Jonathan Lis Profile picture
Mar 16, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
This is not only against international law, but so monumentally economically and politically illiterate that only our government could be responsible for even contemplating it.

Why? The small matter of trade deals: which is almost entire reason for N Ireland debacle. 1/
2/ If we leave EU with no deal - which, remember, is still advertised by gov as preferable to a ‘bad deal’, there’ll be no customs cooperation deal with EU at all. Which means chance of EU collecting any UK tariffs is absolutely zero. (It’s probably zero even if we have a deal.)
3/ If UK operates no checks on lorries coming in either through Ireland or Channel, there will be literally no way of collecting any UK tariffs.
4/ At the same time, UK wants to sign a range of free trade deals with specific countries. Main interest for many of them is reducing or eliminating tariffs on their key exports to the UK.

Only there’ll be no checks at borders. So no way of checking where goods come from.
5/ Why would NZ sign an FTA with UK when its goods would be treated the same as goods from non-preferred countries? UK goods would get all benefits in NZ and it wouldn’t be reciprocated.
6/ Meanwhile, how does UK intend to deal with this problem? It can’t collect tariffs, remember, because it’s promised not to inspect any lorries. Chris Grayling, esteemed Transport Secretary, literally promised that on #bbcqt last night.
7/ So does UK nominally collect tariffs and abolish them for NZ goods in name only, while in fact collecting none? Waste of everyone’s time. Nobody will sign a deal on that basis.
8/ Or does UK unilaterally scrap all tariffs, thus obviating need for those border checks? (Standards another matter, but for another time.)

That not only wipes out UK manufacturing, according to policy’s own advocates- but means countries won’t sign a deal in a million years.
9/ If NZ now gets all its goods into UK for free without even asking, it’s not going to bother giving UK exporters the same benefit. Why would they give their businesses the competition?
10/ That’s just economics. If UK is neglecting to check any goods for either rules of origin or standards, it’s not following international law and not being a reliable partner. Our reputation will be shredded. No country will give us the time of day. Or anything else.
11/ At a stroke then, UK renders trade deals not only impossible to implement but impossible to even negotiate. They are dead on arrival. Gov would be shooting itself in the head and then decapitating itself for good measure.

And for *this* we’re risking 20 years of peace in NI?

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More from @jonlis1

Oct 3, 2018
‘Compromise has become a dirty word,’ laments the woman who transformed a 51.9-48.1% decision to leave the treaties of the EU into a mandate to excise us from the basic instruments underpinning our economy
Now she says ‘we shouldn’t be in thrall to ideology’. She is literally prepared to ground aircraft and cancel radiotherapy so she can unilaterally alter New Zealand’s dairy tariffs
The woman now has the gall to celebrate the Windrush generation she was until a few months ago happy to deport
Read 4 tweets
Sep 24, 2018
Well, whaddaya know! After 18 months of Brexiters endlessly telling us we’re lying & fear-mongering, gov’s just confirmed that, as things stand, air services between UK and EU stop the day after no-deal kicks in.

Brexiters have been lying through their teeth. Do spread the word.
There’s more. Here gov confirms aviation with 17 other countries comes under EU deals. All gov says is that it’s ‘confident’ replacement agreements will be agreed. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree coming from this famously dependable and competent government, is extremely reassuring
But clincher is buried here. As we keep saying, it’s not just about bilateral permission. It’s about EU safety certification disappearing the second we crash out of European Aviation Safety Agency. Gov confirms it’s powerless to ensure replacements. We are entirely at EU’s mercy.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
Let’s be very clear what Barnier’s new comments mean.

1) Chequers is still dead. There’s no chance of single market in goods without free movement of people

2) Customs partnership also still dead. EU focusing on tech solutions for border in Irish Sea, not on island of Ireland
That means we’re now switching to Irish Sea. How to reconcile May’s talk of no new economic barriers within UK and EU’s need to protect both its own economic integrity and the open border in Ireland? Provided EU gets both those assured, it can try to accommodate some UK anxieties
Although Barnier being coy, clincher is customs union. Namely, NI must retain same tariffs as Ireland. That means there must be some tariff collection between GB & NI, and NI must be exempt from UK’s new trade deals. Or whole UK stays in customs union. I don’t see any other way.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 9, 2018
In a just world, Johnson would be permanently ignored and left to fester in the sewer of his own mind. But this isn’t a just world. So let’s highlight simply one passage from his odious screed in today’s Mail on Sunday.
1/ Johnson complains gov was ‘mad to agree’ backstop. HE WAS LITERALLY FOREIGN SECRETARY. And stayed a further 7 months. Why not resign immediately? Either he didn’t care; didn’t understand it; or didn’t have any influence. Any of which, on its own, renders him unfit for office.
2/ Johnson both twists the meaning of the backstop and implicitly dismisses reasons for having it.

Summary: backstop does not mean Northern Ireland ‘remains in EU’. It means that Northern Ireland remains in peace. Free trade agreements are not more important than Irish lives.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 4, 2018
The government has zombified its Brexit position but clutches the corpse: I tell Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London why May and Johnson’s fight is an embarrassing side-show, and why Chequers is still eye-wateringly dead
Boris Johnson is right that Chequers gives us less control than we have now, but UK government is out of options. No-deal can’t happen; that means a deal will; and the EU has no incentive to budge. We know how this story ends
Meanwhile, Macron has said he doesn’t want a ‘blind Brexit’. I explain what that is and why there’s a strong chance we won’t get it anyway, thanks to implicit demands of Irish backstop. Vanessa was also good enough to correct my #AccidentalPartridge when I misquoted Dylan Thomas
Read 4 tweets
Sep 3, 2018
.@NickBoles on @IainDale’s new LBC being absolutely bizarre on his plan for ditching the transition in favour of temporary EEA and customs union. Some questions:
1. Why would the EU or UK agree to two changes of rules - one for the interim EEA, one for the final deal - when both have already ruled such a solution out? Why would business welcome the cost and bureaucracy of two sets of rule changes?
2. We will not have a future deal in place by March, which is why all sides have agreed on a status quo transition. EEA doesn’t give any bespoke deal on agri or fisheries. How are you going to defend your plan to British farmers who will see regulatory checks on their produce?
Read 7 tweets

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