way from certain.
Sorry, I'd be at the pub or something but since they are all closed....
This story does not suggest a PM with any grasp of the detail of future trade arrangements with EU or Northern Ireland itv.com/news/2020-11-2…

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More from @DavidHenigUK

20 Nov
I suspect it is four. Level Playing Field, governance / disputes, fish, and Northern Ireland Internal Market Bill, though latter is being handled in different discussions. Basically not much changed in six months.
Never enjoyed the doublespeak of trade negotiations. Negotiators can agree smallprint. That isn't momentum. Politicians making difficult decisions is key. "if there is political will" says they still aren't, yet.
So just to emphasise. "Momentum" in trade negotiations is quite like "ambition". Nice sounding words that don't mean what they seem. Momentum means talks have not broken down, like ambition means the usual text.

It seems EU-UK talks have made no noticeable progress this week.
Read 11 tweets
19 Nov
I guess unintentional bullying is like breaking the law only in a limited and specific way or having special friends and family government procurement channels. All fine as long as done by the right sort of people i.e. government ministers.
Incidentally well done to all of the Conservative MPs who have this evening said bullying is absolutely fine as long as it is done by someone you personally like.

Continuing in the long-standing UK political tradition of being supportive of bullies in your own party.
I see there is an argument that you kind of need a bit of bullying in a difficult department.

As if bullying isn't actually going to make a dysfunctional workplace even worse. An entirely specious argument.
Read 7 tweets
19 Nov
No progress to report as it seems both EU and UK prefer a staring contest. Dereliction of duty of both EU and UK leaving business hanging in this way.
On one level, c'est la vie.

On another, who the hell thought it was a good idea to still be intensively negotiating a major trade relationship only 6 weeks before current free flowing arrangements expire at the height of a pandemic?

I mean, y'know, if only someone had thought of the idea that we might need more time for negotiations because of Covid
Read 12 tweets
19 Nov
I fear this is correct. Though with a lot of blame-shifting by participants. Think whoever decided to brand normal contents of a trade agreement a threat to UK sovereignty if included in an EU trade deal deserves particular blame. Similarly those misleading about NI Protocol.
Would also love to know what the UK negotiators' plan was to overcome internal opposition from the ERG. If it was "we'll get a deal they will be fine with" then there was a fatal flaw at the start making negotiations largely pointless.
Also if the plan of the UK side was that the EU would suddenly yield at the last minute, then it wasn't strong to start with, and failed to take account of the chances a genuine EU-crisis emerged (always likely, there are several each year) dw.com/en/hungary-pol…
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
When thinking about Global Britain, the real not pretend one, I tend to start with our openness to inward movement of people and capital, and the threats to these.

Wanting more exports doesn't make you a supporter of free trade. If that's the emphasis, probably the opposite.
Global Britain after a referendum won by appealing to protectionism was always going to be a stretch. Interesting that in both the US and UK the previously pro free trade party is struggling to understand what it thinks about trade.
And while on the theme of free trade and the backlash to it. do keep wondering if one of the most important things we need to do is ensure services production / export is thought as important as goods.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Plausible. Not certain, but not in any way unthinkable.
Reminder of what the Brexit ultras are saying (though you wonder where they're proposing to sell this fish...)

Read 10 tweets

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