2. The reaction to it is largely based on a single Guardian article which ignites all the usual histrionics about hormone beef, chlorinated chicken and privatisation of the NHS. This is reactionary and a sign that they haven;t actually read it. It's still bad though...
3. The document aims to be radical by throwing out conventional practices in trade deals in favour of "innovation" but what it actually does is throw out everything they have only half understood in favour of flights of fantasy.
1. The now infamous Copyright Directive is a solid example of why we should leave the EU. Not of itself as some suggest but it gives us an insight into how the rest of the EU functions. (#Brexit thread)
2. The legislation, like most EU law is the product of corporate lobbying but when it comes out the other side we get an appalling piece of law - a sledge hammer to miss the nut - one which will place substantial costs on content producers. Only the biggies can afford to comply.
3. So like nearly all pieces of technical EU legislation it is as much designed to shaft the competition as much as it is about taking back control of the internet. We've seen this all before with meat producers and electronics firms.
If this had the slightest chance of working and were it grounded in reality I would be backing Mrs May all the way - but it's basically a set up to make the EU look bad by demanding the impossible and dressing it up as a reasonable offer. It's a decoy.
2. This feels like there isn't even an honest attempt to engage in the details not least because she is lying about the EEA option and Norway requiring a customs union. She is taking us for fools. She can only get what she wants by staying in EEA but repeats the lies about it.
3. My assumption is that EEA is off limits because of interests in the City wanting financial deregulation - not least capital adequacy rules. Since she cannot split the single market and has been told so, she has invented Chequers pretending she can have her cake and eat it.
1. The ERG have proven adept at making noise but they don't seem to be able to grasp policy. They get shot down every time they put their heads above the parapet and they have not been able to produce a credible alternative to chequers. #Brexit thread...
2. With philandering Johnson having blown his window of opportunity and the ERG seemingly backing down it looks like May will survive until Brexit day. That, though, does not change the fact that Chequers is a non-starter.
3. So given that member states are not prepared for a no deal Brexit any more than we are the Eu will want to buy time so will agree to a much more vague political statement on trade just to get the withdrawal agreement in the bag. That will still require an NI backstop.
1. So today it looks like #Brexit has gone on the back-burner for the Tories. They have now entered a full blown civil war where Brexit is the proxy issue but the row is more to do with who will lead them into the next election. That's all that matters to them.
2. Brexit may be the theme, but this isn't about which plan wins out because everyone knows Chequers will not work. The ERG faction just maintain the pantomime that it is a serious proposition because the average Tory voter (not by accident) thinks it is a plan in play.
3. Consequently we now see Tory activists siding with the ultras even though the ultras don't have a plan. They don't even care about Brexit. They've just convinced themselves that Chequers, or more precisely Theresa May, will lose them the next election.
1. So is Chequers dead or not? There are mixed messages. Barnier has rejected core elements of it but we have not yet seen an outright rejection in name. So what's going on with #Brexit? Thread...
2. It is the Leave Alliance's view that Brussels has given up any hope of a sensible proposal from the UK and is just treading water, buying time to prepare for no deal. It is likely that Raab is doing the same.
3. If Brussels does reject Chequers outright then it destabilises May and risks her Brextremists taking over and walking out prematurely. They won't risk it. It is possible the UK could come up with something workable but at this point it is highly unlikely.
1. According to City AM, David Davis is being lined up to author a foreword to a 140-page "Alternative #Brexit Plan", due to be published later this month and which will make the case for a Canada-style trade deal, with improved provisions on areas such as services and security.
2. The comprehensive proposal is being coordinated by "trade expert" Shanker Singham of the Institute of Economic Affairs, in collaboration with at least one other think tank and a leading City law firm.
3. Right now I can only speculate but any plan ha to address the issue of standards and regulatory alignment. It won't go as far as a "common rulebook" because that phrase is politically toxic. They will duck the issue.
1. The Twitter remain movement really doesn't have any self awareness. Even filtering out the snobs, bigots and crazies, they still haven't grasped #Brexit at all. (thread)
2. For all that they have shown an impressive ability to build self-referential echo chambers, mobilising enormous Twitter followings, having spend millions in the process, if the polls are anything to go by they haven't actually achieved anything.
3. The reason for this being that they have made no attempt to understand Brexit voters. If they had they would understand why their activities have proven entirely futile. They are really barking up the wrong tree.
