Simon Usherwood Profile picture
Sep 12, 2018 14 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Ahead of our @UKandEU event on transition (with associated report) tomorrow, some thoughts on this neglected part of Brexit:…

In all the hubbub about the WA and the future relationship, it's easy to neglect the bit in-between

Tomorrow's event aims to help rectify this, not least because it's got various problems that need to be discussed and debated

I'd argue that the 'membership minus/Full Monty' (h/t @piris_jc) model provisionally accepted by the UK and EU in the WA is the least-worst option

It means no double transition for the UK, a more comprehensive level of reliability for citizens and businesses, plus sets out a base from which to negotiate the future relationship

However, it comes with challenges/problems too

I've talked before about the extension problems here (…) but as matters stand now, we might have an even-less manageable cliff-edge at end 2020 than we have in March 2019

But there are also issues around balancing transition with the parallel negotiations on the future relationship and on third-state agts (as @DavidHenigUK @hhesterm will discuss)

Plus it doesn't even fully resolve the interim arrangements for Ireland/Northern Ireland (as @MaryCMurphy is going to explore tomorrow)

Finally, there's a real Q of democracy here. How legitimate is it for UK to have all of membership, w/o voting or full representation rights?

That's only partly balanced by whether it's legitimate for non-EU member to have such rights, but not really

Clearly, one could argue this away as a passing issue, but if extension does come back as a live issue (as I think it must), then it becomes ever more of a problem, for all involved

Only legally-compliant way through this that I can see would be a WA with a post-dated withdrawal of UK from EU (at end 2020), so it remains a full member until then.

But looks almost impossible to consider in current political climate (and raises Qs of respecting #EUref)

So, no real answers, but I think it's important to raise the Qs

More tomorrow on the #BrexitTransition hashtag

(and yes, you'll probably have the opportunity to enjoy this masterpiece again)


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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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