The extent of the modern regulatory state that needs to be created for the UK outside of the EU against the noisy backdrop of those who are surprised to learn that it isn't just Brussels that regulates, it is every developed country.…
It will be very hard for the UK to find a good regulatory balance between the unrealistic "we can deregulate lots" / common law innit group, the large regulatory superpower neighbour, widespread demands for regulation, and an official tendency to want to over-regulate.
Realistic expectations of the UK's ability to find regulatory nirvana should be set close to zero, we need to focus on a stable system for business, with any 'nimbleness' delivering better results a bonus.

Sadly, that isn't how it will work.
And here's that unrealistic deregulation line in the wild so to speak... the 1980s called and wants its rejected ideas back. To note again, every developed country regulates.

So many stories of business trying to explain regulation and trade to ministers who don't understand that actually the answer is not trying to remove rules, but stability and balancing international and domestic
The deregulatory part of Brexit is destined to be the part never delivered and forever cited by the true believer ideologues as that thwarted by remoaner civil servants which prevented glorious triumph.

No that was reality won't cut it. Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

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More from @DavidHenigUK

23 Nov
Honestly can't believe we're having to return to the low-tax, low-regulation dogmas of the late 1980s and early 1990s when the world and UK economies have changed so fundamentally since this time. Even if that does explain the UK government's Northern Ireland protocol confusions.
Modern product and service regulations are global phenomena, consumer driven and business supported, enabling assurance to all parties to a transaction. They are now so fundamental to modern trade their value cannot be calculated.
You don't produce cars or even financial services without regulation. We tried, people got hurt, and wanted protection. You can't trade like that, when other countries want safe products and services. So why are trying this poor Thatcher imitation act?
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
A little hook in this morning's playbook for this article on whether the UK can ban products on animal welfare grounds. We can make this simpler in the first instance, the answer is "yes, but within limits". Unfortunately those limits are complex.…
The UK definitely can't legally say, "we don't like the French, ban their food on any reason we can find". But we could for example make a case for banning foie gras if there was clear public support for such a regulation and it wasn't obviously discriminatory.
There once was an idea that a country absolutely couldn't ban a foodstuff based on the way it was produced under WTO rules, but that is seen as outdated by an increasing number of WTO specialists. Much would depend on the exact nature of the regulation proposed.
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
Still unfortunate for this government that they can't move the UK and therefore have to deal with the Europeans it really wants to leave behind. Exhibit 1, the migration crisis, where we are kind of dependent on the neighbours but still hope we don't have to be nice to them.
Exhibit 2, if only our neighbours couldn't inflict huge economic pain on us and we could do what we wanted in Northern Ireland. Even worse when the US agree with the neighbours and not us.
As one or two wise folk suggested (probably @garvanwalshe) the vote to leave the EU meant we'd be spending a lot more political time talking to and about the EU. That's the inevitably of living in the cottage within a major estate. Your independence is never total.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
Limited but welcome progress. No longer clear what the UK's negotiating aims are, which may well be because having failed in threatening the EU, the UK no longer knows what they are.
UK still seeking substantial change in Northern Ireland evidently, but without any means to do so (including Article 16 which as has been said often, can't really be used in this way). Or could be the prelude to climbdown, hard as ever to tell.
We are where we have been since July 2019. A UK government believing 'something' can remove the need for GB-NI-Ireland checks, against an EU and US who collectively disagree and insist upon a protocol. The stalemate goes on.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
A small thought sparked by the always excellent @pmdfoster FT Brexit bulletin on the role of the ECJ in the Protocol. Given EU law directly applies to Northern Ireland I don't think you can have the same mechanism as the Withdrawal Agreement, referring only where EU law aspect.
However it should be possible to have a new mechanism where both UK and EU agree that all disputes go in the first instance to a special body before reference to ECJ. Not sure if that would suit either side completely, but it would be a compromise, if that's the aim.
As I was saying yesterday... (Northern Ireland Protocol redux) - this is the compromise, side letter of procedure on how different understandings of EU law in NI would be handled.…
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
A new reality not necessarily to the UK's advantage.

But then I think we've all lost track of what the UK government is actually trying to achieve with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Is ECJ still a red line? EU law? State aid?
And if the sage is confused, what hope for the rest of us?
The honest version would read "The UK government only signed the NI Protocol to win an election, and we've been trying to get rid of it ever since. Unfortunately the EU and US have seen through our shallow narratives and threats, and still do. We don't know what to do now."
Read 8 tweets

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