Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Other Issue With Brexit

It's almost a quaint issue, at this point, but the UK always got its way, at least on anything important, with the EU. To some extent the big 3 - Germany, France, UK - all did. Nothing is 100%, of course, but when the Brits moaned about something a way was found.

A continuing refrain of the Brexiteers is that Britain has always lost out to the rest of Europe in negotiations. This derives partly from the way successive governments have portrayed the EU as a battleground in which there is room only for victory or defeat. It is also explained by the tendency of politicians to blame “Europe” for everything – often to divert attention from their own shortcomings.

In fact, the UK has led Europe in a remarkable way, and has rarely failed to gain its major objectives. However the process is one of debate and argument, proof and counter-argument, rather than demanding that the rest of EU should immediately see the sense in our position and give way without question. It is this assumption of always being right that has bedevilled our relationships with our neighbours.

The reason this matters now is because to some extent the EU put up with the UK's bullshit for years and Brexit was their thanks, and now they just don't give a shit anymore.