Sydney Nash Profile picture
Oct 1, 2018 17 tweets 8 min read
Don’t know which Europeans Mr. Hannan is speaking to but I haven’t met anyone in Brussels or in EU capitals who is unhappy with the Commission approach & I’ve spoken to a lot of them. #Brexit
In addition, no-one in the #EU is threatening the UK (I wld challenge Hannan to point to one threat that has come from a leading EU politician or negotiator), nor are they stopping the UK from leaving. #Brexit
The EU have been clear from the start that there are many trade models available to the UK & the UK have ruled most of them out. If it feels like the UK has little room for manoeuvre it is because the government painted itself into a corner. #Brexit
The mistake too many politicians made right from the start was to mistakenly believe that the UK was so important that it’s departure wld lead to the EU bending over backwards to change how it does things to accommodate the needs of the UK. #Brexit
This may have worked when the UK were in the club (that’s how it got so many opt-outs & a bespoke deal as a member), but it doesn’t now it has chosen to leave. #Brexit
Instead the UK are discovering that the EU view the single market & the ecosystem that supports it as so important that they expect the UK to bend. #Brexit
If the UK want lots of market access it will have to move its red lines, accept single market rules, customs union membership, ECJ oversight, EU market surveillance etc. #Brexit
If the UK is unwilling or unable to make these concessions, then it will have to accept less market access. It is that simple. #Brexit
Of course, if what UK is saying is “we desperately want the same market access but our politics won’t allow us to make the concessions, can we pleeeease find a way to deliver the same outcomes by another means”, it needs to stop insulting the EU. #Brexit
Why? Because the UK is then asking the EU for a huge, huge favour and you can only possibly get that from a friend. Here’s another reason why the Hunt comments are so damaging. #Brexit
And it is a huge favour because the #EU is a super-power in only one sense - it is a regulatory superpower. The single market is the EU’s biggest asset & gives it considerable leverage internationally on #trade matters. #Brexit
To ask the #EU to start breaking up the single market by allowing a third country special & asymmetrical access is like asking a nuclear power to disarm unilaterally. They will not do it. #Brexit
At least not unless you ask really, really nicely and offer up serious concessions and bind yourself to rules that guarantee that you don’t take advantage of this disarmament. #Brexit
So how do we get through this? With difficulty, but a few things will help. 1. Change the tone, and fast...#Brexit
2. Be honest with the public that a “clean” break will have a significant economic cost, while the best thing for jobs is staying close to the EU (in the #customsunion and in the #singlemarket...#Brexit
3. Accept that government red lines have to be watered down to get the best economic outcome post-#Brexit.
PS. The Estonia & Latvian ambassador’s are not “affecting outrage”. Nor are the former President of Estonia or former foreign sec of Poland. They are genuinely insulted & that shld cause any serious politician to pause. #Brexit

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More from @NashSGC

Oct 1, 2018
It had always been government’s belief that if it cld speak to the Member States rather than the Commission it wld get a better #Brexit deal. The UK, they thought, could divide & rule. Jeremy Hunt’s comments have put an end to that. #Brexit
Comparing the #EU to the Soviet Union is the latest easily avoidable diplomatic error made by a cabinet minister. Hunt’s comments have lead to countries that used to be the UK’s best friends in the Council (like Estonia & Latvia) openly stating that he has insulted them. #Brexit
If the UK was to successfully divide & rule, it needed to keep its friends close. What it is doing is pushing them away. #Brexit
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