Jonathan Lis Profile picture
Journalist, commentator, think tanker. Views here are mine but you’re welcome to take them 🏳️‍🌈
LittleGravitas 🇺🇦 🌻 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE Profile picture DLlewellyn Profile picture 2 subscribed
Oct 3, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
‘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
Sep 24, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
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
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
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
Sep 9, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
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.
Sep 4, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
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
Sep 3, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
.@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?
Aug 27, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Priceless first instalment of the pro-Brexit IEA’s ‘Fear-Checkers’ briefings. It turns out that the way to avoid the calamity of grounded aircraft in a no-deal scenario is to... (you guessed it) have a deal I often think these people are lying to themselves more than they’re lying to the public. Eg: why do they think European Parliament would vote through a deal on aviation while the UK was planning to throw Ireland and EU citizens under the bus, and not pay its divorce settlement?
Jul 27, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
I’ve published my first listicle! Finally I feel I can call myself a journalist.

PS We’re totally fucked… Thanks to everyone who’s been pointing out things I’ve missed, eg professional sports and EU players, animal transport, the Gibraltar border & economy, Falklands losing tariff-free access for fish etc. And EU workers’ loss of rights/departure will decimate all kinds of industry
Jul 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Johnson’s resignation reveals, as if it needed revealing, May’s feckless disregard not simply for our country but her own career. Johnson will piss in the tent whether he’s outside it or inside it, and always has. This obscene pack of self-serving charlatans will live in infamy We must forget Johnson. Like the scorpion who bites the frog and consequently drowns, he acts with total selfishness and duplicitousness because it’s his nature. Let’s rather talk about the person who gave him the power to blow everything to pieces: Theresa May.
Jul 8, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Vast headache for May, but Davis could’ve potentially made it explosive by resigning on Fri & maybe taking others with him. Maybe it really is that May pushed him too far, he spent weekend reflecting & decided he couldn’t bring himself to spend all week defending policy he hates Also, White Paper was being led by DExEU and seems to have initially reflected his position. Perhaps doubly galling that it’s now being rewritten to accommodate policies he considers red lines, & fact those policies were designed by arch-nemesis Olly Robbins add insult to injury
May 6, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
After 2 years, PM still doesn’t understand Brexit or its power dynamics. She could have begun and ended with ‘has to be accepted by EU’. EU, including Ireland, have already, repeatedly, dismissed customs partnership. If that’s still all May’s offering, she’s toast- and so are we. Just as May needs to be deepening her offer, Cabinet is forcing her to water it down. How many times must EU tell her that only a customs union & single market in goods for NI will erase need for hard border? Instead of slowing car down as it approaches cliff, she’s accelerating.
Apr 20, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Breaking: government may be about to concede that international law still applies to UK This is nothing short of a national (read: nationalist) scandal. For nearly 2 years we’ve told gov they’re fantasising, that they can’t have what they want just because they want it, that other people have demands and world doesn’t revolve around us. They didn’t listen or care.
Mar 23, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
We’ll get the popcorn and May can reserve the fire extinguishers. And, possibly, the removal vans. Hard to over-state how important this is. The can will be kicked down road for precisely three more months. And then May will either decide to follow EU’s plan for NI and keep us all in customs union and single market for goods, or the whole thing goes up in flames.
Mar 16, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
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.)
Feb 25, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Now, here’s an interesting conundrum.

Barry Gardiner is right. We leave THE customs union and need A customs union which replicates it. And yes, Turkey-style CU is asymmetrical.

So we just ask EU for ‘customs union of equals’? Not quite.
1/ 2/ First, let’s clarify the problem. Say we agree a full CU outside EU. Because we’re in CU, we apply all EU’s tariffs. But because we’re not in EU, we’re formally a third country and don’t join EU’s trade deals.
Dec 10, 2017 8 tweets 3 min read
Hey, everyone, as it's a snowy Sunday evening and Christmas is around the corner, let's play one of our newest traditional parlour games: translating David Davis.

Sometimes I think not even he knows how to do this, but let's give it a go. 1/ Canada +++ is not an option. First because EU has repeatedly ruled it out, second because EU would then have to offer the same terms to Canada & Korea under the Most Favoured Nation clause. So this translates either as 'I want the impossible' or 'I want the single market'
Dec 4, 2017 4 tweets 2 min read
There'll be a lot of this. Many immediate questions - not least:

1) Will NI participate in UK trade deals/be subject to divergent UK regulation?
2) If yes, how can a hard border be avoided?
3) If no, how can a sea border be avoided? Checks on goods/tariffs at Cairnryan? 4) How can Gov dispute Sturgeon's point here? Why should Scotland be prevented from staying in regulatory structures? (Other than potential Spanish opposition to eg Scotland in EFTA)
5) Concessions may soften hard border but do they erase it? If not, why would Dublin agree?
Nov 28, 2017 6 tweets 2 min read
This clip reveals why Brexit is destined to be such a catastrophe. Implicit is notion that Brexit is a series of reasonable choices, to which other countries are responding unreasonably. It isn't. 1/ 2/ Border issue isn't just about customs barriers or phytosanitary checks. It's existential for Ireland. Speaks to entire history of British subjugation, partition, Troubles. It is not an irritant to be fudged away simply so Global Britain can sign a trade deal with New Zealand.
Nov 6, 2017 37 tweets 4 min read
Back from meetings in Brussels. There's good news and bad news. First, the bad news. Because it's... extremely bad. 1/ 2/ While consensus in London seems to assume trade talks kick off in December, senior EU officials now consider this, on balance, unlikely
Oct 23, 2017 12 tweets 2 min read
This is true, and important. EU has never tried to weaken May. Our main problem has never been weakness of May but weakness of UK. 1/ 2/ EU was always going to negotiate with a country that had almost no cards to play. Not even Winston Churchill as PM could change that
Oct 22, 2017 19 tweets 3 min read
Davis's intervention this week was potentially calamitous. Transition less certain than ever- because Gov still refuses to understand it. 1/ 2/ @BBCChrisMorris highlights point. Davis appears genuinely to believe that it won't be transition but implementation. Crucial distinction