There almost certainly won’t be a deal because Johnson’s proposals are neither realistic nor new. Bite me.
The deal they are talking about will wreck what’s left of British industry meaning both fewer good jobs and a balance of payments crisis.
It’s a plan for poverty for Northern Ireland when prosperity is vital for peace.
Even if double customs could work it would impose huge new frictional costs for business meaning competitiveness would be wrecked.
NI would be completely dependent on handouts from the UK.
Oct 10, 2019 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
We keep hearing about the risk to workers' rights and deregulation from a no-deal Brexit and a Trump trade deal.
But what does this really mean?
Here's a short thread that compares the United States and the UK.
First, in most of the US, employment is "at-will".
This means your boss can fire you at any time, with no notice, and for no reason.
Employers in the UK must provide workers with a contract and can't fire people for no reason.
Jul 15, 2019 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
THREAD on the leak that caused Sir Kim Darroch to quit
This is a theory from the very top of the civil service and diplomatic corps.
It’s an absolute classic of the British establishment.
The real target of the leak was not Kim Darroch but the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.
In recent months Sedwill has told friends that he would like to be named as British ambassador to Washington—as part of a deal to quit at the end of Johnson’s transition to PM.
May 22, 2019 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
THREAD: Tory leadership contest
The key dividing line in the Tory leadership contest won't be Leave vs. Remain but deal vs. no-deal.
So we can safely rule out anyone who supported Remain including those that have swung behind no-deal. Say goodbye to Hunt, Javid, Stewart.
There's been lots of speculation that Rudd will back Boris.
But she won't.
The surprise formulation will be a joint Hancock-Rudd ticket, arguing for a generational shift.
They won't succeed. But they will swing behind a pro-deal candidate.
Apr 7, 2019 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
The claim from the pro-Brexit contingent in Labour is that once a deal is done, politics will 'move on' to domestic concerns such as the NHS. If the question is Brexit, the argument goes, the Tories are advantaged. If it's the state of the country, Labour will win 1/6
Even a basic understanding of Brexit reveals this to be nonsense. If the UK leaves, the clock will be ticking 31 Dec 2020 when we either conclude a new partnership for half our trade, extend the transition for £1b/month or enter the backstop. The argument will rage on and on. 2/6
Apr 6, 2019 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
THREAD on why the question matters
Picture this: we’re holding a referendum on electoral reform. The question on the ballot says:
‘Should the United Kingdom keep the electoral system or change the electoral system?’
In the campaign, some people argue for PR, others say the House of Lords will be elected, some say it will be alternative vote. A few people at the fringe say it will be ‘fancy franchises’ where people with £100,000 in the bank or a degree get double votes.
Apr 4, 2019 • 7 tweets • 1 min read
A short thread on illegal behaviour during the referendum campaign
1. It's absolutely true that illegal behaviour was found by the courts on the Leave side. Their actions were categorically wrong. The rules matter and the rule of law matters. It makes defeat more bitter.
2. I didn't emphasise this starting point on a podcast I did yesterday, and I should have done. Not least because I regard the whistleblowers as brave and courageous people whom I respect and admire--as well as having regard for the principles.
Mar 27, 2019 • 12 tweets • 5 min read
If parliament backs a customs union in the indicative votes, why shouldn’t it back May’s Withdrawal Agreement?
First, let’s be clear: the backstop is a misleading name. In the absence of any known alternative, it isn’t a fall-back but rather the default.
Given the absence of alternatives for the Irish border, and the fact that the withdrawal agreement has no mechanism for exit and allows only for a one-time extension of the standstill transition, the backstop must be assessed as the future destination (see Robbins, O.)
Mar 22, 2019 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
THREAD: The myth of the soft Brexit majority.
A majority in this parliament needs to get to 320. It's been repeated so often that it has become a truth—that there is a majority for a soft Brexit in parliament.
Here's why that's almost certainly not the case.
Let's start with the Labour Party (245 MPs).
Soft Brexit is the position of the leadership (see JC letter to TM 6/2).
But there are at least 60 strong backers of a people's vote in the PLP & maybe 5 who want a harder Brexit.
So Labour brings max 180 MPs to soft Brexit.
Mar 11, 2019 • 24 tweets • 5 min read
As we approach the crunch Brexit votes, let's look at the economic picture that helps explain how we got to here. This is drawn from the final report of the @IPPR Commission on Economic Justice.
The data is shocking.
The 2007-8 financial crisis led to the deepest recession since WW2, with output falling by 4.2% in 2009 alone
Since then, the UK has seen its slowest recovery after any recession in the postwar period, taking more than 5 years for GDP to recover to its pre-recession peak
Mar 4, 2019 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
The government's 'Stronger Towns Fund' could be a turning point in the Brexit debate.
Designed to give cover to Labour MPs to back Theresa May's deal, it is likely to have the opposite effect.
In fact, it leaves her parliamentary strategy in tatters. Here's why. (1/10)
The Fund is a pathetically small amount of money: just 0.05% of total government spending.
It equates to £145m/year for the North of England or less than £10 per person. It is £80m for the Midlands, or £8 per person.
It is less than the budget of St. Thomas' Hospital. (2/10)
Feb 13, 2019 • 21 tweets • 4 min read
This evening, the Labour Party released a Party Political Broadcast on the state of the NHS.