1. There's a subtle shift in tone from the ultras this morning who are now pushing for a Canada+ agreement. That + is going to have to do a lot of work because we'd still be subject to third country controls thus having a similarly damaging effect to no deal #Brexit.
2. Again the Brexiters are ducking the issue that to have frictionless trade you need full regulatory harmonisation. If we don't have that then Mrs May will have to sign the NI backstop. Chequers is an attempt to fudge this question but it is at least a nod to reality.
3. Mrs May has attempted to bridge the unbridgeable divide. Chequers is an attempt at regulatory alignment while maintaining a level of regulatory sovereignty - which is tolerable but not to the EU. They won't go for it.
1. Watching the #Brexit debate unfold on my timeline is increasingly surreal. Tory drones are mounting an anti-chequers campaign despite all the signals from Barnier that the EU is not even willing to entertain it. And it gets even weirder...
2. The chief objection to Chequers is it would tie us to EU standards which would prevent us from diverging, which in their view restricts an independent trade policy. They are not even on this planet. For a start, divergence is a sure fire way of kill our trade with the EU.
3. Divergence and relaxed standards means that any goods travelling from the UK to the EU face a higher rate of inspection. That alone is enough to kill a supply chain. But it doesn't even make any sense in respect of trade with the rest of the world.
1. I am told I should welcome the efforts of @betterbrexit. I'm not impressed. It's too little, far too late and ill thought out. EEA might well be a large part of the solution but it is not a miracle solution and moving into it from the position of being an EU member is not easy
2. To maintain frictionless trade we would need a customs protocol to go with it along with a series of negotiated annexes which may take a number of years to complete. It's not as simple as just filling in an Efta application form.
3. EEA has often been described as an off the shelf solution (even by me) but it is only off the shelf insofar as it is an existing framework. It still needs to be beaten into shape and will have to take into account the concerns and red lines of Efta members.
1. There are plenty of #Brexit threads kicking around now on why the WTO option is bad. Unless you live in a cave or have the IQ of a halibut, you should by now have grasped the concept of what it means to be a third country and why that is ruinous for UK exporters.
2. You'll note that in the seventeen billion threads I've written on the subject that I seldom make reference to tariffs - because tariffs for the most part are neither here nor there. This is fundamentally about regulatory barriers where again the cave/halibut question kicks in.
3. Without full regulatory harmonisation there will be inspections, standard third country controls will kick in and there are no WTO rules that compel the EU to relax them and certainly not for the sole benefit of the UK. This is why we need a comprehensive agreement with the EU
1. The no deal #Brexit advocates are in full spin mode. They say we can trade on WTO terms alone. So anybody with a clue asks them about aviation and nuclear sectors etc where they mutter something about bilateral deals. That's an admission that we cannot trade on WTO rules alone
2. They then pretend we can have an amicable negotiated exit to WTO rules. We can't. This would be a package with all the bilaterals covering aviation and nuclear - there bare minimum to avoid civil emergencies. It would not include any mutual recognition on anything.
3. There is no way the EU would sign such an agreement without the existing agreements on citizens rights, the financial settlement and the NI backstop. There is no rowing back from that. The government would have to agree or there is no deal.
1. MPs more often than not are an idle bunch. Many of them are IT illiterate and get their assistants to print out their emails. They have notoriously short attention spans and get very little time to study issues. They are also in the grip of peer pressure and tribal games.
2. This is how they can tell such obvious and brazen lies. They are speaking to the gallery and don't even know they are speaking untruths. They do no independent verification. They take much of what they are told on trust.
3. This is an easy dynamic to exploit. All you have to do is tell MPs what they want to hear, pepper it with jargon to make it seem plausible and the media will do the rest on shoring up the narrative. This is why so many of them say we can leave without a deal.
1. I've noticed that threads debunking the WTO #Brexit option have become something of a cottage industry. They are all the rage these days. It doesn't do any good though because we are not actually dealing with people who respond to facts. We are dealing with a belief system.
2. Certainly it helps to raise awareness among those who are not intellectually subnormal but the people who most need to listen simply won't. They are not thinking it through and they are oblivious to the breadth of EU integration and just how much the EU really does.
3. That's because most of what the EU does is "invisible government". That which you'd never know existed unless it concerned you directly. This ignorance, however, is shared equally among remainers and leavers.
