Where are we?

It’s astonishing how Twitter is being used.  Tweets range from banal stupidly, viscous abuse and tiresome copycat phrases to matters of international diplomacy and important public information.

Here’s a copy of the Tweets that were posted by the European Union’s Michel Barnier @MichelBarnier on 8 March 2019.

“I briefed EU27 Ambassadors and EP today on the ongoing talks with #UK. Following the EU-UK statement of 20 Feb, the EU has proposed to the UK a legally binding interpretation of the #Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Most importantly:

2/5 The arbitration panel can already, under Article 178 WA, give UK the right to a proportionate suspension of its obligations under the backstop, as a last resort, if EU breaches its best endeavours/good faith obligations to negotiate alternative solutions

3/5 EU ready to give legal force to all commitments from January letter of @eucopresident and @JunckerEU through joint interpretative statement. (link: https://europa.eu/!Kj44wR) This will render best endeavour/good faith obligations even more actionable by an arbitration panel.

4/5 EU commits to give UK the option to exit the Single Customs Territory unilaterally, while the other elements of the backstop must be maintained to avoid a hard border. UK will not be forced into customs union against its will.

5/5 The EU will continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement.”

I read nothing unreasonable in the public statement above.  If this is insufficient for those MPs in the UK who wish to leave the EU, then it’s unlikely that anything will satisfy them at all.  It’s pushing the interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), on the table to the limit.

Northern Ireland (NI) will be treated differently whatever happens – Deal or No-Deal or Art. 50 extension or No-Brexit.  Today, it’s a part of the UK that is treated differently for sounds historic reasons.

I’m sure there are incoherent xenophobes who will still shout like mad about a perceived unfairness.  I’m sure Brexit supporting UK politicians will seek to misinterpret the above in the hope of blaming the EU for their folly.  And I’m sure that far from this being the end of something this could be just the beginning of a decade of squabbling.  The paralysis of Brexit uncertainly is concern about the worst-case outcome, namely a No-Deal.  Those UK polticians saying we should jump straight to that worst case outcome to end uncertainty and end damage to the Brexit myth is laughable, illogical and extream foolishness.  Next week in Westminster will be full of loud voices many of which should not be given the time of day.

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