1. Central to the crunch in #Brexit talks is that the ultras think the EU is over-egging the NI border situation and have unjustly rejected their ideas because of a political agenda to annex NI for Ireland. Which is bollocks...
2. It's really quite simple. The EU has controls on its outer frontiers because it has a system of rules to keep certain things out be they counterfeit airline spares of adulterated foods. It's a system, it's *their* system, and the want to keep it intact.
3. The UK has decided that it does not want to be inside of this system. If we didn't share a land border with the EU then that wouldn't be much of a problem. But we do. And it's a big problem...
1. Mrs May has gone as far as she can go, politically, with the White Paper. Yet this cannot be accepted by the EU. Thus, when the EU rejects it - which they must do - this opens the way for a "no deal" walk-out #Brexit.
2. The only thing is that Brussels must be aware of this. They will be calculating the odds and working out their own game plan. They'll say "we're nearly there", right up to the time the shutters come down, calling right up to the very last minute for more UK proposals.
3. Thus, we will get a time expiry without any dramatic rejection and UK walk-out. The EU then unilaterally implements time-limited mitigating measures which keep the show on the road more or less. These will be hailed as "concessions" by the UK and treated as a victory.
2. When you've been in a political and economic union for forty years things get a bit complicated. There is layer upon layer of complexity and no one person understands it all and never will. It's massive and anyone claiming to understand it fully is lying or overconfident.
3. For instance, the aviation sector covers everything from landing slots to safety certification where often it is difficult to tell what is an EU competence and ans where the line of delineation is between the EU and the nation state.
1. A strange disease stalks the land. When a person is confronted by well documented consequences of leaving the EU without a deal they simply grunt "Project fear!". This is odd because we are not talking about #Brexit economic projections...
2. It all comes down to this little thing you might have heard of called Article 50. The pertinent part being "The Treaties shall cease to apply".
3. You see, at the moment we have a deal. We have EU membership. We are part of the treaties. And if we leave and we do not secure a withdrawal agreement and subsequent arrangements for trade then we do not have a deal. The Treaties shall cease to apply.
1. Having invested years of my life attempting to understand the EU and its systems, I have become part technocrat largely because some things are generally too complicated for general political discourse and that much is not going to change.
2. People assume trade is pretty straightforward - and I suppose the basics of it are. Takes five minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. But half the problem is that trade is just a technical discipline which of itself is only part of what it takes for goods to cross borders.
3. When you understand the system it is easy to see why the EU won't budge on single market cherrypicking because it is primarily a system of governance. You can also see why technocrats love it. On paper it's a universal good.
1. Boris Johnson is right about one thing. #Brexit does need saving. From people like him. On present trajectory there is virtually no change of it no being a disaster purely because the complexity is beyond the abilities of this administration.
2. There is only so much planning you can do when you don;t know what the administrative system looks like. And Theresa May honestly has no clue what our customs regime will be. The systems won't be in place nor will they be able to handle the volumes of declarations.
3. The closer we get to exit day the more panicked the government gets, caught like a rabbit in headlights, unable to make a decision when the worst possible thing to do is to make no decision at all. And that is the problem here.
1. The Brexiters are grunting that the EU-Japan deal does no require any payments, ECJ oversight, customs unions etc. Why is that? For starters, Japan is on the other side of the planet thus does not deep the same level of trade integration.
2. Most goods will be shipped by sea over long voyages - meaning most of the customs formalities can be handled during transit. The UK is different because goods will arrive at their EU destination a matter of hours after dispatch.
3. That means most of the paperwork and formalities need to be in order before the consignment reaches the border. What we don't want is to redirect goods to face lengthy inspections because that's delays and added costs.
2. They just cannot get their heads round the fact that the problem won't be imports. It'll be exports. There is next to nothing in the way of liquid milk imported from the continent. The stuff used for processing is mainly milk powder, with a long shelf life.
3. They could just as easily bring it in containers via Felixstowe and, for that matter, they probably do. I doubt the sector will have an easy ride of it though. The big deal is Ireland where there may be real shortages, if they can't get the milk from their NI suppliers.
1. So I *could* do another thread on why the EEA is the best option but then I'll get a torrent of whining from ultra #Brexit idiots. So let's just cut to the chase. Yes, the EEA is suboptimal. Tough...
