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Henry Newman
A good Brexit deal is within grasp but MPs risk throwing that away in hope that by leaving with no deal, we might be able to improve our position That's a HUGE brave gamble It's time we took some deep breaths & went back to look at what's actually on the table A thread 👇
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
Theresa May's Brexit deal remains the only actual deal on table "Managed No Deal" or the Malthouse Compromise or whatever else are just ideas - not anything the EU has agreed to or shown any real interest in I am yet to meet a single EU or European figure saying otherwise 2/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @DominicRaab
Our entire public narrative of the deal was shaped by the resignation of key ministers - above all I understand why Raab resigned Theresa May cut him out of negotiations & did give him chance to push for the backstop exit mechanism he believed he could secure 3/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
But because he & others resigned the public narrative became that the deal was dire Yet the more I looked at it, the more convinced I was that it was actually quite good The single biggest flaw is of course with backstop But even there we are thinking about it wrong way 4/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
Theresa May's position is based on avoiding the backstop at all costs That's ludicrous Even if getting to the backstop is the last thing you want to do, telling your negotiating partner you'd do anything to stop getting there, means they have you over a barrel 5/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
And is the backstop actually so bad anyway? Let's look at what it would actually mean if we got there to the backstop in early 2021 6/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
In the backstop we can - ✅ end free movement ✅ control our laws on services (80% of economy) ✅ scrap Common Agricultural Policy ✅ end Common Fisheries Policy, choosing who can fish in our waters ✅ not have to pay a penny - forget £350 million a week, we could pay £0 7/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
And - ✅ veto new EU goods & food laws from applying *anywhere* in UK ✅ sign & implement new services trade deals with countries eg Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland ✅ get tariff & quota free goods access to EU ✅ veto new EU rules covering labour or environmental laws 8/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
Plus - ✅ agree rollover of EU's existing trade deals - with, for example, Canada, S Korea & Japan ✅ negotiate extra agreements on services, investor protection or recognition of qualifications to those deals ✅ reject EU moves to a common asylum policy or so-called EU army 9/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Oh and - ✅ escape EU's political project & commitment to ever closer union ✅ put & out of a job ✅ resist the EU forcing us to open our markets to new trade deals (without our say) ✅ ensure open border between Northern Ireland & the Republic 10/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
Finally - ✅ use Northern Ireland's place as gateway to EU to our advantage by encouraging companies to invest there ✅ negotiate aviation agreements to help lower ticket prices ✅ take time to build a national concensus on right sustainable long-term arrangement with EU 11/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
I'm not pretending deal is perfect It ain't (and I have written about the backstop's issues elsewhere) Geoffrey Cox is rightly trying to sharpen our ability to exit backstop & get clearer assurances for N Ireland including on its interaction with Good Friday Agreement 12/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
But critics of deal are often blind to its benefits & unrealistic about the alternatives actually possible at this point in time I don't see how Government could possibly hold together in event of No Deal And as LBJ said the first rule of politics is the ability to count 13/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
No Deal ==> No Majority So either a General Election with in charge (which we can guess about 117 Tory MPs would not want to see) Or a sort of messy Government of national unity - you could call it a Coalition of Chaos if you wanted to be all 14/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
If someone can explain how a Government could possibly hold together to make a success of No Deal with no working majority to speak of, please let me know Delivering a successful No Deal, even if you think that’s possible, is out of reach with no majority 15/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
But but but “no deal is better than a bad deal” was in the manifesto, as we are told again and again Yes But the Government obviously doesn’t think it’s a bad deal. They think it’s a good deal (given the options at this point) and that’s why they agreed it! 16/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
If EU hadn’t moved on a UK-wide customs backstop, risking a hard customs border down Irish Sea, then I would have denounced deal & suspect Government would have too As Theresa May said - no PM could have accepted that But EU did move (even if almost no one here noticed) 17/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
The manifesto didn’t say: reject every deal unless perfect Even if it did, I still don’t get how you deliver a workable No Deal with no majority How do you pass key legislation with so many MPs implacably opposed? Without majority you can’t “manage” No Deal See LBJ rule 18/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
Every time I say anything positive about deal I get bombarded with tweets from or people saying deal can't get any worse Thats absurd If you don't like this deal try a softer deal in Single Market - no ending free movement & rule-taking on everything 19/
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Henry Newman Mar 6
Replying to @HenryNewman
It's time for everyone to take deep breaths & start from first principles 😬Yes you wouldn't have started here 😬Yes we have made loads of mistakes in negotiations 😬 Yes the PM can't explain her own flagship policy properly But if you look calmly is it actually so bad? 20/
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