Wondering why Johnson Regime is so determined to insult & antagonise EU, disrupt UK relations with Member States? Swopping partnership & cooperation of EU membership for other extreme, of petty belligerence, wasn't inherent in UK withdrawal. It's a deliberate policy choice. Why?
Now clear to all, save the most swivel-eyed Leave fanatics, that Brexit - particularly in the extreme incarnation pushed by Johnson & Co - has no particular upsides and a great many very considerable downsides. So if Brexit is to be fabricated into a "success", it can only be...
... by doing everything in Tories' power to drive deepest possible wedge between "us" & "them": whipping up nationalist resentment in UK, acting so obnoxiously that EU is glad to see back of them. Brexit can be warped into a "success", for minds poisoned by anger & bitterness...
... which makes whole enterprise even more shameful: Johnson & Co risk a generation of division & antagonism in Europe, & wider western world, just to vindicate their own lies & distract from their false promises. Which should make rest of us even more determined not to let them.
& while we wait for, eg the Labour Party to pluck up courage to get stuck into the challenge of saving EU-UK relations from Tory nihilism, all of us can still do our bit - big and small. Even just reaching out to EU friends & friends in EU to remind them: we're not all like that.

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More from @mdouganlpool

3 Oct
As usual, when Johnson speaks, he lies... but also manages, despite his carefully managed stage persona, to reveal some hidden truths. A good, and very telling, example from today's prime ministerial musings:
One hand: Johnson claims current problems are part of "necessary" post-Brexit transition. Rubbish. Johnson's Leave cabal chose & designed this Hard Brexit & its inevitable problems. It could've been very different if they had made less extreme choices. None of it was "necessary".
By the way: Truss claims it's not Gov's job to sort these things out; we're not "command & control" economy. Utter drivel. Tories' Hard Brexit was ultimate act of "command & control": Gov actively imposing vast changes upon economy & society in pursuit of ideological (own)goals.
Read 7 tweets
27 Jul
Back to work = time to scrutinise the UK’s proposals (published 21 July 2021) for rewriting the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. Here is a short(ish) thread with some thoughts:
1) Let’s start with the UK’s diagnosis of the problems created by the Protocol. According to HMG, this terrible deal was inflicted upon poor Prime Minister Johnson as he valiantly battled on all fronts against domestic traitors and foreign adversaries.
2) What a disgraceful denial of responsibility: it was the Johnson Government that proposed a trade border down the Irish Sea, not as some temporary backstop but as a permanent regime, in order to pursue the Hard Right dream of a Hard Brexit for the rest of the UK.
Read 17 tweets
9 Jul
Almost time to batten down the hatches for the weekend. No better company than Netherlands Bach Society: glorious talent; extraordinary generosity. Here, a few recommendations from their recent cantata releases:

No 2:
No 3:
Read 4 tweets
30 Jun
Busy day for Protocol on IRL/NI. Already said earlier today what needs to be said about Belfast High Court ruling (though reaction of Brexitists could still fill an entire psychiatric conference...). Now, some brief comments on this afternoon’s Commission announcement, voila:
1) obviously very good news to see certain temporary measures on foodstuffs (I won’t need to smuggle my ham sandwich over on the ferry this weekend...); as well as other more lasting adjustments (eg on trade in medicines, need for extra car insurance docs, status of guidedogs...)
2) but on core issue, of UK’s legal duty to enforce basic EU customs rules on GB trade into NI, this really is only a temporary fix: doesn’t resolve need for UK to start doing its job properly; whether that’s by agreeing to regulatory alignment or just enforcing the agreed rules
Read 7 tweets
12 Jun
One last thought from me today (violin is infinitely more enjoyable than Brexit). Johnson & Co's belief that any form of internal trade barrier is incompatible with the existence of sovereignty and territorial integrity must come as a shock to dozens of states around the world...
... after all, every single state with regional divisions of regulatory power (including US, Canada, Australia...) also has internal trade barriers and some framework to manage them. Apparently, only UK sovereignty is threatened by the experience. British exceptionalism: yawn...
But at least the Brexitists' failure to understand internal (let alone external) trade helps explain not only their lunacy over NI & Protocol, but also another important / often overlooked issue: Tory assault on Scottish & Welsh devolution as contained in UK Internal Market Act.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
A serious question for my UK law colleagues:

By refusing properly to implement the NI Protocol, is HMG acting in breach not only of EU-UK withdrawal agreement as matter of international law; but also of EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 as matter of domestic UK law?

Here's why I wonder:
EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - as amended by EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 - makes provision for EU-UK withdrawal agreement, including NI Protocol, to take full effect under domestic law. Protocol provisions thus have direct legal effects in UK, with force of primary legislation
True: Act also creates various delegated ministerial powers relating to Protocol. But I'm not sure those are very relevant to Johnson Government's conduct. And in any event, surely powers should only be for purpose of implementation - not to contravene/frustrate Protocol itself.
Read 7 tweets

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