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Nina Schick @NinaDSchick
, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Catch me on @skynews at 12.30 GMT - where I will be discussing Theresa May’s meeting with Angela Merkel in Berlin. #Brexit
1. In case it wasn’t already clear - Germany’s position on Brexit will not change. The U.K. has a history of over-relying in Germany in EU negotiations. (Cameron made this mistake too.)
2. This displays a misunderstanding of the vital political, strategic and economic importance of the EU to Germany.
3. Any suggestion that May can go over the heads of #Brexit negotiators to convince Merkel to ‘do a deal’ is simply incorrect. A) She can’t do that - and b) it wouldn’t be in her interests to do so.
4. Also on ‘the deal’ - Merkel and the rest of the EU is waiting for clarity from London as to what Britain wants on future trade. (And not the cake and unicorn model). The U.K. hasn’t decided, because the Cabinet can’t agree.
5. This brings us into serious trouble re:timing. The transition is meant to be agreed in March #EUCO - but even that might come down to the wire as it won’t be bespoke. That gives us only a few months to talk future trade.
6. But I’ll repeat - there will be no FTA agreed by leaving Day in March 2019. At best it will be a thin political statement framing the future direction of travel. So U.K. remains a rule taker - but loses its voice on how to make those rules through the transition.
7. As such, biggest risk to Brexit talks in my view is domestic political uncertainty. Can Brexiteers accept that the transition won’t be bespoke and that there will be many more years of negotiation after leaving to secure the future relationship? Will they pull WTO trigger?
8. Back to Germany: they are almost bemused by British approach to negotiations. When Merkel asks ‘what do you want?’ and May replies, ‘what will you give us?’ - this does not a good negotiation make. It’s not a game of ‘you give a little and we will give you something back.’
9. As far as Germany is concerned - there are a set of rules - the U.K. will have to decide which ones it will and won’t apply, which will determine the level of access to the market and the future relationship. But no cherry picking.
10. So please, let’s accept that there will be no 11th hour deliverance from Merkel or the German car manufacturers. Not because of ‘punishment’ - but because it’s not strategically in their interest to offer the unicorn and cake model.
11. What’s more - the UK can’t afford to lose anymore time. Aside from the economic & trading relationship - it needs to move quickly to discussing future security cooperation with the EU. As also pointed out by my boss @AndersFoghR at @rasmussenglobal & at #MSC2018.
12. There is a lot that U.K. needs to decide and move on, so interventions about liberal Brexit and open Brexit at this stage are utterly useless & white noise. Quite astounding that Cabinet ministers are making such low substance interventions - domestic optics aside.
13. And finally, the biggest exporter in the world after China is Germany. It sells its cars to China whilst being in the EU. So the Brexit suggestion that Britain needs to leave the world’s largest trading bloc to ‘go global’ makes zero sense to Germans.
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