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Berlin's Brexit déjà vu - Politico
Add this to the myriad questions that Angela Merkel's looming departure as German chancellor raises: Will her exit bury London's hopes that Germany will intervene on its behalf and steer the Brexit talks in the U.K.'s favor?

If the short history of Brexit is any indication, the answer has to be "No." Desperation is known to breed false hope; in the U.K.'s case, it has progressed to full-blown delusion.

This week the Spectator's James Kirkup documented how David Cameron misread Merkel from the beginning. "Cake was never on her menu, either before or after the referendum," he wrote.

It seems the more Merkel resisted Downing Street's overtures, the more convinced the Conservative Party became it was all just part of an elaborate negotiating ritual, as if Germans had suddenly become masters of subtlety.

How Cameron's misreading of Merkel led to Brexit - The Spectator

Merkel is also central to the superstitious beliefs of some Brexiteers about how Germany and the EU operates, a view that suggests German carmarkers run Germany's European policy and that Merkel would, in the final analysis, do anything to strike a deal allowing them to sell cars to the UK freely.

"Post #Brexit a UK-German deal would include free access for their cars and industrial goods, in exchange for a deal on everything else," Davis wrote a couple of months before becoming Britain's main Brexit negotiator.

And then in October 2016, Merkel clearly and publicly explained why this magical thinking cut no ice with her: preserving the EU project matters more to her and Germany than accommodating the parochial interests of either the UK government or the Conservative Party:

by Bernard on Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 at 11:46:41 PM EST
The Brexiteers are wedded to the belief that the EU is the Fourth Reich in disguise and that, ergo, Merkel runs the EU. They seem further wedded to the economic determinism of the early Marx, ergo, the Car Companies run Germany.

For all their economic domination, and perhaps because of it, Germany is wedded to the political project that is the EU. Hence they are often happy to defer to Brussels, and even to a minor member like Ireland when a vital national interest is at stake.

No amount of evidence seems to shake the Brexiteer belief that they can ignore Ireland and bypass the Commission. It seems almost beneath their dignity to be dealing with a minor nation or trumped up bureaucrats in Brussels. The real players have to be Merkel, and, at a pinch, Macron.

Pretty soon all their hate figures - Juncker, Barnier, Tusk and Merkel will be gone - replaced by people with less knowledge and less interest in the UK. They had better move quickly if they want a deal at all, and if they don't many in the EU will be happy to simply see them out without a thought of keeping even a window open.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 4th, 2018 at 05:47:27 PM EST
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