I'm currently at this #Brexit conference in Copenhagen, where the British ambassador and several #DExEU officials will be on panels with representatives of Danish trade and security. It'll be very interesting to see what's said, especially in light of May's recent Munich speech.
And now that I'm not desperately trying to keep up with livetweeting it, I shall turn my mess of self-retweets into a proper thread. #Brexit #BrexitDK
acknowledges #Brexit will have challenges; emphasises no naïveté regarding "land of milk and honey". Refreshing sense of pragmatism; we'll see how #DExEU and DK reps present it.

#DExEU director of market access @EoinParker1 first to speak. Emphasises UK desire for "ambitious & far-reaching partnership" with EU27, reaffirms departure from SM & CU. Says SM balance re rights/responsibilities means UK cannot be in & have judicial/immigration independence.
He continues: UK looking to achieve new relationship, not like ordinary FTA with convergence. Should include services, not just goods, emphasises UK/EU27 significance to each other's markets.

Explicitly says no "race to bottom"; maintain & strengthen regulatory environment.
Further dismisses EEA option, not enough independence that "British people have indicated" they want to see. Also dismisses CETA; wants to avoid barriers to mutual professional recognition, etc.

Bespoke agreement sought.

Now on to @KarenHaek, CEO DK agri/food council...
She's pretty damning of #Brexit: bad for all involved. "Don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to see that"(!).

12k DK jobs based on UK agri/food exports. Says orgs/biz she represents want UK to stay in SM&CU. Warns consequences will be "devastating" if UK leaves without soft #Brexit.
Wants to see UK remain in CU or something very like it. Same for SM. Emphasises the areas needed to be addressed to avoid disturbance of trade. Phytosanitary, GMO regs, etc.

First speaker to mention smooth border relations between Northern Ireland & Irish Republic. #Brexit
Stresses close relationship UK/EU will and must continue.

Now on to Sean McGuire, CBI rep in Brussels. He notes that although @CBItweets is British org, they represent companies that are global too. 20 sectors in UK represented; therefore claims authoritative view on #Brexit.
Emphasises CBI has no interest in pushing for another referendum. Says #Brexit is being pragmatically treated as another risk factor.

Status-quo transition period secured by March EU Council is critical. Otherwise, biz will "push the button" and begin mitigation efforts.
He further stresses that CBI wants legal certainty for UK & EU27 citizens ASAP, based on December agreement, as this is good for business.

cc @The3Million & @BritishInEurope

#BrexitDK #Brexit
Says Canada model (CETA) not adequate for UK.

Says Norway model won't work as 2016 referendum was about "taking back control".

"Bespoke or 'hybrid' deal" sought, but "access vs. control" is guiding principle. Wants CU membership to continue during & beyond #Brexit transition.
Continues on to say that by "rolling up our sleeves" UK can trade like Germany manages with e.g. China, from within CU.

Stresses rule of law is central to trade. Says "this idea of regulatory divergence" is big concern for UK biz. Wants continued commonality and/or recognition.
Now we're on to Irish border. "Imaginative thinking is necessary" (unicorns not mentioned) to avoid big problems; stresses CBI not here to disrupt #Brexit.

Pragmatism leads: EASA, Euratom, car manufacturers all need considering. Wants win-win, rather than lose-lose, outcome.
Now on to @AnneHSteffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.

"Now a case of trying to do damage control"; very sad to see UK leave EU.

Says focus must be frictionless trade. Wants free movement of seafarers, onshore staff, etc.

Wants level competition for UK and DK/EU27.

She continues emphasising the expectation of continuation of competition on fair terms. Hopes for only minor changes to trade flows, new relationship should look very much like current.

Suggests UK dismissal of SM&CU membership could be resolved by using different names. #Brexit
"With all due respect", UK govt looks like tennis match but with @theresa_may & @BorisJohnson batting between each other on one side.

"The devil is in the detail: very easy to say what you don't want, not so easy to say what you do want."

She finishes in hope. A theme here...
Now @EoinParker1 being grilled on how frictionless border & trade can work if SM&CU off table.

"Technology" is the main response (e.g. ANPR). No checks for transition: "status quo".

Little detail for after transition.