2. Leavers have whinged about every single alternative suggestion - suggestions which have been widely panned not only by leavers but also by Brussels. That's because these convoluted workarounds are trying to deliver the impossible.
3. The fact leavers can't bring themselves to admit is that regulatory harmonisation is a fact of life if you want frictionless trade. There is no cake and eat it option and the EU will make no special exceptions for the UK. Why should it?
1. Most of the Tory Twitter is calling May's #Brexit plan a betrayal. It isn't. It's just a hamfisted attempt to square a difficult circle. The betrayal narrative is one cooked up by the Tory apparatus and the tribalists buy it because they are basically sheep.
2. Most of the people mouthing off about it neither understand nor acknowledge the intractable dilemmas. They just look to their nearest opinion gatekeeper like Rees-Mogg or Julia Dunning-Kruger. It couldn't be more ovine.
3. What makes it utterly ridiculous is the fact that there isn't a cat in hell's chance Brussels will actually go for it so it's a massive waste of everybody's time and makes no deal a near certainty.
1. When you take a long hard look at the EU machinery over time you come to appreciate it for what it is - a piece of legal technology. The most sophisticated of its kind and though not a democracy, it's mostly benign technocracy that does more good than harm. To a point...
2. Where it works well is in Western Europe and this is chiefly because economic integration and to a point legal integration makes sense not least because it would happen anyway. Western Europe is culturally similar and systems are compatible having evolved at the same time.
3. It makes less sense for the UK because cross border travel is more a novelty than a norm and having been disconnected at various points in history we have evolved our own systems where there is no need for convergence and no value in doing so.
1. So this should be easy. Reasons why John Redwood is a mendacious shitbird.
He thinks we can leave the EU on WTO terms. No serious person believes this.
2. He thinks the main benefit of Brexit is deregulation despite there being zero economic utility in it. Having gone to the expense of re-fitting to meet single market rules the last thing SMEs who remember the hassle of the 90's want is to do it all again for less market access.
3. He thinks we shouldn't be a rule taker despite the fact that everyone, including the EU, is a rule taker because harmonisation of rules is the very essence of globalised trade.
1. My feeling is that the EU is allowing too much drift in these negotiations. It should by now have concluded that the UK government does not have a grasp of the issues and the longer it drags on the worse they get. And that's dangerous. (thread)
2. Obviously a no deal Brexit is going to hurt the UK more than it hurts them but they are not immune from the effects either and no deal will have serious ramifications for Ireland in terms of trade and politics. It will also damage the EUs ability to operate.
3. The short of it being that the EU needs a deal almost as much as we do - not least because there is a political fallout if it fails. Letting the UK drift off point chasing after its own solipsistic delusions means the fallout will be greater when the EU is forced to say no.
1. So we've had the white paper on the future relationship and yet again Number Ten has failed to grasp the basics. It's a repackaged version of the Florence speech and their understanding has not advanced since then...
2. It attempts to create a single market lite for goods while disregarding all that has been said by Brussels, afford itself the ability to align where it pleases and diverge on a whim without any of the obligations that come with an enhanced trade agreement.
3. The fundamental flaw in their understanding stems from the assumption the EU is playing hardball over cherry picking but will fold in the final hour. This is not going to happen. No cherry picking means no cherry picking.
1. Since you asked, pause and contemplate the Rigid Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) for liquids. I can see at least 20 standards and design specifications in one picture, all of which must be at specific dimensions for roughly the same reasons as shipping containers. (thread)
2. Pause a while and marvel at the amount of intellectual effort expended on bringing us this mundane but very necessary device. And the humble and ubiquitous pallet is about to become deeply political!
3. For all of time they have been the same basic design comprising of timber and steel nails. They are durable, standardised and infinitely recyclable. But they also have a short useful life.
On the #ChequersPlan, this is where we're let down by our media the most. They indulge in the betrayal narrative because it suits their court scribe approach to politics rather than offering serious analysis. Even a basic knowledge of EU trade tells you this plan won't fly.
The common rulebook proposed simply does not exist - so it would need to be a bespoke set of rules based on complex rules which don't work independently of the regulatory system they were designed for. Moreover the single market is not a rule book. It is a system.
But our government seems to think it can define the bare minimum set of rules, disregarding everything it doesn't want oblivious to the fact that the single market is an integrated system to preserve standards integrity. It does not do such deals with those who mix and match.
