This June 3 demarche doesn't appear to have changed much.

Given how high the domestic and EU-relations stakes are, it would actually be somewhat disturbing if a private diplomatic rebuke by the US charge d'affaires was the secret sauce needed to alter the UK's position or tone.
At some point over the last two years, perhaps in a rare brush with observable reality, conservative opinion shapers in the UK stopped elevating a US FTA to the status of Brexit Golden Idol to be attained at all cost and worthy of any sacrifice.

That's actually healthy.
The flip side of UK conservative thinking pivoting to looking at a potential US FTA deal like a trading nation considering an agreement, rather than like a 4 year old looking at mommy, is that the US threatening to withhold it no longer carries nearly the same weight.
I don't want to belittle US soft power here, or suggest this isn't a big deal. It's a major step by the US, and one close to a G7 summit hosted by Boris Johnson where the two leaders will meet.

In diplomatic terms, that's a pretty sharp elbow throw.

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More from @DmitryOpines

10 Jun
I don't think it's responsible for the media to print the comments of anyone calling for the abolition of the Northern Ireland Protocol without at least roughly sketching out what should replace it.
The NIP is a compromise in damage mitigation.

It's not meant to be make anyone happy. It was an attempt to to find a balance between everyone's unhappiness that preserves the peace, the Union and the Single Market.

An effort the PM and his boosters celebrated at the time.
The reason it was adopted instead of any of the other options is that everything else was even more politically unacceptable.

Remaining in the SM/CU - No for UK
No Border at all - No for EU
Border between Ireland/EU - No for EU/Ireland
Border on the Island - No for everyone
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
Putting together some "accessible" slides for tonight's show explaining the draft EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

My only takeaway so far is that anyone capable of actually navigating this stuff is going to make a tonne of money doing trade facilitation. Image
It honestly just gets worse: Image
Anyway, tune in tonight ( when without context or preamble I put that slide up, turn to @SamuelMarcLowe and say, "So break this down for us real quick..."
Read 5 tweets
6 Jun
Someone reached out to say they couldn't watch All the Goods Trade Puns Were Taken on Twitch, so I threw together a Youtube channel.

The full playlist I'll be updating with each episode is here, and I'll grow this thread with each new episode.…
Episode 1 covered vaccine nationalism, international taxation, the UK's CPTPP ambitions and Boris Johnson's ill-fated trip to India.

Episode 2 covered the EU's anti-coercion mechanism, how governments are likely to pursue remote workers dodging taxes, and a brief climate discussion of carbon border adjustment taxes and fossil fuel subsidies.

Read 7 tweets
3 Jun

So far there have mostly been "nerdy Brexiters" that have posited without specifics the existence of competitiveness hurting EU red tape to be cut and "nerdy Brexiters" who have a hit-list of red tape they personally hate, but which is far too popular or complex to touch.
That by the is why we're on about the 4th Government Commission/Initiative where it begs someone, anyone, to bring it a list of EU red tape for the bonfire.
EU regulations are far from perfect, and there are doubtless improvements to be made but there really isn't a binder somewhere labelled "Uncomplicated Consequence Free Regulatory Cuts With No Constituency To Boost Growth"
Read 4 tweets
27 May
1/ The debate over the Australia-UK FTA exposed that we don't quite know how the UK government thinks about tariffs.

A thread to try to lay out the options and trace the UK Government's journey so far. 👇
2/ Option #1: Optimistic Libertarian

Crude Summary: "Tariffs are bad, and it's not worth having them even as bargaining chips. Remove them all unilaterally, then use active trade leadership to secure market access abroad the way Singapore or New Zealand do."
3/ Option #2: Strategic Libertarian

Crude Summary: "Tariffs are bad but other countries may be reluctant to get rid of theirs and they're the primary 'chip' traded in negotiations. Keep some tariffs but then get rid of them by trading them away in negotiations."
Read 14 tweets
24 May
1/ @SamuelMarcLowe, @Annaisaac and I started our show to accessibly break down trade issues in the headlines without the stress of a 3 minute TV slot or a pundit yelling at us.

Tonight, we talked through the most common questions about the Aus-UK FTA.

Some clips below!
2/ First, for those who haven't been following the debate, here's @Annaisaac summarizing what we know about the Australia-UK FTA and why it's proven controversial.…
3/ Will the FTA destroy British farming? Will the FTA make food radically cheaper for the nation's poor?

@SamuelMarcLowe thinks the answer to both is "probably not" and explains why he thinks everyone should calm down:…
Read 9 tweets

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