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Well argued.

I think that in addition, the failure to reach an agreement - or reaching an agreement that is punitively bad for the UK - will benefit the parties calling for exit in other countries, because it will feed into the EU is evil empire narrative.

Yes, from a standpoint of rational actors it would make leaving harder, but TINA is a hard sell politically. After all, the treatment of Greece was surely meant to encourage the others, yet it was Leave that used it to argue for leaving. If Article 50 turns out to be useless, then there is no real freedom to leave, hence we are being kept whether we like it or not, so we must rise up.

The more you tighten your grip, etc.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 12:25:12 AM EST
It takes a pretty twisted logic to argue that because Brexit was a disaster for the UK, we must support Frexit or whatever.  You can't blame the EU for everything, even what happens to a country which has left the EU.  If it turns out that the opportunities in the free trade world are less than as wonderful as claimed by the Brexiteers, why should the EU take the blame for that?  

The UK looked for its "freedom" and got it.  If it turns out it can't hack it in the "free" world that is it's own problem, and the more so the longer it has left the EU.  Why should the EU be deemed to owe an ex-member special treatment?  A. 50 is there to provide an exit mechanism, not a free ride thereafter.  If anything, it proves that maybe the EU wasn't so evil after all.

The Leavers were happy to use any argument which appeared to support their cause.  So the EU was ghastly to the Greeks?  In reality the EU was only enforcing Brit led neo-liberal policies.  Did the UK show the slightest inclination to get out of line to help the Greeks?  

That is not to say that there isn't a leftist argument for leaving the EU, and it may be much stronger for Greece than for the UK. The Brexiteers were happy to use any argument to support their cause - left, right, populist, anti-establishmentarian, libertarian, racist, bigoted, white supremacist, nativist, sentimentalist - to appeal to different sets of voters.  That does not mean that a post Brexit UK will implement more left wing policy stances as those leftists who supported Brexit are about to find out.

If Brexit proves anything, it proves it is possible to leave the EU if you really want.  Want happens afterwards is your own affair.  As it should be, and as you asked for it to be.  The moral is: be careful what you ask for , because you might very well get it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 01:11:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political narratives don't tend to be logical, especially in a downward spiral. The 'argument' born from 'experience' would be that everything the EU touches turns to shit. Akin to "government is always bad". Therefore, "EU always bad" and "Let's all run to the exit!"

Meanwhile, it's high time that the Eurogroup finally get a grip on the Euro problem. There has to be a mechanism for countries to leave the Euro or something like it. Somebody somewhere needs to be smart enough to come up with an idea. Otherwise, it's game over for the whole EU sooner or later.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 02:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is not to say that there isn't a leftist argument for leaving the EU, and it may be much stronger for Greece than for the UK.
Here's Owen Jones right after the Greek referendum: The left must put Britain's EU withdrawal on the agenda
Owen Jones
Progressives should be appalled by European Union's ruination of Greece. It's time to reclaim the Eurosceptic cause.
He then went on to campaign for Remain as he saw Brexit as a neoliberal wet dream.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 08:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Owen Jones made the classic mistake of mistaking the Euro for the EU. Anybody should have been apalled by the ECB's treatment of Greece, but Britain was insulated from that by having retained the pound.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 09:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you could still make a "not in my name" case, as the Euro is an EU creation. Being insulated from the consequences is not necessarily a sufficient reason for refusing any association.

Of course, the tories want to inflict the same pains without even the semi-plausible justification of the Euro, so leaving during Tory times would hardly achieve that goal...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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