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Sep 24, 2018 18 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Possibly unwisely, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that while @UKLabour’s Brexit motion is, as it always would be, a bit of a fudge, it is a positive move and contains some very important stuff. Important to read the whole thing though. H/T @LabPeoplesVote 1/
Disclaimers: I’m not a Labour supporter, there are some negatives (e.g. focus on “Hard Brexit”, not “Brexit”), and I would of course liked it to go further. 2/
1. Acknowledgement that the harm of Brexit cannot be simply undone by a future Govt. This is against the ‘let them screw it up and we’ll get power’ thinking prevalent in some quarters. 3/
2. Clarity that ALL of the six tests must be met in full or Labour will vote against. They won’t be, we know that, so unless they try to wriggle out with a ‘this is not the final deal’ line on the WA, they’re voting against it. 4/
(The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are not the final deal on a future relationship of course, but they are the final time Parl will be able to vote with any alternative other than a cliff edge at the end of transition as an option, so it would be an awful move)5/
3. An outright rejection of No Deal as a policy option and a pledge to oppose it. This is important. I’ve argued UKGov should do the same. In conjunction with 2 above, this Labour would have to find another option than the WA/PD and No Deal. 6/
4. Reference to Trade Unions putting deals back to their members. Hard to argue that the corollary of that is MPs rather than the public, though the reference to ministers may be intended to keep that open. Taken at face value though, it means the public. 7/
5. Pro-cooperation in Europe here, but, more importantly, a commitment (not new) to no hard border in Ireland. This points at EEA/CU as a minimum acceptable (or acceptance of a backstop permanently). 8/
6. Forget technological drones carrying unicorns 9/
7. The most reported bit. ‘If no GE’, ‘all options’ and ‘including campaigning for a public vote’ are fudgey, and its understandable people are disappointed. Look at the sentence after though, and it’s quite a different story. 10/
If this passes, that the Govt. “should not be afraid to put that deal to the public” becomes Labour policy. That line can and must be used constantly, and I’m sure it will be. Hard to oppose putting the deal to the public when that line is policy and in common use. 11/
8. I know its non-commital, but this can only be taken on if UK is an EU member. Shouting about how to reform from outside would be utterly pointless. Maybe I’m being to positive thinking that people get that, of course. 12/
So, it’s not what I and I’m sure lots of Remain campaigners, including in Labour, wanted. There’s room for more fudge and chicanery from the FB, and I have a hard time trusting them not to do that. However... 13/
However, theres stuff here that it would be very hard to wriggle out of, and which would be used by many Labour members to stop such chicanery. 14/
Hard to see how Labour could vote yes in a meaningful vote, and the commitment to avoid No Deal means it would need amendments for something else. There’ll be no renegotiation at that point, so this points at a #PeoplesVote / #FinalSay.
And it can’t be No Deal vs Deal, as No Deal is ruled out as an option. 15/
So, I maintain caution, scepticism, and mistrust of fudge and purveyors of fudge, but I do think this is positive. 16/16
P.S., and a huge caveat. McDonnell’s comments this morning ruling out a Remain option may well render this thread entirely wrong. The Q is whether the motion or he sets policy. In principle, the motion, but in practice is what matters.

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More from @

Oct 8, 2018
A quick thread on the two points here: 1) a referendum on the Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration damages democracy, and 2) it would encourage a descent into populism. Both reasonable concerns. Both are, I think, wrong though, and for closely linked reasons. 1/
On 1) as @davidallengreen (who is against a ref on the deal for other reasons, some of which I disagree with) has pointed out many times, and pointed out again yesterday, a referendum can be democratic or irreversible, but not both. 2/…
And it would be a referendum. If the 52% are still the 52%, the UK would still leave the EU. If they are not the 52% anymore, but 48%, or 45%, or 35%, then the UK would otherwise be leaving the EU at a point at which the majority were against it doing so. 3/
Read 24 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
Are people still writing to their MPs on Brexit and the need for a #FinalSay/#Peoplesvote? If not, we should be. MPs get mail/emails on an endless variety of issues, and if their postbag is not dominated by opposition to Brexit they won't feel the pressure to act. 1/
I know some people are, and I know people have and have got no reply so it seems pointless to do it again, but it really isn't. It needs to be sustained and widespread to get through, but MPs genuinely take notice of this. 2/
Also, when MPs see opinion polls, they always think their constituency is different and an exception if what they see in their postbag/inbox and on the doorstep doesn't chime with the polls. 3/
Read 7 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
Lot of conflicting views on what’s being called Brexit “hell week” this week. This is the latest I’ve seen, and looks like things are not progressing as fast as some predicted. 1/
Leads one to suspect that the DUP have been on the line to Number 10 again on the backstop 2/
And, if this report is correct, it looks like May is resisting the reported EU27 proposal of a Political Declaration with a blah-blah commitment to a close relationship, but only the options should UKGov red lines move in the future detailed. 3/
Read 12 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
Imagine a person so filled with hatred that they would listen to @CakeWatchCast solely to find something to fill a vile message to a fellow human with.

Now imagine a govt telling them they are winners & in the right, and that the people they are abusing are the losers & wrong.
Now imagine a population where few people care enough to speak up. That would rather not stick their head above the parapet. That is just glad it’s not them getting the abuse, and will stay silent as long as that’s the case.
Now go on to think about a National broadcast media regulated by statute, that gives a platform constantly to those that deliberately spread this message.
Read 11 tweets
Oct 6, 2018
I had not thought of that for the Political Declaration. Allows for substance, but still allows muddying by UKGov on the likelihood of getting agreement in its favour.

Not a blind, but a one-eye-covered Brexit. Objects are in view, but no sense of how close or far away they are.
On the other hand, it could lay bare the fundamental disagreements, and those who genuinely still think the EU27 are bluffing on key issues are surely disproportionately located in the crackpot ERG faction.
How reassured would Parliament be by May telling them that the disagreements are not fundamental and she believes they can be agreed?
Read 11 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
Wait for friction at the border. It’ll be catastrophic for Florists. 70% of flowers in the UK come from the Netherlands, and are delivered next morning to maximise shelf and vase life. Every hour of delay is an hour off that. 1/
The overwhelming majority of florists are small, local businesses employing only 1 or 2 people. There are no cost-cuts they can make, and the proposition of selling a non-necessity that lasts less time for a higher price will make them hard to sustain. 2/
In addition to the increase in costs from GBP’s devaluation, Florent, the trade association, predict another 14% increase in costs from leaving the SM/CU. Here’s more information from @AlynSmith. 3/…
Read 5 tweets

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