Interesting chart & I think relevant for the Scottish independence debate. Many on SNP side cite Irish example of being able to diversify away from trade with UK as path Scotland can follow. I think this chart highlights why that will be hard/unlikely. Short thread explaining 1/
The chart highlights that the reduction in trade share with the UK didn't come from switching trade away from UK but from taking advantage of opportunities elsewhere & increasing trade overall as share of GNP. 2/
The problem is, Scotland has already had all these opportunities when UK was inside the EU. Yet it still traded predominantly with the UK. So these won't be new opportunities for Scotland as they were for Ireland when it joined EEC. 3/
Furthermore, taking advantage of these opportunities requires frictionless trade between Scotland & these countries. But it is very unlikely Scotland will have that, as will likely have to remain in customs union with UK otherwise there would be a hugely costly land border 4/
The Irish diversification in trade was also aided by the fact UK was also in the EEC/EU & therefore the land bridge was able to be utilised. Scotland won't have that advantage or option 5/
Finally, even if you discount the above (which I think unwise but I'm sure SNP will) this took place over the course of 30 to 50 years, when global & European trade was often booming. That highlights the scale of the bet & timeline of Scottish independence play. 6/
I know economic arguments won't win this debate & I know like Brexiteers the SNP will say sovereignty trumps economics. But while there must be an emotional argument for the Union, that doesn't mean economic facts should be ignored even if they won't win the day alone 7/ ENDS

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More from @RaoulRuparel

7 May
Most detailed (albeit unofficial sources) rebuttal to UK proposals on at risk approach to SPS under Protocol. Approach taken by EU here strikes me as a bit bizarre though not surprising. A few reasons why...1/
1st of course it isn't compatible with EU legislation as it stands, that's the point. If the metric to judge is, does it work within EU law then the Protocol itself would never have been agreed. Why use that metric now but not before? Who decided where the line is? 2/
2nd it is bit strange to leave assessment solely to DG Sante. There are much wider, more political considerations at play here. It would be like Defra alone deciding the UK's approach to NI 3/
Read 5 tweets
19 Jan
As I & others have said, a lot of disruption we are seeing is the result of fact UK/EU went for an FTA rather than another form of relationship. However, there is an interesting point on rules of origin, where a facilitation included in CETA was not included in UK TCA. Thread 1/
Under CETA a product exported from one party to the other then returned without any processing can still qualify for preferential tariff on return. But it can't under the UK TCA. See EU CETA guidance here 2/…
One of the challenges businesses are facing is that products moved from the EU to the UK & then back to EU are no longer eligible for preferential tariffs even if they haven't undergone processing. This may happen if they are sent to a distribution centre for example. 3/
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 20
On the day DUP voted against the deal, it is worth briefly remembering how, after voting for Brexit, they have managed to pretty much vote against every form of Brexit possible, go from kingmakers to irrelevant & harm their core cause. A true lesson in how not to do politics. 1/
As a reminder they had the offer under the previous govt at 3rd meaningful vote of entire UK in a customs union, with alignment on other areas & Stormont lock on new laws. As well as a wider econ package. They voted against it & were main reason it failed 2/
In the indicative votes process they then proceeded to vote against customs union & EEA. Often professing a desire for the sort of relationship which is now on offer in the FTA. 3/
Read 6 tweets
30 Dec 20
Off the back of the thread below, lots of people asked for one on services & financial services. So here it is. The deal is very thin in both areas, though that was expected. I don't think it amounts to making the deal unfair/unbalanced but it is a missed opportunity. 1/
First, we shouldn't look at this through the lens of UK having trade deficit with EU in goods & surplus in services. That is too simplistic. EU accounts for a large proportion of UK's goods trade so zero tariff zero quota is beneficial for UK as well for the EU. 2/
Similarly, having a very thin deal on services & financial services is also bad for EU. Belief in some quarters than business will simply move from UK to EU in these areas. But its not that simple. Will be costs & duplication while some business just won't make sense any more 3/
Read 17 tweets
27 Dec 20
As many others I'm still working through the detail of the agreement & all the annexes. But some initial thoughts based on my first read & associated documents. My overriding feeling is that it is pretty much exactly as expected in many parts & largely a balanced deal. 1/
Overall it is the thin deal I expected. The main thing it provides for is zero tariff zero quota. This is important but only a small part of the changes/costs businesses face as a result of the UK leaving the EU. This is largely because it became a pretty defensive negotiation 2/
Both sides became focused on defending their key interests rather than on their offensive asks. The UK around limiting the obligations to which it signs up, the EU by ensuring integrity of the single market. I think both have largely achieved their defensive aims 3/
Read 11 tweets
21 Dec 20
Even at this late stage there is a deal to be struck in UK/EU talks. I've tried to set out a landing zone on fishing for @POLITICOEurope. With both sides facing immense health & economic challenges a deal is more important than ever. Here is my proposal 1/…
There look to be three big areas of disagreement on fish.

1) Length of transition to new quota shares
2) Exact mount by which EU quota in UK waters is reduced
3) What happens in future if EU quota falls further or access is changed

Let me take each in turn. 2/
On length of transition. UK wants 3 years, EU 7 years. 5 years seems a fair compromise. Allows both sides time to adjust. From UK perspective, UK fleets can build up in anticipation of new quota they know they'll get. Its also a lot longer than any other sector has to prepare 3/
Read 18 tweets

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