Most of the coverage of the UK-EU talks is surreal, with obvious areas of disagreement on state aid, fishing, and workers' rights. But it's worth remembering that these are political choices, not technical fixes. If the UK applied existing state aid rules as most generously interpreted, the government could spend £61bn pounds on new start-ups, or bailing out the steel industry, helping Red Wall seats – whatever it likes. That is socialism as not seen in half a century. On fishing , of course, every trawler owner wants the maximum exclusive catch. And it would be quite a political catch to land for Boris Johnson . But that would mean President Macron explaining to France’s well-organised, highly politicised fishing communities – from Calais in Northern France to St Jean de Luz on the Atlantic Pyrenees coast – that he had sold them out. Go figure if that is what Macron will do 20 months out from his re-election campaign. The TUC would love workers' rights guaranteed. But Tory MPs backed Brexit precisely to remove Social Chapter obligations. So the trade tecchies and experts reporting in our media can only be so helpful. It is now about politics. With its threat… Read full this story
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