Jon Worth Profile picture
8 Apr, 25 tweets, 10 min read
The European Parliament is not taking #Brexit scrutiny nearly seriously enough

You your approach is shamefully poor

🇪🇺 citizens deserve better, not least those in 🇮🇪

An angry 🧵

Let's not forget that when the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was finally sorted on 24 Dec, it was provisionally applied - allowing the EP to do its scrutiny this spring

Provisional application was extended from the initial end of February deadline until the end of April

That's 2️⃣2️⃣ days from now

On 4 March the EP decided to not set a date for the plenary vote for ratification of the TCA, but the end of April deadline still applies…

What has happened since - with regard to scrutiny?

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland...…

And maybe a little reminder of the wider politics here wouldn't go amiss...…

Perhaps a little jig of the memory of what MEPs have said until now would be handy, starting with you @davidmcallister

Do we no longer need the pragmatic, solution driven approach?

Do you @davidmcallister stand by these words of 24 December?

You also described the UK unilateral action as "unhelpful", @davidmcallister

I presume it was unhelpful in a manner specific and limited enough to explain your silence since?

And you, @berndlange - you described the UK unilateral action as a "very aggressive act"

But not aggressive enough to mean you wanted to do better scrutiny of the TCA?

You also talked about "sharpening additions" @berndlange

Where are they, dare I ask?

And @ManfredWeber - how's getting "to work to scrutinise the deal" coming along?

How about the people and the businesses to whom you owe good scrutiny, @manfredweber ?

And you'd think @CHansenEU as rapporteur for this from AFET - probably one of the most important dossiers you'll ever get, Christophe - you might have a little more to say than this?

Although that's more than INTA Committee Rapporteur @katipiri can do as she's left the EP altogether and has been elected to the Dutch national parliament 🤷‍♂️

Meanwhile @NathalieLoiseau - who ought to be kicking up a stink for Renew - just sounds off once in a while on French TV about it

@ph_lamberts says nothing, and I'd expect better from someone from my party on this

Only @schirdewan gets it right - he's active at least!

What can we find out meanwhile from EP meeting agendas and documents?

Well, not very much...

The OEIL dossier is here, still with Piri listed as INTA Rapporteur

It says the vote is provisionally scheduled for 26 April plenary, but *pending committee votes*…

So what about committee votes?

AFET has its next meeting 12-13 April, and there's nothing about Brexit on the agenda, and no further committee scheduled

PDF agenda 👇…

INTA has a 14-15 April meeting scheduled, and there are 3 Brexit issues on the agenda - but they *all* concern GATT and Brexit, none of them concern the TCA

PDF agenda 👇…

So - to recap - we have pretty much no recent comment in public from any of the relevant MEPs, no committee debates scheduled in the 2 main committees, and no confirmed plenary vote scheduled *either*

With 22 days to go

There are 3 options:
- approve the TCA by end of April, having not done any extra scrutiny
- ask to extend Provisional Application, having not used the extra time already granted
- not approve, and get No Deal

Yeah, because all of those are a *great* look for the EP! 🎉

And sure, Brexit is not number 1 issue for the EP right now. I get that

But this body to represent the citizens of the EU seems to care more about the norm values in widget manufacture than it does about the ratification of a major treaty with its nearest neighbour!

What the HELL is going on?


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More from @jonworth

7 Apr
The essential problem for Eurostar is UK Govt doesn't know what it *wants* from long distance international rail through the Channel Tunnel

The UK Government wants to minimise its costs, and doesn't want problems, but beyond that is *has no answers*
Does the UK believe in competition on the London-Paris/Brussels routes? And if so, what sort?

Is that people might fly instead competition enough? Or is on-rail competition also desirable?
Until COVID hit, Eurostar could afford to be more expensive than flights, because the time saved and better convenience meant people favoured the train

But is that the right answer?
Read 11 tweets
1 Apr
A fortnight ago I wanted to answer a question: would a 🇪🇺 vaccine export ban be justified?

I was somehow instinctively against any such ban, and still am

But digging into it revealed the worst of out politics, media and social media, and how badly we cope with complexity

The essence of the issue is that this is both an ideological/ethical matter, and a practical one - and the interplay between the two is complicated

No person's response to the question ban-or-not can be based either all on ethics or all on practicality

Or - putting it another way - export of a small number of vaccines might be easier to justify than export of a massive number that would slow down the exporting region's own vaccination drive

Read 22 tweets
1 Apr
2 days ago I wrote about Janssen / Johnson & Johnson 💉, with the tentative conclusion that an 🇪🇺-based supply chain was solid enough to mean there would be no EU-US-J&J spat to mirror the EU-UK-AZ spat

Does that still hold?
What changed?

15m J&J doses at the Baltimore 🇺🇸 plant had to be ditched…
So will J&J divert doses intended for the EU to the USA to make up for that shortfall?

The answer to that is:
* We don't know *

We have nothing yet to indicate doses are diverted
Read 11 tweets
30 Mar
This New York Times political GeoGuessr is *fascinating*

I am just missing those micro-signals that I would *know* in UK or DE, but don't know for the USA...…
Take this for example

Is there some micro-signal in that building I am missing that screams Biden?
Or a suburb like this?

It has sidewalks, so I'd lean Biden, but it was Trump

What about two-storey houses in suburbs like this? Does that make any difference?
Read 6 tweets
29 Mar
OK, so next in the series of Jon looking at supply of each different COVID vaccine it's:

This one is different to AZ, BioNTech, J&J etc., in that the EU has no APA with Novavax *yet*

Even that is somewhat confusing - Reuters reports that this is because Novavax is dragging its heels, citing production problems…
The UK meanwhile has a contract for 60 million doses…

As does the USA…
Read 9 tweets
29 Mar
* Very tentative conclusions on Janssen / Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply *

It looks like EU legitimately feared a UK/AstraZeneca situation with USA for J&J - that vaccine produce in NL and finished in USA would be prevented from leaving back to EU
But two things have happened

First, J&J supply issues in the USA have not been fully solved, especially finishing…
(thanks @el_snoop)
Second, EU countries together with Janssen and J&J, have found ways to do finishing (and even step up production) in the EU

At Reig Jofre 🇪🇸…

And IDT Biologika 🇩🇪 (temporarily)…
Read 7 tweets

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