Schona Jolly QC Profile picture
Aug 3, 2018 27 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It's August, & time for a proper #BrexitBreak.

Before I disappear, a few key reminders of the staggering route to summer which Britain's political life has taken this year.

Warning. You might get dizzy, & feel slightly sick.

2. It started with a draft Agreement back in Dec 2018, where everyone was backslapping at their own Brexit brilliance.

Memories can be short, so remember Britain agreed to pay a financial settlement in recognition of its obligations & liabilities.…
3. You may also recall the no hard border promise:-
"In the absence of agreed solutions, the UK will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market/Customs Union which, now or in the future, support N-S cooperation, the all island economy & the...1998 Agreement."
4. Jump to Jan 2019.

Brexiters have had some 2-43 years to stake out their wish-list for a post-EU future, but, oddly, the EU seem rather more adept at publishing their wishlists (or negotiating guidelines) first.

So it was for the transition period.…
5. Around the same time, the #WithdrawalBill was being considered. A House of Lords Constitution Committee was deeply unimpressed, describing it as "constitutionally unacceptable" & "fundamentally flawed".

Govt barely blinked.

Henry VIII was back in fashion. Powers & all.
6. And then the letters fell off the wall, & somebody was handed a P45.

Oh, wait. That was Oct 2017.

No, the Mansion House speech next. A spectacularly inappropriately named place, given the economic impact of Brexit...
7. Did someone mention the economic impact of Brexit?

Well, not the govt, or @jeremycorbyn, who both continue to feed the Brexit benefit myth.

You could just see Mark Carney, today, or @faisalislam…), or @SadiqKhan….
8. Or you could just believe the Brexiters themselves. Rees-Mogg has been busy building bases in the EU (Dublin).…

Or how about John Redwood, advising investors to pull out their money from the UK since, y'know, not going so well...…
9. Anyway, back to 2018 timeline. We hit a 'decisive step' in the Brexit yellow brick road later in March. A 21 month transition was agreed, until Dec 2020.

Remember, though, the govt was insisting it was vital that 'exit day' be defined in #WithdrawalBill as 29 March 2019. 11pm
10. And, then, the fun began. Because by mid-May, we were deep into 'backstop'.

But as @MichelBarnier pointed out, cheekily, "backstop means backstop".

The PM's proposal "raised more questions than answers."

Which could be said about Brexit as a whole. A giant question mark.
11. Suddenly, people started catching on to this question-mark, growing like Pinocchio's nose.

Had anyone seen a big red bus emblazoned with 'fun facts' for a long while?

Turned out by June that @theresa_may had boarded that bus with NHS slogans too.…
12. What was the benefit Brexit was supposed to bring again?

Even that ardent supporter of Brexit, Priti Patel, was no longer sure what the benefits actually were:

We were back to Brexit means Brexit.
13. And the idiocies, & banal soundbites, the simplification of heinously complex legal situations got reduced to public school debates in Parliament over #WithdrawalBill.

The Lords steamed in, & argued their corner.

The rebels felt their way forwards & were branded traitors.
14. And, they huffed, they puffed & they blew their own House down.

As blithely as Plmnt had agreed to voting for a barely thought-through referendum..

As blindly as Parliament had agreed to voting to trigger Article 50, because it was the 'will of the people', without a clue.
15. Now don't forget that the govt insisted all kinds of things were absolutely critical in the #WithdrawalAct.

Including that 'exit day' be defined as 29 March 2019.

And that EU law effectively be frozen from that point.

But it's a heatwave. De-freeze.
16. Quick pause to enjoy the moment.

A symbolic Brexit triumph. Like blue passports, or lanes just for Brits at airports, or spending our own billions on Galileo. Brexit means Brexit.
17. It didn’t last long. Any of it, really.

The British Prime Minister put into action an inspired Cabinet Cluedo away-day at Chequers.

David Davis, who’d been role playing Col Mustard, finally put into action his much promised resignation, & left the parlour.
18. Meanwhile, Professor Plum (who we suspect is being played by Michael Gove) is denying that he had much say over the “feel” of the Leave campaign.

Suddenly, those outright lies worth of Turkey posters, and that dog-whistling “feels” inconvenient.
19. So things were already in a parlous state when Donald Trump turned up.

Ever the knight in shining armour, he reached for May’s hand again as he shoved her plan and leadership rather rudely off the yellow brick road.

He didn’t even wait for the Queen (not #fakenews btw).
20. So May had misjudged that one, again. Rather spectacularly.