1. Like many other subjects the Burka debate is distorted by different regional experiences. There is the London view and then there's the Dewsbury view. The London view gets priority...
2. Over the last few days we have seen veiled women on TV news asserting their views - but these will be people already on the rolodex of some junior TV researcher and used because they are available at no cost. Much like the pundits they interview.
3. Usually they will be associated with a mainstream Muslim advocacy group and essentially part of civil society. They will make all the boilerplate points about their right to choose. But what of those who do not have a voice?
1. So Johnson has farted and once again it sets the debate agenda. He;s done the electoral calculus and worked out that grunting about Muslims is actually quite popular. It certainly gets the attention of Torykip and all just when the right is poised to topple May.
2. He has chosen deliberately provocative language - but it;s only provocative in the London political arena. What he actually said is pretty pedestrian as far as the average working class voter is concerned. It is an opinion you will hear voiced commonly in Bradford.
3. Meanwhile the Breitbart brigade are fully erect over it because it triggers the left and flies in the face of polite society. These are things you may think, but not say, and certainly not in those terms. Politically it weakens May to ask Johnson to apologise.
1. We are presently in the midst of an information war. They tell me "play the ball, not the man" but what do you notice about Redwood, Paterson, Nelson, Lea, Meyer, Baker, BrexitCentral et al? They are ALL in transmit mode only....
2. Any number of experts could dismantle their claims. We could quote chapter and verse from numerous official sources, but the next day they simply reassert their claims. They don't respond and are impervious to criticism. These people have to be shown up for what they are.
3. They are in the propaganda game which has its own rules: have a simple message, repeat it often ... and don't engage. We are dealing with professional liars. These people are not interested in debate so we have to stop treating them as though they are.
1. This is going to sound a bit preachy but I'm going to roll with it anyway. The Tory Brexiters have pulled a fast one. They have shifted to goalposts and now propagandists are spinning the narrative that any deal is a betrayal of #Brexit. These people are professional liars.
2. If we had a functioning media the people who say we can rely on WTO rules as a basis for our post-Brexit trade relations would be hauled over the coals by all of the major newspapers because it is not a matter of mere opinion. It is an outright demonstrable lie.
3. But rather than outing liars as indeed our media should, many vessels are actually complicit in the lie. Particularly BrexitCentral, City AM, The Telegraph, the Express and The Spectator. They will give houseroom to liars without flinching. This is what they do now.
2. There is cross-society concern about No Deal because it affects all of us in countless ways. Some people could find themselves out of a job overnight. A number of key industries cannot function without regulatory cover. Project fear this is not.
3. But that's only a bit part of why O'Neill is a cretin. He has never really understood the technical issues thrown up by Brexit because he isn't interested. He doesn't have the intellectual architecture to cope with it. Brexit is just a pawn in his juvenile culture war.
1. I know this is a total waste of breath because Tory tribalists are impervious to details and facts, but I suppose I have to go through the motions anyway. So about those #Brexit tweets from Sir Christopher Meyer regarding the WTO option...
1. One of the biggest problems in the #Brexit debate is the total lack of media literacy where the ignorance of the public is exploited and important issues turned into click-bait trivia. This is why so many important issues are written off as "project fear".
2. One such example is the "Brexit threat to sandwiches" headlines - which of itself seems risible but sandwiches are an £8bn industry which is worth a magnitude more than fishing and and employs tens of thousands of people.
3. Sandwiches do not pass through a membrane from an alternate dimension. they depend on complex logistics and food safety systems all of which are interwoven with our customs controls and thy depend on JIT supply chains and an array of suppliers for seasonal ingredients.
1. Folks, we have a problem. A very big one. The outright idiocy of @sirsocks and the poisonous assertions made by the Spectator, repeated by Kate Hoey have gained considerable traction among Brexiters. This is an all out war on knowledge and good sense.
2. It's one thing to conclude that we must leave the EU - another entirely to duck all the complex questions by claiming no deal will be fine. That is a lie and this is a wilful attempt to mislead the public using some of the most influential vessels in UK media.
3. This is made worse by a commentariat without the knowledge or curiosity to challenge these lies. Worse still, the people who tell this lie trade entirely on prestige. Consequently far too many people will unquestioningly believe it if it confirms their existing narrative.