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Anand Menon @anandMenon1
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Ok. Here goes. First, let me say that @SamCoatesTimes knows infinitely more about our politics and what happens in Westminster than I do. So I say with some trepidation that I think he is wrong…
First and foremost, the EU won’t accept the proposed backstop. They will let the NI have partial SM membership for three reasons.
First, because of the fear about conflict. Second because Ire is a member state so they go the extra mile and third because it is small. The EU makes exceptions for small states - cf Lichtenstein
But none of those apply to rUK and here the principle of no cherry picking is taken seriously - whether rightly or wrongly.
The EU does not want the U.K. partially in SM. And indeed para 46 of the joint agreement of last Dec explicitly says that special provisions for NI are ‘specific to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland
Another thing. He silence, as far as I know, from the ERG makes me suspicious. Why no clamour? This is virtually CU plus SM, as Sam says.
The silence makes me think conspiracy. The govt knows this won’t fly but wants to use it to embarrass EU. Specifically to underline that NI gets to have a special deal, so idea that cherry picking is ruled out on principle is clearly tosh.
The hope is to keep things quiet here, and try to induce some EU flexibility (unlikely but I can’t be arsed to say why).
There is also a hope that this light appeal to those MS - Ire, Fr, G, Nl- most likely to feel economic pain and that they will try to secure agreement on flexibility. Again, unlikely IMHO.
So it’s gesture politics, not a U turn.
I’m going to log off and read my novel now, so do your worst.....
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