1. Exquisite Tweets from @simonjhix, @SpiegelPeter

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    THREAD: If (when?) Brexit has had a devastating effect on the UK’s economy and society, this act of self-harm can be blamed on a litany of failures by our political class and institutions. In reverse order: 1/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failures by May, Davis and Johnson and co. to recognise their relative bargaining weakness, the incompatibility of their ‘red lines’, or to make any attempt to build a broad consensus in the House of Commons 2/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failures by Cameron to negotiate a good deal in 2016, to understand Merkel, to try to use the Euro crisis for venal ends (the pretend “veto”), to engage with the Spitzenkandidat process, and the decision to pull the Tories out of the EPP 3/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failures by Blair/Brown and Cameron/Clegg to understand the distributional consequences of mass immigration, and to use public finances to address them 4/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failure by Brown to engage with the Eurozone/EU at all, preferring instead to lecture at EcoFin and European Council meetings, and then head home 5/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failures by Blair to apply a transition period on Free Movement of people from the EU10, or to construct a broad consensus on the UK’s place in Europe when the public was most supportive of the project 6/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failure of successive governments to address growing income and regional economic and social inequalities, eg. with massive infrastructure spending 7/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failure of every leader since Thatcher to understand or explain that a Single Market is not just an *economic* project, as it requires *political* institutions (an executive with agenda-setting power, a legislature with majority voting, and court to enforce the rules) 8/

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    Failures to hold referendums on the Single European Act and/or the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, or Lisbon treaties, unlike Denmark or Ireland, who were just as Eurosceptic as the UK when we all joined in 1973 /9

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

    We need new leaders and new institutions. Sadly, Brexit is just one of many areas of disastrous policy failure by successive UK governments. We have not been governed well. END

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

  2. Disagree on 2 of these: I think Cameron's 2016 deal was as good as he could get, and better than many in Brussels expected. Also, objecting to the Spitzenkandidat process is a perfectly legitimate political stance shared by many elsewhere in the EU. I agree other criticisms, tho

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    SpiegelPeter

    Peter Spiegel