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Jon Worth @jonworth
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1/ The more I think about it, the more the way 🇪🇺 has manoeuvred 🇬🇧 on #Brexit transition is masterful.
2/ In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, debate in 🇬🇧 revolved around WHEN #Article50 would be triggered, not consequences of doing so. 🇪🇺 could live with 🇬🇧 triggering in March 2017, as that gets 🇬🇧 out before EP 🗳 2019.
3/ Having triggered, 🇬🇧 wasted time with an early election, and then by time May made her Florence speech in September, even she realised time was short. Hence transition.
4/ But both 🇬🇧 and 🇪🇺 want to avoid a transition into transition and a transition out of transition. So 🇬🇧 had to quickly conceed transition needs to look as much like being in 🇪🇺 as possible.
5/ Again there was an alignment of convenience on timing - May's "around two years" became "by the end of December 2020", lining up transition end with 🇪🇺 budget financial perspectives.
6/ Then it has taken from December's summit until today's release of the transition guidelines for everyone to really realise what transition is going to mean for 🇬🇧: it makes itself a vassal state. Meanwhile the 🇪🇺-27 stand united on the issue.
7/ Plus this is not even the 🇳🇴 option on offer in transition - it is worse than that for 🇬🇧 - it has no representation *whatsoever* in *anything* in 🇪🇺 for at least 21 months.
8/ But what can the 🇬🇧 do now?
9/ Walk away from talks? But then we're back at No Deal Brexit, which even Davis and May seem to have realised is a catastrophe. That threat is not serious. Walk out now, with 14 months of Article 50 to go, and that'll cause panic.
10/ Go through with transition? To do so on these terms puts 🇬🇧 in a remarkably weak position vis à vis 🇪🇺. Surely unacceptable to Tories. 🇪🇺 gets what it wants if 🇬🇧 tries this.
11/ Or attempt some other solution - either grovel to rest of 🇪🇺 to extend #Article50 instead, as it is less painful? Or withdraw the Article 50 notification? These options are also 😡 for Tories.
12/ This has been very well handled by @michelbarnier @WeyandSabine @StefaanDeRynck and team, and how they've kept 🇪🇺-27 on board.
13/ 🇬🇧 has been manoeuvred into a position where it has to choose *very soon* on transition, all options are tricky, and forcing this sort of choice now, rather than in the autumn is a very good call by 🇪🇺. #Brexit is about to get even more 🔥 /ends
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