Sorry to dash hopes but anyone who thinks an extension to transition might make it easier for the UK to rejoin, forget about it. Closer regulatory alignment might help accession negotiations, but they only begin when an application is (a) made & (b) accepted. (1/4)
Even in the unlikely event that a future UK government decides to apply to rejoin the EU during a transition period, it must do so under Article 49 of the EU Treaty. Any existing EU member state, or the European Parliament by majority vote, can block the application. (2/4)
This means that rejoining will be a political rather than a technical matter. And not just in the UK. Hard to imagine a scenario where all EU27 plus European Parliament are willing to risk putting themselves through this again. We’ll have to wait a generation. (3/4)
When I reflect on the UK and its relationship to the EU post-Brexit, I'm struck by the parallels with Turkey. Both post-imperial powers with large economies, large pro-European populations, but even larger populations fixated on former glories, exploited by populists.
Like Turkey, the UK has for decades flirted with being fully European mainstream without quite settling in the role. Granted, we got further than Turkey, with 40 years full EU membership. As with Turkey, the rest of the EU is growing a little ambivalent about us too.
Turkey applied to become an EU member in 1987. Negotiations started in 2005. The UK first applied to join the EEC in 1961. It joined in 1974. If - IF - the UK leaves the EU having triggered Article 50, we are looking at decades for rejoining under Article 49. Bit like Turkey.
I split my life between two of the richest regions in the world: the UK home counties, and the Brussels region. Three and a half days per week in each. This is a short thread about some similarities and differences, and what that tells me about priorities.
Disclaimer: most of the following is based purely on my subjective empirical observations living in both places and using public spaces. You would never know that both regions enjoy similar levels of wealth. One feels poor, the other feels rich, you can guess which is which.
Similarities: rich, northern European, densely populated, frequently shit weather. Home to high value added service industries and high tech industries. Both have been through painful austerity during the last decade. Differences: taxation levels; quality of life; infrastructure.
A “WTO deal” sounds alright doesn’t it? It sounds like a deal to trade with the world. But it’s a euphemism for NO deal, what in Brussels we call a disorderly Brexit. It’s 👏 not 👏 a 👏deal! WTO is what’s left after we’ve ditched decades’ worth of free trade agreements.
And “super Canada+++” sounds awesome right? Canada, a like-minded G7 rich commonwealth nation, but supercharged? Wow! But the EU’s current relationship with Canada, achieved after 14 years of negotiation, is a pale shadow of what we have as an EU member.
New podcast klaxon! Andy does a short interview each week with a former Leave voter who is a #RemainerNow. Hearing why they voted Leave, what changed their mind, & how to win a #PeoplesVote Remain campaign. (couple of comments follow)
The podcast is a little rough around the edges technically but the conversation is fluid and once it gets going it’s an easy and rewarding half hour listen.
I’m probably not the target audience - I confess I still get cross hearing intelligent people tell me why they voted Leave, I did find myself wanting to challenge Dami on some of the things he said. But that’s not the point of this.
It's happening. The UK will be permanently disabling a key section of its motorway network at vast cost because David Cameron wanted to settle an internal party fight. Black on white, it's happening, starting next week. ht @odtorson
This means that from next week all traffic heading to the Channel ports and Channel Tunnel will have to exit the M25 through a bottleneck involving traffic lights and a roundabout, whereas at the moment it's seamless motorway. Plus of course extra travel time involved. FML
Google "Owen Paterson Project Fear" to see how this man systematically smeared Remain campaigners as liars sowing fear with their dire warnings - dire warnings which he now claims mean that Leave voters knew what they were voting for.
We've never asked for any money from listeners to help us make Cakewatch, and we never will. But if you enjoy the podcast and you would like to show your appreciation, please consider making a donation to @eucitizenschamp. eucitizenschampion.co.uk
In our latest episode, @cliodiaspora talks about the uncertainty hanging over millions of EU citizens' lives as a result of Brexit, and her work as their champion. For this, she receives the most appalling abuse. Does this make you angry? Show your support at @eucitizenschamp.
Hunt's EUSSR dogwhistle has really upset a lot of people. A lot of very important people. It was a spectacularly ill-chosen comment both in content and in timing. Once again, I refer to those priceless commodities, goodwill and trust. The UK needs those ESPECIALLY if no deal.
The thing is, it's offending precisely the few EU Member States that still had some residual goodwill, after all the others had been pissed off (concentration camp guards, etc). Thatcher is held in veneration in the Baltic States. These votes could have meant so much to the UK.
And Hunt's 'prisoner' analogy is so wide of the mark it's an own goal. Far from prompting other Member States to eye the exit, the Brexit catastrofuck (& EU's handling of it) has served only to demonstrate to potential waverers why we're so very much #BetterTogether.
Roman Emperors used to call themselves “Pontifex Maximus” meaning High Priest, but literally it means “largest bridge builder”. Can anyone think of a fat politician with delusions of grandeur and an obsession with Latin and with building bridges?
“…one of these displays of madness was Caligula’s demand for the construction of a floating bridge across the Bay of Baiae so that he could ride triumphantly across it” #FatCaligula#BorisJohnson
Wilton Park is, er was, the FCO’s prestigious international conference venue. It has, er had, a global reputation for attracting top tier participants to a neutral & discreet environment for sensitive conversations. So you’d think it would be led by someone with those qualities.
