The soap that breaks many acid
It is incredible, after all this time debating about how to make arrangements for leaving the European Union, never coming forward with positive ideas, the Union approved to be once more patient with the British.
Who would ever thought that Brexit could roll on until October 2019?
Theresa May came to Brussels asking for no longer than June 30 but ended with a halfway house that is not the nightmare long extension that could frighten her Brexiters MPs enough to accept her withdrawal deal for fear of losing Brexit.
Mrs May had kicked off proceedings with a one-hour address where she tried to reassure leaders on promises of good faith and her “historic” cross-party talks with Labour.
In the early hours of the 11th of April, one day before the end of the umpteenth delay EU27 leaders, after a five-hour talks in Brussels, gave the UK a new Brexit fright night: October 31 (Halloween), making it that the UK would not be crashing out tomorrow.
For sure we as European citizens may find the sword of Damocles hanging above our heads already for several months and find the ghosts of custom problems flying around our ears.
Diplomats described the meeting last night as a classic summit solution that provided something for everyone. The six month-delay was a halfway point between rival end dates; a December 2019 deadline (backed by the likes of the Netherlands and Germany) and Emmanuel Macron’s objections to going beyond the end of June.
“This extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected,”
said Donald Tusk, European Council president.
Emmanuel Macron set out his stall, warning Mrs May that she has until May 22 to decide whether her divorce deal passes, or she revokes Article 50. He had good reasons to say it has been enough, and that he wanted to protect his European “renaissance” from the Brexit disease, willing to end it hailing the
“best possible compromise”.
The French president’s intransigence
“didn’t make him any friends tonight”
said one official.
Seventeen member states came out in favour of a longer date, with three to four countries pushing for a short date but keeping an open mind, and just Macron in the hardline camp. He finally relenting to a midway compromise after voicing his fears that a longer extension could mean the Brits may never leave at all. (In a way which would be the best solution, but would not be received well in a very great camp of “leavers”.)
This extension makes that the British should have to go to the ballot-room to vote for something they do not want to be part of. It also makes them hanging around in EU institutions, giving them the opportunity to undermine it or to spy, and having a new commissioner by ending before the likely start of the next European Commission in November.
For Merkel and others who pushed to give the UK breathing space this extension is also long enough to give that breath and possibility to make better arrangements for trade agreements.
We wonder if the many debates in the British parliament were not a play of power, not so much interested in what would be the best for the British citizens. In any case prime minister Theresa May proofed to be a tuff lady, even stronger than our previous Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher) who had also shown how well she knew the blow of the whip.
Regularly we heard voices who indicated the UK Government would potentially compromise on the UK staying in the customs union after Brexit if it would secure Labour’s support on a deal.
David Mundell, Scottish secretary, said his party was “certainly willing” to discuss it in talks with Jeremy Corbyn’s party – contrary to the Prime Minister’s previous stance.
You would think many British now would be wiser and understand the problems and danger for the inner market when they would leave the Union.
As a consequence of Brexit, the Imperial Island has been able to be weakened by lots of companies looking to settle at the European continent, so that they can continue doing business in the EU and not be held back after Brexit. Rotterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin but even Dublin, could find British companies preferring to have their headquarters there, plus creating a flow of money to the European continent, which otherwise would have stayed in the UK. It can well be that today already a trillion dollars worth of assets have been relocated from the City of London to other EU countries.
Some may think Brexit had little to do with Nationalism and Protectionism, and far more to do with Sovereignty and Capitalism. In a way they are partly right, but they overlook the very important misleading of the extreme-right parties who brought the country in this horrible mess. Already for three years more time is spend to talk about the Brexit than taking care about inner problems, education and health care. We can find many villages and towns where there is no library any more, no swimming pool, not enough facilities any more for the youngsters and not enough educators and nurses any more. Nationalists and populists made use of the increased knife-crime to blame the EU of all this crime and proving they need a strongly protected border, of which they have all control.
Lots of people wanted the imperial sovereignty of economic choice again, but forgot how much the Union provided to rebuild the past (abandoned) industrial zones of the UK. They may have had the impression that they had to put more money in the Union than they got out of it. But they should have known how much stronger they and we could be opposite the United States and China.
It is now much more likely for Britain to make a trade agreement with the United States, now that Britain is unfettered from the European Union, but probably this is going to allow genetic manipulated food in the country and bring more products in the West of Europe which would have a very high ecological footprint. They may think it being much more likely for Britain to remain a Global Economic force unfettered from the failing Euro, but people may not forget that together we can make the Euro as well as the Union very strong and to be an indispensable trading partner.
It is really getting time that those unending debates on Brexit do come to an end and that the parliamentarians shall come to spend more time on the inner problems of the country. An imminent economic crisis may have been averted, but at the moment we can find many small firms which are pushed to despair and are hoping for a sensible solution and a wise a political consensus.
Find also to read
- Flashback 2016 | Brexit
- UK and EU agree Brexit delay to 31 October
- #Brexit delayed to Halloween: EU leaders agree a ‘flextension’ until October 31
- UK’s May faces Parliament after EU grants Brexit extension
- PM gets extension to article 50.
- Business groups react to ‘flexible extension’ of Article 50
- More companies leaving the UK for the Netherlands
- Brexit brings FUD to finance
- EU Extends U.K.’s Brexit Deadline Until Oct. 31
- Brexit: When did May say that he was resigning? | International