First Q to panel from audience now: What of agri subsidies?
Seen McGuire answers: trade barriers (tariff & non-tariff) bigger concern, Q also covered car parts. Sean notes CU would help on this.

@EoinParker1 continues: agri subsidies to continue during #Brexit transition.

Question on Irish border next. What do companies involved there want?

@AnneHSteffensen goes first: insecurity for workers a big problem. Already struggling to recruit in UK. Freudian slip: "UK to have successful exit from #Brexit". (Meant EU.) Audience amused.

Finally for this panel, @EoinParker1 is raked over coals in most polite Danish way by moderator @LauritzenEuropa.

Does he accept there's lack of clarity from UK side? No; thinks May's given clear framing & March council will be key. Little #Brexit substance.

Now on to security.
Executive Director of @Europol Rob Wainwright (@rwainwright67) opens the session on security partnership after #Brexit.

Begins by summarising commonality of problems faced by EU members, and emphasising that transnational crime & terrorism crosses borders.
He continues: these threats are international in nature, and our response must be, too.

Schengen Information System and European Arrest Warrant cited as examples of modern, "comprehensive environment". @Europol "key interconnector" for data-sharing/-science/-analysis.

60k/year cases managed by @Europol across Europe at current volumes. Says that we have to work together, and lead, to stay on top of international crime.

Pivots to DK agreement with Europol after DK choose to discontinue full participation; obvious parallels with #Brexit.
Continues by saying that DK lost direct access to @Europol, but there is a workaround. Time lag involved, however. DK will not enjoy QUEST access on anything like same level; similar implied for UK post-#Brexit.

Notes that UK is much bigger country than DK and has huge influence on @Europol; top intelligence provider in many areas. There's a need to minimise the effect of #Brexit on Europol. Says departure of any member will harm it.

Notes security can afford fewer risks than biz.
Says that workarounds for DK are harder for UK, as scale is much bigger for UK (~7 times).

Closes by saying "cohesive response" for Europe's security relies on us staying together as much as possible.

Now on to Simon Jones (FCO/MoD) & Mikkel Vedby (CPH uni pol.sci. head)...
Simon Jones starts with May's "unconditional offer" (including proposed new UK-EU treaty) in Munich to stay involved in European security.

First instance of someone claiming @theresa_may gave more #Brexit detail in a speech (Munich) while sounding like they believe themself.
He goes on: UK wants to continue as much cooperation as it can. Interested in engaging with EU security groupings as third country after #Brexit.

Comparison with France as EU main security player. Envisages UK continuing to contribute to EU CSDP actions. Clear desire to engage.
Interesting now. Does EU want UK to remain key partner? Assuming so, how can we make this happen without being "constrained" by existing frameworks?

E.g. given: if UK were to contrib. to EU battlegroup, must be involved in development of mandate, etc.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
He recognises that there is not much time before UK is in transition period. Emphasis is on achieving end-state for UK-EU security cooperation ASAP.

Now on to Mikkel Vedby (@MikkelVedby), professor & head of political science at Copenhagen University.

#BrexitDK #Brexit
Vedby notes that EU security given kick in behind, and urgent momentum, by #Brexit. Ditto for Trump in America, with PESCO becoming a big talking point among EU27's allies, and big policy goal for EU to develop.

Says foundations of Western liberal order are now threatened.
Continues to say that Great Power conflicts (e.g Russian military exercises, cyber attacks) do not happen in a vacuum.

Claims EU probably never will be very important for European defence: intelligence etc. takes place outside EU framework. European defence industry is central.
The more EU continues to integrate defence through e.g. PESCO will "fundamentally change" the way NATO works. (Seems to contradict what he just said...)

Stresses need to coordinate civilian as well as military responses: Russian hackers and fake news cited as examples.

Challenge of maintaining and improving this collaboration as UK leaves EU means the security culture will need UK and EU27 to work together in new ways.

Notes how hard it is esp. for small countries like DK, says that British context in e.g Afghanistan made life easy/efficient.
He continues that the practical issues can be done if we want to; closer work with France and Germany already happening. NATO being more central than EU to defence might reduce negative effect of #Brexit on European security.

Now moderator @LauritzenEuropa asks Rob Wainwright...
Wainwright (@Europol director; @rwainwright67) comments that Norway have good relationship with Europol, and that DK more complex as it remained EU member while disengaging from Europol. Challenging to get right, but DK model could inspire UK one, politics permitting.