Wilton Park invitations used to be like Wonka Golden Tickets. A long weekend in a gorgeous stately home hobnobbing with the finest minds? Yes please! But how can EU players take it seriously now?
I surprised myself by being literally moved to tears when I saw the video of the standing ovation for Starmer. Dare we hope???
God bless you Labour conference delegates - what an amazing message you sent to the leadership! Thank you so much for doing that. Restored my faith in the party members.
And as an aside: notice how the TV news cameras were too busy focusing on the reaction of fringe Labour Leavers to cotton on to what was happening at first? If that isn't media coverage of Brexit in a nutshell...
I mean seriously: THEY ARE THE ONES IN CHARGE AND THEY HAVE *NO PLAN* AND THEIR OWN PARTY IS MIRED IN CONFUSION AND STRIFE, HOW IN THE NAME OF THATCHER CAN THEY BE TRYING TO EMBARRASS ANYONE ELSE? Sorry for the all caps but how can they not be hiding behind the sofas in shame??
- Yeah, hi, Colin the plumber? Yeah, I've paid you to unblock my sink but you're sat there & there's water everywhere & the toilet's backed up and I'm £400 down & nothing's happening
- Yeah but I heard you & your wife arguing over who's emptying the dishwasher so THERE'S THAT
Given the barking madness we've been hearing today from the ERG about a "world trade deal" here's another reminder of how world trade really works and why the world has moved on from multilateral to bilateral and regional deals. [thread]
The WTO is a safety net (which is currently under serious threat from Trump). It represents a baseline, a foundation upon which more ambitious trade agreements have been built. Ditching those more ambitious deals and falling back to the baseline is not progress, it's regression.
The WTO Uruguay Round (finalised in 1995) was the high water mark in multilateral trade deals. We tried to go further - the Seattle and Doha rounds, remember? - but we couldn't. It was too hard. So global free traders including notably the EU took things up a notch.
I remember first being disgusted by Burchill in my teens when her wildly xenophobic anti-German tabloid rants received bemused coverage in the German press. She does not deserve a platform. She’s the Lidl, er, Liddle.
During the 80s, on a visit to Germany, my cousin showed me a syndicated article in the excellent local newspaper reporting on a Franco-British spat (I can’t remember the details). The article quoted a French columnist and Burchill. >
There was simply no contest. Burchill’s piece came across as a rant from petulant child next to the mature, genuinely funny French article. I was defensive and embarrassed. In those days I had a very arrogant notion of the UK’s cultural superiority including its press. >
The TPA are utter lunatics. They could not have chosen a better biblical quotation to support Welby’s point. What’s more, it also destroys the entire premise of their shady organisation.
And they sent out unto him their lobbyists with the TPA, but Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why troll ye me, ye hypocrites? Render therefore unto Her Majesty the taxes which are HM Treasury’s. When they had heard these words, they were self-owned, and went their way.
I made a Macbeth reference during the pod ("who would have thought the old man to have had so much poo in him?") and this led me on a train of thought... basically Macbeth is chock full of Brexit references:
And this of course: “Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done, is done” - but only in the sense that, until and unless the UK definitively leaves, we still have a remedy.
You could rationally, if unreasonably, exclude residents because they are non-citizens, or citizens because they are non-residents, but you can’t rationally do both… and yet they did. The 2016 referendum was illegitimate. #Gerrymandering#FinalSayForAll#PeoplesVote
How is it fair for an EU citizen like my mother, taxpaying resident in the UK for nearly 60 years, to be deprived of a vote, while NoFactsChloe can trip off a plane from Sydney and vote Leave? The 2016 referendum was illegitimate. #Gerrymandering#PeoplesVote#FinalSayForAll
People whose entire lives hung on the outcome were excluded, while people with zero stake in the matter and zero connection to this country were handed a vote. The franchise was undemocratic, the 2016 referendum was illegitimate. #Gerrymandering#FinalSayForAll#PeoplesVote
But even this overstates it. We’re not the second largest EU economy (not any more), and very far from the richest on a per capita basis. And we’re not the biggest military player (not in the EU’s Common Security & Defence Policy). These delusions will hit reality fast & hard.
Even on hard security - both blue and green - which the UK very much sees as its ace in the hole, a trump card that will bring the EU to its senses eventually - the UK consistently and massively overestimates its status within EU security structures.
The UK is breaking one of the most important rules in successful negotiations: knowing yourself. If you don’t truly understand your own position relative to others, you can’t hope to succeed in a tricky negotiation. ottocr.at/brexit-a-negot…
Nauseating Leaver arrogance and exceptionalism. UK not the oldest, not the most stable, and most definitely not the most successful country in Europe, and is in absolutely no position to be lecturing the EU on anything whatsoever.
And it’s a bit fucking rich of people like Mordaunt and Patel to preach about government serving the people given the diabolical mess their minority government is making of the country and its long-suffering people.
I think what riles me so badly about Leave exceptionalism is how insecure and pathetic it says we are as a nation. True patriotism is about celebrating what makes us us, it’s not about measuring ourselves against others. You don’t have to lose for me to win.