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Dame Chris🌟🇺🇦😷 #RejoinEU #FBPE #GTTO🔶️ Profile picture 1 subscribed
Sep 30, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
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.

Aug 13, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
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!)

Aug 13, 2018 12 tweets 6 min read
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)

1/12 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

Aug 7, 2018 17 tweets 5 min read
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.…

1/15 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?

Jul 18, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
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?

Jul 1, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
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.

Jun 28, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read
My mind keeps returning to this extraordinary and ridiculous #Brexit tweet from Downing Street earlier:

1/12 Commemorative copies of the EU (Withdrawal) Act.

Seriously, commemorative copies of the EU (Withdrawal) Act?

The Brexit equivalent of Charles and Diana commemorative mugs, as one wag said to me on Twitter.

Jun 26, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
The @EUauditors released an excellent report this morning about the follies of high speed rail (or at least how it's done badly in Europe) - they have a thread about their findings here:

Crux of it is that lines are very often over budget, have excessive hopes for passenger numbers, trains don't run at the top speed on the lines, and planning for them is all national. It's a pretty grim picture.

But for anyone who's ever thought about it, not surprising.

Jun 25, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
Thanks to a project about #EP2019 this week for @Act4AnimalsEU I was reminded me of the 2014 "Twitter Government and Elections Handbook"

You can find details about it here:…

Full 137 page PDF of the guide here:…

The tweet they use to demonstrate the political good of Twitter?

This one

Jun 23, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
The behaviour of the so-called mainstream media really is immensely frustrating sometimes.

Two examples from this week.

On Wednesday I was asked by a German TV channel if I had time to film a small piece about Brits in Germany and Brexit.

I changed my schedule to do so, spent an hour with them, annoyed my neighbours by filming in my back yard... and then they use NONE of the film...

Apr 18, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
So the Lords voted pretty overwhelmingly (347👍, 225 👎) today that 🇬🇧 should stay in a Customs Union with 🇪🇺.

What is this going to mean?

A quick thread.
Most obviously it makes the chances of 🇬🇧 having a Customs Union with 🇪🇺 marginally higher. That's welcome.

But I think the significance is more tactical.

Mar 2, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
1/ I've been pretty sarcastic and negative about the prospects for the #MaySpeech #RoadToBrexit later today. The "5 tests" (that aren't tests) that she will mention are horribly bad for example:… 2/ But one thing caught my eye. "Theresa May to use her Brexit speech to say 'we can't have everything', Grayling says" is the title of The Guardian's live blog by @AndrewSparrow.
Mar 1, 2018 15 tweets 2 min read
1/ There was a time last summer when it looked like the UK Government was taking #Brexit half seriously. They published a slew of papers. OK, much of what was in them was vague, but something was happening. There was effort 💪 2/ Since then everything has slowed... yet the ⏰ now ticks towards the half way point in the #Article50 process. 🤷‍♂️
Feb 8, 2018 15 tweets 2 min read
The EU has 759 treaties with 160 non-EU countries. What to do about these treaties has been known to be a headache since before the #Brexit referendum. (1/15) The FT did excellent work back in May 2017 to list them all, and the areas they cover. FT piece:… (2/15)
Feb 7, 2018 13 tweets 5 min read
1/ Trying to follow what's going on in 🇪🇺 & #Brexit news feels like a full time job. And yet even against that backdrop, today feels pretty extraordinary. Some of the news has particular impact on me personally. 2/ First of all, this morning the proposed legal text on Brexit transition was released. So much for things not changing in transition - the text as it currently stands means 🇬🇧 👨‍💻 living in 🇪🇺 can no longer vote in the 2019 EP elections.
Feb 6, 2018 16 tweets 4 min read
1/ By chance I stumbled across European Commission’s “Notice to Stakeholders - Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Food Law” 🍔 🥕 🥩 - PDF here… 2/ This document is similar to one about road transport 🚗 🚛 🚌 that I blogged about here:… Formally written, but horrible in its complexity when you think of it. Welcome to the consequences of #Brexit!
Jan 29, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
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.
Jan 29, 2018 15 tweets 3 min read
1/ A quick, rough thread on what's in the Transition Guidelines, and what the text can mean. The PDF of the guidelines is here:… 2/ "In particular, the provisions of the Citizens' rights part of the
withdrawal agreement should apply as from the end of the transition period" page 4. De facto #Brexit date for FoM is hence end 2020.
Jan 19, 2018 19 tweets 3 min read
1/ I am all for major plans and projects if they have a *purpose* - that's why I think the UK's HS2 rail line is not a bad idea. But what about this Boris Johnson bridge to France idea...? 2/ The idea for a road bridge across the channel has no sensible purpose, other than perhaps to show to Macron (who he discussed it with) that the UK's foreign secretary is ridiculous.
Jan 15, 2018 20 tweets 5 min read
1/ This tweet of mine about the Tories taking credit for something the EU did (banning credit card surcharges) was retweeted far and wide:
2/ This prompted a whole lot of discussion about whether the Tories were right to claim any credit at all for this, and how Tories actually behaved throughout the procedure.
Jan 4, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read
1/ So The Sun is bemoaning that the Royal Mail is not going to make a line of #Brexit stamps

2/ This is the most Brexity thing imaginable. Forget the very real consequences of Brexit on the country, on people, on businesses. Let's celebrate! Let's have the symbolism! Make British Stamps Great Again!