Jon Worth Profile picture
Jan 29, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ The more I think about it, the more the way 🇪🇺 has manoeuvred 🇬🇧 on #Brexit transition is masterful.
2/ In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, debate in 🇬🇧 revolved around WHEN #Article50 would be triggered, not consequences of doing so. 🇪🇺 could live with 🇬🇧 triggering in March 2017, as that gets 🇬🇧 out before EP 🗳 2019.
3/ Having triggered, 🇬🇧 wasted time with an early election, and then by time May made her Florence speech in September, even she realised time was short. Hence transition.
4/ But both 🇬🇧 and 🇪🇺 want to avoid a transition into transition and a transition out of transition. So 🇬🇧 had to quickly conceed transition needs to look as much like being in 🇪🇺 as possible.
5/ Again there was an alignment of convenience on timing - May's "around two years" became "by the end of December 2020", lining up transition end with 🇪🇺 budget financial perspectives.
6/ Then it has taken from December's summit until today's release of the transition guidelines for everyone to really realise what transition is going to mean for 🇬🇧: it makes itself a vassal state. Meanwhile the 🇪🇺-27 stand united on the issue.
7/ Plus this is not even the 🇳🇴 option on offer in transition - it is worse than that for 🇬🇧 - it has no representation *whatsoever* in *anything* in 🇪🇺 for at least 21 months.
8/ But what can the 🇬🇧 do now?
9/ Walk away from talks? But then we're back at No Deal Brexit, which even Davis and May seem to have realised is a catastrophe. That threat is not serious. Walk out now, with 14 months of Article 50 to go, and that'll cause panic.
10/ Go through with transition? To do so on these terms puts 🇬🇧 in a remarkably weak position vis à vis 🇪🇺. Surely unacceptable to Tories. 🇪🇺 gets what it wants if 🇬🇧 tries this.
11/ Or attempt some other solution - either grovel to rest of 🇪🇺 to extend #Article50 instead, as it is less painful? Or withdraw the Article 50 notification? These options are also 😡 for Tories.
12/ This has been very well handled by @michelbarnier @WeyandSabine @StefaanDeRynck and team, and how they've kept 🇪🇺-27 on board.
13/ 🇬🇧 has been manoeuvred into a position where it has to choose *very soon* on transition, all options are tricky, and forcing this sort of choice now, rather than in the autumn is a very good call by 🇪🇺. #Brexit is about to get even more 🔥 /ends

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More from @jonworth

Sep 30, 2018
Let’s put to one side the substance here. The EU is not like the Soviet Union. Hunt, I think, is just about smart enough to know this.

But what makes him make such a statement?

The Tory Party considers Hunt a wet. He backs Chequers. He was a Remainer. He says he wants a Brexit Deal.

He can’t out-EU-sceptic Rees-Mogg or Johnson while he’s in Cabinet.

He’s previously said that only Putin would rejoice were there to be a No Deal Brexit…

That’s only slightly less ill judged than his Soviet comments.

Read 8 tweets
Aug 13, 2018
Let's do a little thought experiment in light of this tweet from @robfordmancs:

This builds on my earlier thread:

Prerequisites for this:
- someone ousts May in a Tory leadership election in Sept/Oct
- Govt majority lost, meaning a new GE in Oct/Nov 2018
(both of these are of course open to question - but bear with me!)

How do the Tories and Labour approach #Brexit in such a General Election campaign?

One presumes that the Tories (with 75% of their membership pro-Brexit) aim for a hard Brexit, something akin to the Chequers deal (or harder). They'd NOT want a #peoplesvote

Read 8 tweets
Aug 13, 2018
In my most recent blog post I argue that when a political crisis hits in 🇬🇧, 🇪🇺 is going to have to contemplate extending the #Article50 period.

Blog post is here:…

This thread examines some of the aspects of extending Article 50 (or not)

First some background - I have an older blog post here about why extending the Article 50 period would be a good idea:…

And the relevant part of Article 50 is shown here - unanimous agreement of EU-27 needed to extend

Extending the Article 50 period is not something either side really wants.

BUT No Deal #Brexit is the thing both sides should absolutely fear, especially 🇬🇧 but even the 🇪🇺, whose Member States (especially 🇮🇪) would take a major GDP hit.

Read 12 tweets
Aug 7, 2018
This @politicoeurope piece and infographic by @kbolongaro about the #Brexit and the ham and cheese sandwich has been widely retweeted.

Do read the whole piece - don't just rely on the infographic.…

But let's just say for a minute that, spurred on by national sandwich sentiment post a No Deal Brexit, the UK did want to make itself more self-sustaining in its food production, what could it do?

First some stats: Defra has useful stats on UK food import dependency here:…

The first Excel table shows how import dependency for food has been growing (the UK now imports 40% of its food), and the second Excel download lists value by food type.

Read 17 tweets
Jul 18, 2018
Most charming & amusing Russian 🇷🇺 experience to date here in Ulan-Ude...

When planning this trip people asked me: do you speak Russian? Answer: no. But I am armed with Yandex Translate. It has a RU-EN offline dictionary, and can speak it all too:…

You can do pretty complex things with Yandex.

But trying to book a bus 🚌 ticket 🎟 online from Irkutsk to Bratsk was a step too far.

Irkutsk = Иркутск
Bratsk = Братск
is easy enough.

Entering names, gender etc., sure.

But nationality?

What is my nationality?

England = Англия
Great Britain = Великобритания
UK? = Объединенное королевство великой Британии и северной Ирландии

None in the list...

Enter a confused but helpful hotel receptionist.

Read 7 tweets
Jul 1, 2018
Something about this #Seehofer "resignation" does not add up.

A thread.

Merkel went to Brussels and got a framework for a deal on refugees, the sort of thing that Seehofer was pushing for. A bit thin on the details, but Merkel did not return empty handed.

The normal CSU reaction to this would have been to have claimed a minor victory, to show how Bavaria's interests were being taken seriously, and move on somewhat.

Read 10 tweets

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