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The Brexit Blog - Chris Grey - As the EU finalises its negotiating guidelines, it's time for Brexiters to get real

The future of Britain is going to be shaped to a far greater extent by Saturday's EU-27 Council meeting than it will be by the June general election. That is one of the many ironies of the Brexiter mantra of `taking back control', because whilst the chain of coming events was begun not by the EU but by the British referendum, the shape of those events will be very much down to the EU.

So insular has the discussion in the UK been before and since the referendum that one might think that Brexit is simply a matter of the UK formulating its demands. The EU will then fall into line because `it's in their interests' or `it's in Germany's interests' or even because `it's in German's car industry's interests'; and anyway because `we're the world's fifth largest economy'. There are many versions of this wishful thinking, all of them completely devoid of any understanding whatsoever of how the EU - or the world in general - operates. If it was how they think, then Britain would never have left the EU, since doing so is so far at odds with both our national and business interests.

It's true that in the immediate aftermath of the referendum Britain might have been able to pursue a soft Brexit of single market membership. That would have taken considerable diplomatic and political skill, but it might have been achievable. Instead, everything the government has done since then has had the effect of making goodwill and room for manoeuvre disappear. And not just the government. EU leaders (and their electorates) see and have disdain for the infantile headlines of the Brexit press, and they don't simply laugh off Farage's oafish rudeness, on the odd occasions he turns up at the European Parliament, or Johnson's boorish buffoonery about `prison guards' and `Prosecco exports'.

So whilst Britain has been engaging in an orgy of stupidity and insularity, the EU has, almost since the day after the referendum, been quietly and consistently developing its stance, as explained in this excellent three-part summary of the EU's position by David Allen Green of the FT. It is a stance that has changed very little from what was indicated before the referendum, and every leave voter who cared to could have known in broad terms what it would be. None of them can say there was no warning.

h/t ceebs

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:36:02 PM EST
"we're the world's fifth largest economy"

Not the present tense.
Give it some time...

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:53:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly yes. I don't even dare think how far we're gonna fall, but chasms are beginning to open beneath us.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 07:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have faith.  The UK may hold position just because chasms are opening beneath everyone.  Except, of course, those wealthy enough not to have to worry about borders.
by rifek on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 06:11:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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