Says @Europol will advise EU on negotiations for security.

First Q from audience, to Simon Jones: How will UK handle illegal immigration? Not qualified to comment, is the unfortunate answer.

Next Q to Wainwright on #GDPR, he's much happier answering. Enthusiastic about it.
Wainwright notes that it will not apply to @Europol, but that new security and especially transparency of breaches in companies will help. Also states that Europol has very strong internal controls on personal data, but obviously different perspective.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
Next Q from @LauritzenEuropa to @rwainwright67: Will #Brexit harm @Europol? If cliff-edge, yes. If managed, hopeful of minimal effect, and that DK model can help.

Q from Lauritzen to Vedby: Will #Brexit push FR+DE closer? "Yes." Notes some in EU27 think easier without UK. But...
...@MikkelVedby continues that it's hard to imagine EU27 engaging in anything major without UK, and broadly vice versa. Less about defence cooperation, and more about political cooperation. Two distinct discussions.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
Odd final comments from Simon Jones (FCO/MoD): suggests easier to work with EU27 even within CSDP, because of not being in these frameworks.

@LauritzenEuropa picks up on this. Suggests it sounds like UK more interested in EU defence now it's leaving! (I have to agree.)

Break now [note: this is a threaded repost], but in 15 minutes we should hear from Robin Walker (@WalkerWorcester), UK Minister in #DExEU, on the UK's priorities for the transition period and its future relationship with the EU27.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
Here we go. @WalkerWorcester, DExEU minister, begins his speech. He starts with the bilateral UK-DK aspects, and namedrops "hygge". Moves on to people here wondering why UK is Brexiting. Says vote was no rejection of European values. Mentions Erasmus programme.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
Says UK wants ambitious, fair, balanced new partnership with EU including DK. Accepts that things cannot stay the same, but emphasises starting point of UK membership of EU.

Dismisses CETA, EEA for reasons well rehearsed. A "race to the top" not the bottom. Sounds familiar.
UK has "lowest standardised rate of fatal industries... injuries!" -- whoops.

Goes on to say that "implementation" period (i.e. transition) will be on current terms, but with "registration". No details.

Turns to security, emphasises NATO credentials, and UK military skills.
Says Denmark is a very close ally, and mentions British deployment with Danish contribution in Estonia.

Stresses need for UK and EU to be able to work together smoothly on all areas of security. Must be closer than third-country models.

"Ambitious, positive new relationship."
Moderator Lauritzen: "Thank you, Minister. Thank you for this very clear speech. It did luckily leave me with a few questions..."

He mentions DK no-vote on Maastricht in '92, with broad DK political support in '93 for compromise. Notes to Walker that UKparl & Tories are divided.
In reply, @WalkerWorcester says extremes get more attention when it comes to EU topic.

Says 85% in #GE2017 voted for pro-#Brexit parties.

@LauritzenEuropa: Suggests UK wants EU "lookalike" without the name. Cheekily says DK audience won't tell UK public if so.

Walker responds that new framework is needed. Name-drops Gove for stricter environmental and animal-welfare standards. Says neither UK/DK can compete as low-regulation countries in this world.

Lauritzen says SM makes that easier. Walker says Four Freedoms prevent UK particip.
Lauritzen acknowledges that, asks whether UK will remain in SM & CU during #Brexit transition period.

Walker says no. No longer EU member and not staying in. Will "replicate exactly", though. Mentions wish to keep EU-negotiated FTAs with (current) third countries.

Now @LauritzenEuropa asks @WalkerWorcester when we'll know what the post-transition state will look like. Walker has no clear answer, but (not entirely unfairly) notes the sequential nature of the negotiations make it harder to be specific.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
Lauritzen: 30k Danes live in UK. Closing message to them?

Walker: "You are welcome and you will continue to be welcome." Danes in UK make huge, valued contribution.

Warm words, but details will be left to negotiations.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
And there we go. Now to compare positions with @DavidDavisMP's speech today, and see whether any real enlightenment arises.

Thanks to all involved, especially @LauritzenEuropa and @jakobnielsen of @Altingetdk, which organised the conference.

#Brexit #BrexitDK
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