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They imagine that once the UK leaves the EU, that firstly, the EU might crumble without their financial contributions and leadership, and that would be great. Failing that, they imagine they can almost ignore the EU and carry on traveling to and trading with "Europe" as if the EU didn't exist.
The EU is seen as some sort of evil empire restricting free trade and freedom of action and an undemocratic interference in the free will of nations. They imagine that other countries will soon follow the UK's lead once they see the success that Brexit will become.
They even imagine that Ireland may want to rejoin the United Kingdom, and that will solve the backstop problem once and for all.
Many can't understand what all the fuss is about. Why doesn't the UK just leave? (They need us more than we need them, and that will force them to give us what we want in due course). There is a vague sense of entitlement encapsulated in the assumption that they can have their cake and eat it (Cakeism in the Soul) and that Jonny foreigner can go whistle if they don't like it.
They imagine that even if the UK leaves without a deal, sectoral and national deals will quickly be done because airplanes need to fly and Germans need to sell cars.
From an EU perspective, the view couldn't be more different. The EU is a complex structure of Treaties, laws and rules painstakingly put together, very difficult to change, and the only way you can function in a very complex world with competing interests and difficult trade-offs to be made.
If the UK leaves without a deal, it becomes just another country (like, for example, Russia) with which the EU doesn't have a trade deal or much in the way of bilateral deals and so some generic WTO trade rules may apply but otherwise it may as well be N. Korea. Special privileges cannot be given to the UK without also having to give them to all other WTO members under Most Favoured Nation rules.
For example, access to the Single Market cannot be given for free without Norway and others countries also being given that access for free.
A Free Trade Agreement with the UK may be negotiated in a few years time, but only if it doesn't upset any important interest groups in the EU (e.g. farmers) because of the requirement for unanimity. In practice it may never be agreed if the parting is very rancorous and there is a lack of mutual trust.
Problems like N. Ireland, Gibraltar, Cyprus bases, and the treatment of immigrants will become a source of ongoing tensions and antagonism.
Even a very limited deal which could be agreed without difficulty now may become impossible to agree later because of the requirement for unanimity and because both sides will have drifted very far apart politically, emotionally, and structurally.
A sort of Cold Peace could develop where there are no actual hostilities or trade war, but very little meeting of minds or cooperation either. People will hunker down in their respective bunkers nursing all manner of bitterness, resentments and grievances.
And it will all be the EU's fault.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 18 40 comments
by fjallstrom - Jan 16 6 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jan 15 66 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 12 83 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 7 36 comments
by Oui - Jan 7 110 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 26 43 comments
by Oui - Dec 28 21 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 1840 comments
by Oui - Jan 175 comments
by fjallstrom - Jan 166 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jan 1566 comments
by Oui - Jan 154 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 1283 comments
by Oui - Jan 91 comment
by Oui - Jan 82 comments
by Oui - Jan 84 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 736 comments
by Oui - Jan 7110 comments
by Oui - Jan 59 comments
by Oui - Jan 3
by Oui - Jan 36 comments
by Oui - Jan 21 comment
by Oui - Dec 313 comments
by Oui - Dec 2821 comments
by Oui - Dec 278 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 2643 comments