George Peretz QC Profile picture
Sep 14, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It isn’t the choice of non-politicians in itself that’s the problem, but the choice of commentators who represent no one and who add no knowledge to the topics they discuss.
Access to a platform like #bbcqt is a scarce resource, and in a democracy ought to be allocated in the basis of principle, not shock value or being known to the right people.
I’d suggest as principles: being elected (as Damien says); having real power (eg business leaders); representing genuine membership organisations (eg NGOs/religious bodies); and having real expertise or experience on issues of the day (academics/retired senior officials/etc).
Wouldn’t eg #bbcqt debates on Brexit be better if the panel had real experts on the EU or international trade? And business leaders having to think through implications for their businesses? People who will cut through hot air and force politicians to deal with the real issues.

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More from @GeorgePeretzQC

Oct 6, 2018
Worth recalling, before we commit to the Withdrawal Agreement transition period, quite how extraordinary it is, in democratic terms, that the U.K. will be immediately and automatically be bound by law and decisions it which it and its voters will play no part.
See eg from the FT article quoted by Kirsty.
The EEA is, really, nothing like this: narrower scope, governed by institutions with own-country representation, and far greater ability to refuse to go along with unacceptable EU measures.
Read 8 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
I have a hunch that one of the two factors that rule out hard Brexit (no deal or even “Canada +++” as a 2020 option) in the PM’s mind is the fear that Nissan/JLR/Toyota would close a large factory and blame Brexit.
(The other - more acknowledged - is the Irish border.)
FWIW I think her instincts may be right on that: closure or effective closure of those factories due to Brexit could well decisively shift the public mood against both Brexit and her Govt.
Read 14 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
VAT/Brexit thought for the day. When hard Brexiters point out that @BorderIrish is already a “VAT border” they ignore two vital points.
1. Since it’s currently a border between two EU Member States, VAT isn’t payable on importation (ie at the border), but only when the purchaser does its VAT return. So no border infrastructure is needed now: but it will be needed when VAT has to be paid at the border.
2. That system will be hard to replicate post Brexit because it relies on close cooperation between VAT authorities and harmonisation of law backed by robust enforcement and adjudication mechanisms (ultimately the ECJ).
Read 6 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
Quite. Since this will be reciprocal, we need to ask what access we want *our* young people, retirees, musicians/consultants, UK employees moving to offices on the continent etc to have to the EU before deciding what arrangements we want for EU citizens moving here.
That question - what access do we want our employees, young people, retirees, musicians, consultants, other self-employed to have to our closest and huge neighbour, the EU - never seems to be asked, though. Perhaps @bbcnickrobinson will ask the PM on @BBCr4today?
Read 4 tweets
Sep 30, 2018
There are a number of fatal problems with this approach, if it is one that is commending itself to Labour’s leadership.…
1. As I explained here, the commitment to a customs union means that the State aid pass has *already* been sold.
2. In any event, the idea that the EU would sign any FTA with the U.K. without a strong and binding State aid commitment is risible.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
This is a fascinating case for anyone interested in the philosophy of citizenship/political obligation.
The article is right that the Court of Appeal dealt rather unimpressively with what is a key question for any democratic polity: who do you accept as being a member of it, entitled to a voice in its politics?
As well as the questions of what obligations citizens owe to the State, and what is the basis of those obligations.
Read 5 tweets

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