1. Exquisite Tweets from @PeteNorth303

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    1. Jacob Rees-Mogg proper gets on my tits. Here we have a man who has decided that not only can we leave without a deal, but also that the EU can, on a whim, relax its entire legal order for the sole benefit of the UK with no international consequences.

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    PeteNorth303

    Pete North

    2. In his mind the government should be calling Brussels' bluff, putting the EU's position down to intransigence rather than a coherent political stance. And this explains the Brexiter mindset throughout. They think this is a classic negotiation. It really isn't.

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    Pete North

    3. There really is no negotiation to be had. It's more a case of navigating the Brexit process and choosing from a menu of options - where there is some scope within each avenue for flex, but there is no fantasy bespoke system that violates the EUs legal order.

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    Pete North

    4. Mogg assumes that if we hold out then those German car makers will rush to the rescue, imploring the EU to cave in. All we have to do is hold our breath. That though is not going to happen. Why? Because the EU says so. I believe them and so should you.

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    Pete North

    5. There is no Machiavellian agenda here. The EU is saying the same thing on every level. It believes the source of its power is the indivisibility of its legal order. They are right. If it gives even an inch on the fundamentals then the system is wide open to exploitation.

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    Pete North

    6. If the EU would not make elemental concessions to the UK as an EU member then it is not going to do it for a third country - and especially not one that leaves it with a gaping financial hole. Walking away is not leverage. It's absolutely suicidal.

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    Pete North

    7. This malformed thinking is not unique to Brexiters. It is shared by our asinine media who talk of it in terms of haggling for a new car - failing to note that there are no other seller in the market. They speak in terms of slugging it out when there is no actual negotiation.

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    Pete North

    8. The terms have already been set. the offers have already been made. We're just waiting on the UK to make a choice. The delay is because the UK does not like the consequences. The EU has allowed us to present workable alternatives but the operative word there is workable.

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    Pete North

    9. This the government cannot do because it doesn't understand the EU and doesn't comprehend why the EU behaves the way it does. Precisely why the UK government and the political apparatus is unable to grasp this is one of the great mysteries of our time.

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    Pete North

    10. This is really all very easy to understand once start taking the EU at its word and stop looking for hidden motives. Their motives are exactly what they say they are. If the UK wants none of the obligations then it cannot expect any of the rights.

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    Pete North

    11. There are modes in which the UKs requests can be accommodated but if the UK is taking an absolutist line on Brexit, maintaining all of its red lines then an FTA is the only remaining apparatus and the consequences of that choice are ours to contend with.

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    Pete North

    12. It was always going to be this way. All of this was discussed well in advance of the referendum. Countless reports have said the same thing. We therefore have to make a choice which ultimately comes down to sovereignty versus trade.

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    13. Trade requires a high level of technical integration and cooperation and that requires shared committees and working groups. Being that the EU is the trade superpower in this equation we were always going to be the weaker side and so the EU is at liberty to stick to its guns.

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    Pete North

    14. So you basically get to choose from the EEA with an Efta firewall or a thin gruel FTA with eventual adoption of rules with direct ECJ applicability. Either that or no deal and no trade. Nothing dredged up from the deepest imaginings of Rees-Mogg is going to change that.

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    Pete North

    15. The EU is not going to fold at the last minute to give us everything we want. If May does not adopt the EEA then she has to cave in to a wet border for NI because there is no other way to do it. It's just how the system works.

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    Pete North

    16. You can rail at the inflexibility of the system and you can hate the EU for that but that doesn't change anything. It is still a system of laws enmeshed in a wider system of global laws and UK wishful thinking does not override any of that.

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    Pete North

    17. This, of course is the political crisis waiting in the wings from which there is no escape. Potentially it could bring down the government which is why Mrs May is winding down the clock and this is going nowhere. May has no choice but to wait til the last minute.

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    Pete North

    18. Ultimately in the final hour its a choice between accepting a miserably asymmetrical backstop or crashing out without a deal which results in a hard border and all the misery that goes with a collapsed regulatory order. That should focus minds. It might not, but it should.

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    Pete North

    19. The only equitable way out of this is the EEA via Efta. It makes the backstop unnecessary and longer term will eliminate the need for a customs union. It isn't ideal but it hands down beats all of the alternatives.

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    Pete North

    20. Ress-Mogg, however, believes that there is some other solution. I can assure you there isn't. If there were I would be an advocate of it. By snubbing EEA the ultras are going to end up shunting us into perma-transition and a final settlement where we adopt EU rules verbatim.

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    Pete North

    21. While this would be a costly lesson for the ultras, this is ultimately their own fault. They didn't want a plan, they didn't want to listen to to anyone but their own high priests and refused to engage in detail. Ignorance has a price and there defeat will be much deserved.

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    Pete North