Simon Usherwood Profile picture
Apr 30, 2018 19 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Let's think about the Brexit impact of Windrush/Rudd:

(to be clear, this isn't the most important aspect of it all, but Rudd's resignation does make for more of a connection)

Let's start w Rudd herself.

Her resignation causes assorted Brexit headaches for May/CONs

Most obviously, the long-mentioned 'Brexit balance' in Cabinet needs attention. May will need to give some thought how to keep this

New Home Sec needs to be senior enough to handle/head off Windrush, but also a soft Brexiter, which might knock out some obvious choices

Could reshuffle ppl around, but that didn't go well last time: is May willing to try moving Hunt along once more, for example?

Rudd's next move also matters, esp if she hangs her hat w Soubry on the backbench. Come 'meaningful vote' time, that might count for a lot

However, Rudd might keep powder dry, both b/c wants to get back into Cab, & b/c Windrush has tainted anything she now says

Beyond Rudd, all this eats up bandwidth that HMG doesn't really have. Art.50 moving to critical phase, and HMG needs to advance debate on Irish dimension, so reshuffling comes at a bad time

Especially true if May wants to turn the ship on CU/SM. Her capital was already minimal post #GE17, and this affair doens't help at all

My working assumption is that May has only survived b/c no one can be sure who'll replace her, and b/c it's easier to let her own the problems of Brexit. White knight will pop up in Apr 19, to grumble how 'she let us all down'

Windrush potentially shifts this, esp for soft Brexiters, who might see window to push for more liberal approach to immigration and post-EU rels

However this plays out, main upshot is that HMG will continue not to be fully on ball in Art.50, so COM likely to find a continued policy gap

That makes big advances for June #EUCO less likely, which in turn hardens Irish options back to C, which makes May's autumn even more painful

Most of it all (for May) is that Rudd's departure isn't going to sort out anything on Windrush; Qs will continue to be asked of her (and her judgement), both narrowly & generally

Remember this is the 4th Cab minister to go, plus Davis sounds ever less pleased with Robbins' role in Art.50

Back in summer 2016, May seemed to have played a blinder, putting ppl into roles where they had to make good on their #EURef campaigning. Now it looks even more like being too clever

And before I go, let's not forget that Windrush in general hasn't reassured EU27/COM about fate of EU citizens. Expect more on that front in coming weeks.

In sum, it's another awful chapter in May's path through Brexit. Not yet life-threatening, but no good for anyone involved


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More from @Usherwood

Oct 9, 2018
While I kick my heels for a meeting, let's think about Brexit and inevitability:

Let's start off by noting that I'm not a big one for inevitability, in any political situation

It's a throwing up of the hands and submitting to forces beyond our control: 'there's nothing to be done'

Personally, I think there's always something to be done

Read 18 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
So, what to make of today?

Over the weekend, lots of +ve optics and warm words, to get mvt from the conference-season slump

But lots of reining in during the day

Partly, it's sensible expectation mgt: one might have had the impression that suddenly everything was hunky-dory and the work of a moment

Read 13 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
Possibly more for me than for you, let's try to pull this week together a bit:

Let's start with the EU side

Having largely kept heads down during conference season, yesterday's Tusk/Varadkar presser demonstrated that EU is keeping the pressure on

The tension seems to be between COM/EUCO and IE, as @pmdfoster explained well yesterday: IE making conciliatory noises, central EU bodies pushing EU integrity line

Read 17 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Let's just work through this one, given the attention it's getting
By taking the CON rebels' terminology, Tusk is making a point

But what point?
As we know from the infamous Barnier Steps, the EU offer is conditioned on UK red lines as much as anything

Read 8 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Interesting to see how it's just as UK debate sits down for a bit on Brexit, to recover from conference season, negotiations w EU step up
If past fortnight has been about domestic management, then coming fortnight will be about UK working w EU to find ways to get mvt on WA/PD
Because of that hiatus after Salzburg, there's now v.little time left to achieve mvt in time for Oct #EUCO, hence the rush now
Read 11 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
So, the CON party conference and Brexit:

Back in Sept, there was much talk about this being a crunch point in the UK debate, as May would come under fire for Chequers and there would be scope for changes/realignments/whatever

Certainly that first bit has happened, with numerous op-eds over the weekend and assorted fringe events (inc. yesterday's Johnson speech)

Read 15 tweets

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