I posted this not long ago as a Twitter thread:
The more I read it the more I am perplexed by the Brexit deal.
It is an OK deal for trade in goods. Except for a mountain of very expensive and burdensome red tape, that is. And red tape and burdens on business are the thing the Tories always supposedly hated.
And the priority on the trade in goods also makes no sense for a service economy, which we are since the Tories abandoned manufacturing.
Plus, the deal leaves financial services, that are supposedly our greatest success story, and the biggest suppliers of funds to the Tories, in limbo.
The professions, barring lawyers, are meanwhile stuffed without mutual recognition. Many career paths will fall apart as a result of that. And the professions have been the backbone of Tory support for generations.
Most people have lost freedom of movement and have won in exchange riskier, and more expensive, holidays as a result.
Practically, we won nothing on migration.
We certainly did not seem to win on fish.
Students lost Erasmus.
And Universities will lose out on research funding.
We lost sovereignty in Northern Ireland. The UK is now in the extraordinary position of having an internal border and part of its territory within a trading bloc and the rest not.
Scotland has been alienated, I suspect forever.
International relations are weaker.
And what did we win for all this? Freedom from the European Court of Justice? Was there anything else?
Oh yes, there are going to be freeports, which are something we had within EU rules until 2012 and gave up because they provided no obvious benefits then.
And just in case anyone wants to know what a freeport is it’s a place where goods can move without tariffs and excise duties at its international border, which is something we’re just giving up in the rest of the UK.
Why then is this a good deal?
Why is anyone backing it?
And why is Labour voting for it?
I wish I knew. But I don’t, because objectively it’s an awful deal that we’re going to long regret. And from that fact (for fact it is) it’s going to be hard to move on.