Brexit is topping the news again today. But it is puzzling to see how the arguments are framed.

We are not 'back in 2019', though we face the same challenges as we did then. 1/7
In case people have forgotten, Brexit was 'done'. The Withdrawal Agreement, the NI Protocol, and, later, the TCA (Trade and Cooperation Agreement) were agreed - by the EU and the UK. 2/7
These agreements involve a lot of commitments on both sides. They establish a set of Committees in which ongoing issues will be addressed. They include dispute resolution procedures. 3/7
Within those structures, there is scope for compromise, and for the resolution of problems which arise. There has been a lot of 'imaginative thinking' (see eg a piece today by @AntonSpisak), most of it ignored. 4/7
The Govt approach is not to seek to find ways to make the Protocol work, but to seek to undermine it. 5/7
It rails against 'legal purism' on the EU side - an argument demolished by @davidallengreen earlier today. 6/7
In 2019 the challenge was to define, and reify, Brexit.
That is what the various agreements have done.
The challenge now for the Govt and for the EU is to make those agreements work. 7/7

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More from @syrpis

31 May
The endless comparisons between Boris Johnson and Winston Churchill are wide of the mark.

All the while there has been an obvious historical parallel hiding in plain sight.

Henry VIII. 1/3
✅ Known for his many marriages
✅ Schism with the Church/Treaty of Rome
✅ Investing in the Royal Navy
✅ The divine right of Kings
✅ (For the lawyers...) Clauses
✅ Rocky relations with Chief Ministers 2/3
And, to quote the venerable wikipedia:

✅ An extravagant spender, continually on the verge of financial ruin
✅ Numerous 'costly and largely unsuccessful' wars
✅ Frequently characterised in his later life as a 'lustful, egotistical, paranoid and tyrannical' monarch 3/3
Read 4 tweets
30 May
This is a bit different; some thoughts about how we *listen* to people. I'm putting it here because it may, as I'll try to explain, have political resonance. THREAD 1/15
We listen (and read) for lots of different reasons, and in lots of different contexts.

I think that, fundamentally, we can listen in 2 ways, and that those 2 ways are markedly different. 2/
We can listen either from our perspective, with our own frame of reference in place, seeking to work out how what is being said interacts with our own world view. 3/
Read 15 tweets
28 May
A quick thread on the Cummings evidence - and what it tells us about Brexit. 1/10

(This is very much a preliminary view; all thoughts very welcome).
The bit I want to focus on is the bit where he rails against the chaos and incompetence at the heart of Govt and the dangers of group-think. If he had hair, he would have been tearing it out. 2/10
His response was to seek to bring in 'talent' from outside. To create a plan and to operationalise it. To galvanise the state into action. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
26 May
What is twitter for if not (yet another) hot take on the Cummings Committee evidence?

I'll try to keep it short. 1/6
It is, on its face, a damning indictment of chaos and dysfunction at the heart of Government, which in March, and again in the autumn, cost many thousands of lives. 2/6
But Cummings is an unreliable narrator, full of contradictions. His errors, lies and missteps are excusable. Others': not so much.

His comments on groupthink, playing by the rules, openness and transparency will rightly raise eyebrows. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
21 May
A BBC journalist used 'deceitful' methods to secure 1995 interview. Wow.

Have the 'outraged' press forgotten about phone hacking?

Has the 'outraged' government forgotten about its relationship with the truth?
Read 6 tweets
16 May
Seeing lots of reaction to proposals for a progressive alliance, and have been struck by one thing.

Members and activists tend to reject it; while 'mere' supporters of opposition parties tend to embrace it. 1/7
Obviously, there are a lot more 'mere' supporters than members and activists.

But, I don't think that there can be any chance that a progressive alliance will happen without the strong support of members and activists.

So, why might the two groups think as they do? 2/7
Members/activists might oppose a progressive alliance because:
a) they are familiar with the party rules (which make it much more difficult);
b) they are likely to think their party can win; 3/7
Read 7 tweets

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