It's happening. The UK will be permanently disabling a key section of its motorway network at vast cost because David Cameron wanted to settle an internal party fight. Black on white, it's happening, starting next week. ht @odtorson
This means that from next week all traffic heading to the Channel ports and Channel Tunnel will have to exit the M25 through a bottleneck involving traffic lights and a roundabout, whereas at the moment it's seamless motorway. Plus of course extra travel time involved. FML
Wilton Park is, er was, the FCO’s prestigious international conference venue. It has, er had, a global reputation for attracting top tier participants to a neutral & discreet environment for sensitive conversations. So you’d think it would be led by someone with those qualities.
Sep 25, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
I surprised myself by being literally moved to tears when I saw the video of the standing ovation for Starmer. Dare we hope???
God bless you Labour conference delegates - what an amazing message you sent to the leadership! Thank you so much for doing that. Restored my faith in the party members.
Sep 19, 2018 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Wow. I can think of at least 10 of the 28 who will look at her as if she's trolling them.
I mean seriously: THEY ARE THE ONES IN CHARGE AND THEY HAVE *NO PLAN* AND THEIR OWN PARTY IS MIRED IN CONFUSION AND STRIFE, HOW IN THE NAME OF THATCHER CAN THEY BE TRYING TO EMBARRASS ANYONE ELSE? Sorry for the all caps but how can they not be hiding behind the sofas in shame??
Sep 11, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Given the barking madness we've been hearing today from the ERG about a "world trade deal" here's another reminder of how world trade really works and why the world has moved on from multilateral to bilateral and regional deals. [thread]
The WTO is a safety net (which is currently under serious threat from Trump). It represents a baseline, a foundation upon which more ambitious trade agreements have been built. Ditching those more ambitious deals and falling back to the baseline is not progress, it's regression.
I remember first being disgusted by Burchill in my teens when her wildly xenophobic anti-German tabloid rants received bemused coverage in the German press. She does not deserve a platform. She’s the Lidl, er, Liddle.
During the 80s, on a visit to Germany, my cousin showed me a syndicated article in the excellent local newspaper reporting on a Franco-British spat (I can’t remember the details). The article quoted a French columnist and Burchill. >
Jul 23, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
One way or the other, the Conservative Party is dead. Either it tears itself apart before Brexit Day, or it won’t survive its association with the shock that comes after. This is small comfort, because what replaces it may be even worse.
Ironically, I think its only chance of survival is to engineer its own defeat in an election within the next nine months to let a Corbyn-led Labour deliver Brexit (or not). Tories survive as the “we’d have done it properly” party. People have short memories.
Jul 19, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
@atpfm@caseyliss@marcoarment@siracusa Guys your post-show on your visit to my continent was entertaining and infuriating in equal measure, I can't resist a super short thread of commentary:
AC: this summer has been (is being) unnaturally hot & dry, scarily so. One of the reasons we are where we are is because there are whole continents where buildings are refrigerated to keep them unnaturally cool. Retrofitting AC is not the solution to this problem.
Jul 18, 2018 • 9 tweets • 5 min read
Here's a classic piece of deflection using whataboutery, strawman arguments, and false equivalence to divert attention from the established finding that Vote Leave BROKE ELECTORAL LAW. #VoteLeaveCheated#VoteLeaveBrokeTheLaw 1/
"Waaah Remain did it too!" Then report them. Report them and wait for the Electoral Commission's findings or STFU. 2/
Jul 12, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
“If a paper like this was going to be published, they should have done so just before they triggered Article 50. … it is not acceptable now, with just weeks of negotiating time left.” Further can-kicking, leaving either cliff edge or total capitulation. politics.co.uk/blogs/2018/07/…
Seems the White Paper shows that HMG still hasn’t woken up and sniffed the coffee. Still bathing in faith-fuelled delusion both about themselves and about the EU. Right now, I’m afraid I’m upping my prediction of a no deal armageddobrexit to 75% likely.
It is utterly ludicrous. We have VIPs through here all the time. We’ve had Putin, Xi Jinping, all the EU obviously, royalty, all sorts, the only time we *ever* have this level of disruption is with Americans & even Obama was nowhere near as bad as this.
Jul 5, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Are such people dense or simply in denial? It is not about sales to UK customers. It is about the cost/practicality of manufacturing in the UK. 🤦♂️
Volume carmakers do not build exclusively for small markets. They have regional manufacturing nodes where they can draw on virtually the whole supply chain within a single customs area. The exception is where labour costs are so low that it offsets supply chain trade barriers.
Jul 4, 2018 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
An apocalyptic copper sky over Brussels, feels as if we’re in for an epic storm tonight.
It’s here 😱
Jul 3, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Is there anything more Brexit than English TV commentators whining that they should have had a red card? #COLENG#wewuzrobbed#projectblame
going to lose some followers for this 😬🤓
Jul 1, 2018 • 19 tweets • 4 min read
Stroke of genius from DexEU! Nobody in the EU27 capitals has ever read a document written in English. 🙄 1/
All this does is offer HARD PROOF that the UK is deliberately trying to work around the EU’s negotiators. It is HARD EVIDENCE of (a) bad faith and (b) British incomprehension of the point of having EU institutions. It just encourages the EU27 to hurry us out the door asap. 2/
Jun 30, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
I think the only rational response to this is to scream until your throat bleeds and darkness engulfs you
I wonder if the problem here is the term “third country”? The EU is made up of 28 sovereign countries. It is not itself a country. So when we talk about non-EU countries, we can’t say “foreign countries”. That’s why the term we use is “third countries”.
Jun 30, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
This sale of warships to Australia has got nothing whatsoever to do with the EU… or has it? UK naval architects & UK defence industry currently benefit from the EU in numerous ways including the work of the European Defence Agency. 1/
The European Defence Agency (EDA) does a number of things to make the EU defence industry more competitive & boost its capacity for research innovation & technology. The EDA helped the UK win that contract. 2/
Jun 28, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Hostage taker tells police negotiators you are putting lives at risk over rejecting my demands
She does have an extraordinary knack for saying precisely the wrong thing. It might play well with the ERG but it will go down like a dose of novichok with the EUCO. Very counterproductive.
Jun 28, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
If a Labour minister had likened business to Nazi collaborators, the Daily Mail would have soiled itself in delighted indignation. Yet today it gave a Tory minister a platform to say just that. How can any Tory stand this? You’re now worse than your worst anti-business nightmare!
If any pro-business moderate Conservative is left in that benighted party, take a long hard look at yourself. The “f*** business”, “business are Nazi collaborators” party. Even at the height of the militant tendency you never heard that from Labour.