1. Exquisite Tweets from @ProfChalmers

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    This bit of the FAZ report on the May-Juncker dinner is fascinating, because there are some similarities between Brexit and the JHA opt-out.

    Jeremy Cliffe @
    13) She cited her own JHA opt-out negotiations as home sec as a model: a mutually useful agreement meaning lots on paper, little in reality.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    The JHA optout lacked any convincing rationale, was a solution to problems that didn't actually exist, and was accompanied by dire warnings.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    But in the end, it was more or less made to work, and life went on.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    So it's understandable that May might think "I got through the JHA optout intact; Brexit is just a big version of that, I can do this."

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Two obvious problems. First, they're not really comparable. The rights and obligations created by EU law overall are far more complex.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Secondly, the scale is immeasurably different. Brexit is to the JHA optout as a blogpost is to the Library of Alexandria.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    I don't think it would have been absurd for May to have thought this way initially. It would be absurd for her to still think it now.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    (The first half of that last tweet is charitable, but let's be fair and acknowledge that May did not create the problem.)

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    What this shows, once again, is that the problem is not just Brexit: it's a failure to acknowledge how complex and difficult Brexit is.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    And in that context, an election is just displacement activity, like a student tidying their room in denial of tomorrow's essay deadline.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    An election isn't going to make Brexit easier, no matter the result. But it does give May something else to think about for a while.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers

    Incidentally, I think the JHA optout took about eighteen months from notification to taking effect. But yeah, we can do Brexit in two years.

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    ProfChalmers

    James Chalmers