Simon Usherwood Profile picture
Jul 16, 2018 17 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A thread on why no-one's happy about Brexit:

Two big reasons why this is:

The referendum, and

The nature of Brexit itself

#EUref offered a binary outcome: remain or leave

However, it didn't specific what either would consist of, in binding terms at least

It wasn't an election, so no new gvt, plus no manifesto commitments either

That meant both sides cld pitch for votes however they liked

Thus both sides built up huge coalitions of voters, bound only by decision that their interests would be served by voting a particular way

So intrinsically the case that the winning coalition would contain many disappointed voters, who'd not voted for whatever particular version actually happened

(NB would have happened if Remain won too)

Put differently, Leave campaign didn't care why you voted Leave, just that you did

However - and this moves us to the 2nd element - having chosen to leave, also evident that costs have to be apportioned

Costs come in two flavours.

1st, there's the transitional costs: moving from status quo ante to new situation implies change, and thus costs

But also, 2nd, there are more permanent costs, arising for reduced level of economic integration, whatever form of Brexit occurs

(NB it's not that no-one can benefit, but that overall there is a cost)

As shape of Brexit becomes clearer (even if Chequers isn't necessarily it), so too do costs, so to be expected that more people are unhappy about it

Brexit is and always has been an exercise in apportioning costs.

That further collapses the #EUref coalition, as chickens come home to roost, scaring away the unicorns

The difficult will be that opposing one form of Brexit does not necessarily make finding another, more acceptable form any easier

All forms will have costs to someone

Thus outcome might say more about relative power/influence of groups to resist costs, than about intrinsic merits of that outcome

Which is probably another reason to unhappy about it all



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More from @Usherwood

Oct 9, 2018
While I kick my heels for a meeting, let's think about Brexit and inevitability:

Let's start off by noting that I'm not a big one for inevitability, in any political situation

It's a throwing up of the hands and submitting to forces beyond our control: 'there's nothing to be done'

Personally, I think there's always something to be done

Read 18 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
So, what to make of today?

Over the weekend, lots of +ve optics and warm words, to get mvt from the conference-season slump

But lots of reining in during the day

Partly, it's sensible expectation mgt: one might have had the impression that suddenly everything was hunky-dory and the work of a moment

Read 13 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
Possibly more for me than for you, let's try to pull this week together a bit:

Let's start with the EU side

Having largely kept heads down during conference season, yesterday's Tusk/Varadkar presser demonstrated that EU is keeping the pressure on

The tension seems to be between COM/EUCO and IE, as @pmdfoster explained well yesterday: IE making conciliatory noises, central EU bodies pushing EU integrity line

Read 17 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Let's just work through this one, given the attention it's getting
By taking the CON rebels' terminology, Tusk is making a point

But what point?
As we know from the infamous Barnier Steps, the EU offer is conditioned on UK red lines as much as anything

Read 8 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Interesting to see how it's just as UK debate sits down for a bit on Brexit, to recover from conference season, negotiations w EU step up
If past fortnight has been about domestic management, then coming fortnight will be about UK working w EU to find ways to get mvt on WA/PD
Because of that hiatus after Salzburg, there's now v.little time left to achieve mvt in time for Oct #EUCO, hence the rush now
Read 11 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
So, the CON party conference and Brexit:

Back in Sept, there was much talk about this being a crunch point in the UK debate, as May would come under fire for Chequers and there would be scope for changes/realignments/whatever

Certainly that first bit has happened, with numerous op-eds over the weekend and assorted fringe events (inc. yesterday's Johnson speech)

Read 15 tweets

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