Another brilliant thread by Steve Analyst on explaining Michel Barnier’s Brexit slide to the Number 10 Press Team. Spoiler: Number 10 probably do understand the slides and are just pandering to their base by trying to paint the EU as the villains to cement support for the Government.

First published in February 2020.

OK, time to explain to Number 10 Press Office what this slide meant.

It’s quite scary that people didn’t understand this, especially Number 10.

This was a slide for a presentation to the European Council.

This is significant because Michel Barnier does not have the authority to tell the Council what is on offer.

Slide presented by Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Negotiator, 15 December 2017. / European Commission

The negotiating directives for any deal would have to be agreed by the European Council as per Article 218 of the TFEU.

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 218 (ex Article 300 TEC). / European Union Law

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the slide set consists of precisely two slides.

One being a disclaimer saying it is for presentational purposes only and it was never meant to prejudice future negotiations.

Slide presented by Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Negotiator, 15 December 2017. / European Commission

So, to go through what this slide says...

The first graphic is obviously the EU. It’s where we start.

Slide presented by Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Negotiator, 15 December 2017. / European Commission

The second is the EEA, which is one method that the EU currently trades under.

Each has separate protocols, and underneath, you can see where Theresa May’s red lines affect the option.

The next is the Swiss method of having multiple bilateral deals.

This is another template that the EU trades with. Underneath, there is a list of things that makes this option not suitable with regards to Theresa May’s red lines.

Next we have two templates for bespoke free trade agreements. The Ukraine deal and the Canadian deal.

The Institutional Consequences of a ‘Bespoke’ Agreement with the UK based on a ‘Distant’ Cooperation Model (p.6). / European Parliament

The next is the DCFTA (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas) template, another trade option that the EU trades with the various problems with Theresa May’s red lines underneath.

Followed by the Canadian bespoke template, which it concludes is the only template or adopted method of trade used by the EU that does not cross any of the red lines set out by Theresa May.

And so, this slide is highlighting the different options the EU currently trades with in respect to the red lines.

What the EU is offering IS the Canadian template, because the Ukraine template crosses red lines that the UK has set.

But templates are bespoke, and it is not a pick and mix when it comes to chapters in a Canadian deal.


Added to the fact, if politicians thought the EU were proposing CETA, then why did they then not raise any issues when the EU said they were going to attempt to negotiate zero tariff and zero quota?

CETA is not zero tariff, so obviously the deal being proposed was going to be different and there were going to be different trade-offs.

If Number 10 haven’t got this, then they owe a pretty big apology to the British public for not paying attention.

Tweets posted on 19 February 2020 by @EmporersNewC.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 19 February 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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