An important thread on why the British government is making claims about the EU that they know aren’t true.

First published in February 2020.

Along with a reminder that the Commission don’t have the authority to say what type of deal is available without sign off from the Member States.


A tiny process requirement that our government appears to have forgotten after spending just 45 years in the organisation.

The slide in the centre of the controversy is very EU centric.

Not every trade person I have spoken to realised that this was breaking down templates, but from how I learnt about trade deals, this was crystal clear.

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

If anything I was shocked to find out that some people in trade didn’t fully recognise the EU templates as being a ‘thing’, or at least, technically different enough to be considered generational.

But the EU does make the distinction, and the slide only makes sense one way when you have that context.

So was it confusing? Yes. But not confusing in the way that it is being presented as confusing.

Was it so confusing that the government thought we could just take the bits of CETA we like and adjust the tariff and quotas in a way that suits us? No.

Was it so confusing that the UK government thought that the EU was offering us explicitly the Turkey deal which wouldn’t be WTO compliant, and not a general Customs Union that would be WTO compliant? No.

Was it so confusing that the UK government thought the Commission could bypass treaty procedure? No.

The issue here isn’t the ideologically blind Brexiter LBC presenter who is going to believe any attack on the EU, it is the government making a claim that they KNOW isn’t true.

Again, people are being taken for fools and repeating nonsense, and in years to come there will be people laughing at them and calling them thick, and then those accusers will be told they are acting shamefully.

If we want to stop this cycle, we need everybody to stand up to this pathetic propaganda and manipulation.

They are taking a large percentage of our people for fools, and personally I think we need to make a stand against it.

Tweets posted on 19 February 2020 by @EmporersNewC.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 21 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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