1. Starting to think the chances of a deal are closer to zero. There isn't enough coherence between the media, politicians, parties and policy wonks. they are all too easily distracted by trivia and Westminster sideshows.
2. The facts are that the EU has turned down any cake and eat it proposal on regulation and divergence and I find it is wise to take them at their word when they say no cherrypicking.
3. Loosely, the proposal from May is to leverage the NI solution into a while UK solution - which the EU has already declined. If anyone in government or close to it was paying attention they would have told May that the proposal is a stillborn.
1. Refreshing to see President #Trump taking a wrecking ball to the global order. It's long past the time - and the EU should pay for its vanity and hypocrisy. It wants all the status but none of the responsibility.
2. Our narcissistic leaders sign up to ever more virtue signalling treaties and green conventions with zero idea of how to implement them or what it will cost us - failing to listen to the experts and now Europe is buying gas from Russia to keep the lights on.
3. Quite rightly Trump doesn't see why US taxpayers should underwrite this folly as Germany fails to meet its NATO spending obligations and has a clapped out air force full of ancient unserviceable Tornados - all the while the EU provokes many of the security crises we face.
A thread in which Steve misses the point that our disaffection with the EU is to do with a rogue establishment acting without consultation or consent, masking their true intentions. A parasitic band of incompetents who can't stop themselves shedding responsibility for governing.
1. We are persistently told that "we" have a veto - but by "we" he means the government - which as he illustrates, not only does our government not veto things WE don't want - it presses for further integration and expansion.
2. The decision to throw open our borders was not one openly debated. It just happened to us and it was too late to stop before we realised what was going on. And that is typical of most EU measures.
1. So why are the ultra #Brexit morons up in arms about May's ill fated proposal? In a nutshell it comes down to the inability to diverge on standards which then puts limitations on what we can offer by way of trade deals with the rest of the world. In theory that is.
2. But the point they miss, is that the foundation of EU rules comprises of global standards and these same standards form the backbone of any FTA the EU has with a third country. It is now in a space race to complete similar deals with Aus/NZ/Japan/Korea/Mexico and India.
3. The trend for some time has been toward convergence on the global standards, and with every deal the EU signs, the fewer opportunities there are for divergence. The EU is ahead of the game because it is a more lucrative market than the UK.
It doesn't. It uses global standards and uses text copied verbatim from the WTO agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. Standards we are obliged to adopt in any case because of those WTO rules this mong is so fond of.
1. This whole debacle is stupid. This is all on the Tory phobia of being a rule taker. This is the issue illiteracy that both sides suffer from. the fact is that unless you are a regulatory superpower you are a rule taker. The only question is how and from where?
2. Supposing Mrs May's proposal had been workable, we'd end up adopting rules verbatim from the EU implementing ECJ decisions directly. Tories squeal about this yet bizarrely that is exactly what Switzerland does and Brexiters have been telling us Switzerland is a viable model.
3. So for all the indignation they have shifted the goalposts, denying, of course, the need for regulatory harmonisation to facilitate NI trade. This is pure dishonesty at work. So what about the alternatives?
1. I am glad Davis Davis et al have gone. David Davis is a schmuck. A lazy, cavalier, ignorant wastrel. Braverman is useless and thick as mince and Baker is a zealot and a crook. The contribute nothing.
2. The UK needs a Brexit solution that avoids a broder in Northern Ireland and we need single market participation. There is no way to do this without regulatory harmonisation. That is a fact of life but May's Brexiters can't get that through their thick skulls.
3. We cannot even begin to fashion a solution without acknowledging the facts of our predicament and no grandstanding stunts are going to change that and if they wanted it some other way then the obligation was on them to produce something viable.
I won't be wasting a nanosecond examining the detail because it isn't a serious proposal, it doesn't address the core issues, it's issue illiterate and Brussels will refuse it because it violates their major red line.
2. So is it a betrayal of Brexit? No. We voted to leave the. We did not vote to terminate all formal relations with the EU and most reasonable people recognise that we need a deal and there will be compromises.
3. Being that trade requires a high level of regulatory cooperation it stands to reason that at the very least we would want a comprehensive agreement on the movement of goods not least for the sake of Northern Ireland.