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You often hear ultra Leavers talk about the "failing EU". After the referendum, you would hear them gloating and predicting the imminent collapse of the EU with Brexit as a catalyst. 1/

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In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, that threat was seen as real, there was a genuine air of crisis. At that point, the EU's number one priority was to limit the damage and stop others looking at the exit. 2/
As it transpired, that threat was hugely overblown. Popular opinion across the EU took one look at Brexit and said 'no thanks'. Election results in several EUMS calmed nerves; so did strong economic indicators. The shambles in the UK has certainly helped the pro-EU cause. 3/
So let me get to my point: the extent to which Brexit is an existential threat to the EU directly influences the EU's negotiating strategy. The more nervous they are in Brussels, the more the EU's key objective would be to ensure that leaving is not seen as attractive. 4/
But if Brexit seems less of a threat to the EU's integrity, the EU will then prioritise other strategic interests, for example: getting a deal done quickly before the next EP elections and the start of the next MFF (multiannual financial framework). 5/
So you end up with a situation where the more obviously catastrophic Brexit is for the UK, the less incentive there is for the EU to hammer the point home with a really tough final deal. 6/
A Brexit which is already obviously going badly wrong for the UK makes the EU more likely to show some flex on its red lines just to get the deal done and dusted asap. This is pretty bad news for the UK, frankly. 7/
A Brexit which is seen to be much worse for the UK than it is for the EU actually makes Brexit more likely, because it means the EU cares less if the UK goes and because it incentivises Brexit headbangers to keep making as much aggro as possible to get across the finish line. 8/8
PS I like the new Twitter threading tool. ;)
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