Meanwhile, a new #WhitePaper was out. I do love a good #WhitePaper but this one had me in stitches. I renamed it #RepealTheRepeal.

Guess what? The Withdrawal Act suddenly didn’t make sense any more. Who knew?
21. Meanwhile, it was remarkable that the now-dislodged Foreign Sec Johnson didn’t really believe that Exit Means Exit, as he tried to keep all the benefits of staying in his Ministerial Mansion without actually being a Minister.

Karma for our Kipling fan.
22. Meanwhile, there had been a #PeoplesVote march, thousands and thousands were supporting a campaign for a new referendum on the terms of a deal.

But, to Theresa May, the will of the people was frozen in time.

Even if we all emptied the shelves of Tesco or Asda.
23. And Asda’s CEO had added his voice to the growing chorus of anxiety & warnings about the implications and “significant consequences” of anything disrupting established food chains, which the Govt’s Brexit is set to do..
24. I could go on and on. The last weeks are fresh in our mind.

But, as this thread shows, memory is short when it comes to Brexit.

Too much happens. Too much fogs brains & leaves is glazed over.

Too many Brexiter promises are forgotten.
25. But something is very wrong with a wealthy country turning in on itself like this.

Something is very wrong when a country sees the disaster ahead & refuses, not even to say stop, but even just to press pause.

Rolling news makes a rolling sensation. We can still say stop.
26. We all need a welcome break from the misery and the mania.

I’m skipping off to enjoy sunshine & sea, family & friends.

Return rested, reinvigorated and ready to make a difference.

Until September, Twitter.
Yep, I’ve noticed I wrote 2018 instead of 2017. Too late to undo..

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Oct 9, 2018
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ICC can be faced with total non-cooperation, dwindling resources, hostility etc. Forms part of challenge to conducting investigations. We need to anticipate such challenges. US isn’t 1st state to refuse to cooperate with ICC, eg Sudan, but we still collected evidence: Bensouda.
Since I announced investigation into Philippines. I’m sure you’ve heard response of leader, including threats against Prosecutor. But, eg, see Burundi where I opened prelim invest. Burundi immediately withdrew, but we ctd investigation & obtained satisfactory evidence- Bensouda.
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Mainstream politicians ran the Turkey issue - eg Michael Gove.
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Prodi quotes someone as saying “EU is a union of minorities” - but says this is now challenged. #IBARome
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Oct 7, 2018
Serious cognitive dissonance in @theresa_may⁩’s Op-Ed.

Citizens of nowhere, we remember.

Hard red lines without any respect to a deeply divided result, we see now.

A refusal to apologise for the #HostileEnvironment.

EU citizens rights, we care.…
May claims a “decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of” Labour support.

So patriotic it deprives us of jobs?

So decent it leaves British citizens in Europe stranded?

So moderate it strips us of our right to study, travel, live, love & work in 27 countries? /2
May boldly asserts “The British people are not bound by ideology”.

Brexit is nothing but ideology.

There are no proven facts. There is a preposterous belief that we can do everything, as all the evidence before he flees to Paris, Berlin, Dublin. /3
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Govt has now published its 28 No-Deal Guidance documents.

On a skim, common themes are:
- Red tape (more of it);
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But don't worry. Blue passports late 2019. And the PM said it's not the end of the world.…
Some highlights: "The government will invest £92 million from the Brexit readiness fund on an 18-month programme to design a UK Global Navigation Satellite System. This will inform the decision to create an independent system as an alternative to Galileo." /2

UK-based businesses, academics and researchers will not be eligible to bid for any future work on the EU Global Navigation Satellite System programmes. Onus on them to take steps to avoid penalties. /3
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Sep 3, 2018
I urge everyone to read this stark analysis of a world failed by self-serving leaders, & rife discrimination.

These are the parting words of Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, @UNHumanRights High Commissioner in ⁦…
Everything he writes resonates with the weight of our daily troubles.

Even as @BorisJohnson issues lazy, reckless & empty rhetoric, Hussein’s words remind us not only that Johnson’s like are morally cowardly, but also dangerous. Frothing, but incapable of advancing us. /2
As a Myanmar court sentences 2 @Reuters journalists to prison terms for exposing horrific crimes, as journalism is weighted down again as a crime, Hussain’s words resonate in a world busy with words, not actions.

“What are we saying to the perpetrators? Or to the victims?”
Read 5 tweets

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