The governments of Poland and Hungary are deliberately misrepresenting the German Constitutional Court’s judgement on the ECB to bolster their attacks on the EU’s legal order.
Rather than repeat their propaganda, it is important to understand why it’s misleading. THREAD
1/ HU and PL are asserting that it shows that member states can individually decide the applicability of EU law on the grounds that member state constitutional law is superior to EU law (even if EU law is superior to ordinary national legislation)
2/ This is of course not what actually happens. The way the #BVerfG understands the situation rather is through the conferral of competences.
2/ It is also a mistake to buy the far-rights characterisation of voters’ instincts. Yes, they’re afraid and the far right stoke the fear, but it is therefore a mistake to join the stoking yourself because you only play into their hands.
3/ In fact voters tempted by far right anti-immigrant parties are more compassionate and generous than their leaders give them credit for. They will help refugees if they think it’s safe to do so.
2/ It should be clear by now that the EU needs to start by defending its own law — otherwise, what is it for? This means as well as talking about securing borders, it also needs to talk about processing asylum applications
3/ The combination of both is essential to a civilised response. Yes, there needs to be order at the border, but there also needs to be acceptance of the basic values of the EU and the reasons it came into existence after WW2
2/ Start by defining Brexit in a more coherent way. Brexit can’t mean unconstrained sovereignty because that’s not feasible for a middle sized power like the UK.
It can mean being free from constraints of EU Treaties.
3/ This is not he same as being unconstrained by EU power. The EU is nearby, huge and rich, and has a highly efficient mechanism for exercising its power through trade negotiations. The UK needs to accept this fact and choose from the trade offs this entails.
What stands out about the new british hard right? It’s obsession with stuff that’s not actually a problem. Some examples. Thread. 1/
2/ Immigration. Not actually a problem, only “legitimate concerns” people have not actually based on impacts. Easier to address those concerns with community building than do what’s needed to stop immigration.
3/ Judicial activism. The government wins around 97% of judicial reviews. The Miller cases (both of them) only became an issue because the executive didn’t have a majority in parliament.
Key articles in Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol of Brexit deal. Thread
1. Article 5.2: sets burden of proof for customs goods. Treated as being subject to duties, *unless* conditions are established to confirm that they are not "at risk of subsequently being moved to the Union".
2. VAT. Essentially EU VAT applies, but revenues will not be remitted to the Union
While this report from @SMFthinktank is well intentioned, the mechanisms it suggests are focused on compliance requirements rather than incentives and would be better dealt with by other areas of policy. Thread with constructive suggestions. 1/
2/ It seems focused on what to do with low skilled, relatively low paid jobs that leave people stuck. As my company grows, it’s likely that I will employ people (e.g. in call centres) in such circumstances so it’s worth thinking about how to do so in a socially responsible way.
3/ But reporting requirements don’t seem to me to be the right answer. They create bureaucracy but don’t have a clear mechanism to effect change. The examples cited in the report were anectotal (e.g. Walmart) and no attempt was made to assess continental European policies.
2. Constituents don’t agree with each other, or even hold consistent view. Politicians’ somehow have to seek government while understanding their constituents’ opinions are various and inconsistent.
3. (and even les zeitgeisty than @pswidlicki here) we don’t have populism because we failed to listen to the people, we have populism because demagogues tell the people their unrealistic or base desires can be satisfied.
1. Pro Brexit extremists have exploited on the complacency of the British governing class to propose ever more outrageous ideas. The political establishment laughs them off as unrealistic until it's almost too later. Viz -
2. Leaving the EU at all, leaving the single market, no deal, proroguing parliament, etc. The extremists set the terms of the agenda, and it becomes the new pole of debate versus the status quo.
Tip for people commenting on the local election results. More than one thing can happen at the same time. Both parties are paying the price for an ambiguous brexit position, as leavers and remainers vote UKIP, Lib Dem (or stay at home).
Tories should vote for the Brexit deal. The few who think of it as “not proper Brexit” will be dismissed as fools, cranks, gadflies, swivel-eyed loons, and the party can get on with attacking Labour as anti-Semitic communists. /
Labour should support a second referendum. A loss of leave votes will be outweighed by a gain in Remain ones. /
Opponents of Britain’s membership ran an energetic campaign against it. Some of their arguments were honourable (different history, different perspective on world etc.) but others rested on myths and self-deception 2/
The biggest myth was that they were only joining a “common market” and political union was subsequently foisted upon an unwilling British public.
In fact the debate in the 60s and 70s involved plenty of discussion of its role bringing peace to Europe 3/