This "I don't think the EU really understands" shtick on the UK side is getting silly and does not help UK credibility. EU and Irish officials have worked every angle of Brexit over and over for five years. Of course they understand. But that doesn't mean they'll do what you want
It's eerily close to the Russian "you don't really understand our relationship with Ukraine" trope that goes on and on. After a certain point you wonder who has problems understanding the state of play
"You don't really understand the situation in Northern Ireland" by officials and ex-officials in London is pitched to whom exactly? Irish officials?
And yes Dublin and Brussels should have moved faster in dealings with Unionists, but there is another community in NI that may ask itself how far London is going in communicating with them
Right now the current governing coalition in Dublin is keeping Sinn Fein out of power. It was the current ruling party in London that cut a confidence and supply deal with a key political actor in NI. Did that reflect understanding of consequences?
I'll give the Boris Johnson government one thing. At least it's not politically dependent on the DUP. That election victory in December 2019 did give him the space to chuck commitments overboard that May never had.

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More from @APHClarkson

16 Oct
The entire pitch for Brexit in 2016 was that the sovereignty gains in leaving the EU would make the UK more economically prosperous and more politically stable than the EU.

That's the Leave Campaign's benchmark for establishing success or failure.
The way greater sovereignty from the EU became inextricably linked in the Leave Campaign's pitch with greater prosperity in comparison to the EU is one of the reasons why Soft Brexit as a balanced compromise to ensure UK stability became squeezed out of contention after 2016
Also interesting to look back at the Vote Leave manifesto and see what is still highlighted now and what isn't mentioned. A new European institutional architecture assumes a lot about the UK's power and leverage over the EU as well as about EU weakness… Image
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
We'll be getting the @BritainPodcast back running soon, but in the meantime 3 episodes that now seem timely in the wake of debate over Britain's foreign and defence policy:

1. With @ToniHaastrup 'How Global is Britain' on UK foreign policy beyond Europe…
2. With @warmatters aka Matthew Ford on 'The Quest for Global Britain' on the future of Britain's military in the wake of Brexit, Debates over Scotland's future and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars…
3. And with @bleddb aka Bleddyn Bowen on 'Global Strategy amidst Uncertain Unity' on the crisis of the British state and the UK government's Integrated Review in foreign and defence policy in geopolitical context…
Read 6 tweets
11 Oct
If you're a government that thinks blaming global trends for a crisis you've exacerbated by your own decisions gets you out of trouble then you need to present voters with a set of policy solutions that protects their quality of life from the impact of those global trends
This is the hole in the logic presented by those who have internalised the myth of Boris among those who adore or despise him.

If he blames something else to deflect from Brexit, then voters will demand he protect them from that something else
Erdogan rose promising stability and prosperity to a base that felt it had been cut out from the gains of Turkish economic development. He can deflect as much as he likes, but if he runs out of resources to provide patronage to his base he is in trouble.
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
A lot of people in English-language twitter need to clock that faced with the internal rule of law crisis, energy prices, Sahel/Med stability and really worrying signals from the Chinese economy, Brexit is not the main event for anyone in the EU apart from Ireland and France
Neighbouring states are effectively files handled by those EU states who are most affected by them. With Libya for example it is France and Italy (often with many rows between the two). Turkey involves conflicting interests between Greece, France, Italy, Germany and Bulgaria.
The UK file is primarily in the hands of Ireland, with a lot of interest from France and then involvement over specific issues from Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. If the UK wants stable relations with the EU, it needs Dublin's goodwill.
Read 5 tweets
10 Oct
Again, a closer look at demographic and income data from EU East European states from 2010 onwards signalled that this recruitment pool for the NHS as with all sectors was going to shrink anyway. Especially since East Europeans didn't just go to the UK. Brexit just accelerated it
Brexit needlessly exacerbated labour market shifts that could have been handled with less of a sudden shock. But by the late 2020s UK state and business would still have faced a world where labour market gaps would have to be filled with non-EU workers
So whether Freedom of Movement stayed in place or not, the UK would still have needed something like the new NHS accelerated visa scheme for healthcare workers to get non-EU migrants it needed as EU migrant numbers declined. It's a structural problem the UK shares with EU states
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
The notion that after resigning Kurz can from the background easily keep all kinds of competing factions in the ÖVP in check that tolerated his delusions of grandeur because he won them elections seems a bit ropey
Kurz built his entire power structure in the ÖVP on the promise that he could make it the dominant force in Austrian politics and finally give party grandees the dominant role in controlling state patronage in a more lasting way than Schüssel ever managed.
But Austria is a federal political system, and in each Land every party, especially the ÖVP, has its own distinct power structure with party barons that need to be kept happy. If Kurz can't reliably provide electoral gains and patronage for them, he is toast
Read 5 tweets

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