The UK and the EU will have close relations even after Brexit


To understand the forces pushing them to cooperate, let's look at the Netherlands

Photo: Getty Images / Guliver

BLUE and tanned, the Brexit monster with eyes out of scared orbit
Rotterdam for several months. Launched before the scheduled UK release
In the EU in March, the monster is the mascot of government efforts to prepare
Holland for the break. These were especially intense in the busiest
European port, which operates 40 million tonnes in annual trade with the Sea
Kingdom. Flyers showing the monster blocking the goods were distributed
to truckers as part of preparations that include parking
huge trucks, hiring hundreds of people and forcing companies to make their own
record the goods loaded. Three times the monster of Brexit haunted
port. Three times the leaders in Brussels have agreed to postpone
as the blockade continued in London. “From now on, the parking buffer locations
for trucks will be abolished, "the managers announced, with their teeth close
grumble, after the last postponement of October 28.

Photo: Getty Images / Guliver

They are not
the only ones who feel disrespected. The Dutch are traditional
the closest allies of London. Although upset with the vote on
Brexit – many hoped Britain would change – remained initially
entertained. The author of this section accompanied Theresa May, then Prime Minister,
in her inaugural visit to The Hague in 2016. "My new British colleague!"
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister. "I am so happy
to see you! ”The kindness and hopes for one
Friendly Brexit have disappeared in the meantime. Before
this year, Mr. Rutte compared Mrs. May to the knight
dismembered from a British comedy, in which
he insists that his wounds are "only."
a scratch ". There seems to be little more respect
for Boris Johnson. "Only
can hide the fact that he
he thinks the English are stupid, ”observes Theodor
Holman, a Dutch commentator.

The EU is
exasperated with the UK. The Brexit process has been prolonged
more than expected and consumed the time the EU has
need for other things. Mr. Rutte accompanied Emmanuel Macron
last week asking for the next postponement to be short, and in a way
ideal, final. But other leaders have also won the Sea
Britain has been postponed until the end of January. But patience does
shoots throughout the Union. On October 29, Donald Tusk, President in
European Council withdrawal, posted on Twitter: "EU27 adopted
formally the extension. It could be the last. ” A common refrain in The Hague and in
other capitals is that any form of Brexit – soft, hard or without agreement – would be
now preferably done. Europeans hope British elections in
December will deliver this certainty and they fear a parliament without one
majority or, later, a second referendum that would fail to show
a majority for one of the solutions.

"Good that
get rid of you ”seems to be the feeling that prevails on the continent. EU
Absolutely tired of discussing Brexit and remained firm with the hard line and
united on Brexit; determined not to let the UK leave with an agreement
that would be better than being a member, which would have been a mouthful of oxygen
for Eurosceptic populists everywhere. Both things can give the impression that the Union
is weakened by a weakening of its links with the United Kingdom. But it is not.
Because the fundamental things go beyond the political swamp.

Holland no
sums it all up. The same Dutch officials who complain about Britain will
longs for its support as part of the EU bloc of Nordic states
economical. The Dutch economy remains closely integrated with the British economy, with
big companies like Unilever and Shell covering the North Sea and with huge ones
flows of goods and services between the coasts. Although the Netherlands is benefiting from the exodus
companies leaving London for cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam,
its leaders are frightened by the competitive threat of a Great Britain
offshore type that undermines European regulatory standards. They are from
also worried about a geopolitical divergence of post-Brexit Britain and
on the spectrum that one of the few European security powers will pivot
to Donald Trump's America or China. "The Germans do not bring
a strategic concentration, and the French take care of their own
show. There is no one
to occupy the space left by the British, ”says Rem
Korteweg of the Institute
Clingendael. Similar concerns and other leaders concerned
Europeans. Great Britain needs one
Friendly European Union and EU needs
a United Kingdom-friendly.

Love him
sinner, he hates sin

All these
they lead to four possibilities that are more likely than they seem now in the environment
politically on both sides of the Channel. First, how desperately it would create a new one
British demand for postponement in January, is unlikely as the EU or an individual leader
would like to be responsible for an exit without agreement; The EU would probably approve
a new stressful extension if the alternative is a messy start. A
second, the EU will do everything it can to negotiate its future relationship with
Great Britain to maintain close ties, adopting a tone
very conciliatory on security and on defense cooperation in particular, and will
He was trying hard to prevent Britain from moving to politics
of major divergence regarding the regulations.

Third, with
all the frustration of the continents and the hopes of Brexit supporters for a
Near America, the two sides could be pushed back together
if Mr. Trump is re-elected. Finally, the EU door will never be firmly closed
for a UK that is changing its mind on Brexit – before or after leaving

Together, these principles lead to a conclusion that is as apparent
improbable, while being inexorable: the moment does not favor in a way
necessary divergence; possibly the opposite. Great Britain and continental Europe
it might end up closer, in one form or another, in the future than it seems now
that it would probably be.

This does not
by no means means that Brexit would be a good idea. The forces of a reality
political, security and economic policies that push the UK and Europe
continental to each other are all arguments for Britain to
stay in the club and pursue their interests from within. The painful process
and without a conclusion of Brexit so far only made these forces
appears more clearly; Brexit was hard for a reason. Figures on both sides
The Channel – those who want a tough Brexit and continental Anglo-skeptics – would
he could dream of a simple solution, a "clean break" that would allow both
parties to see their work and pursue their separate ways.
Reality has never been so simple. It will never be. ■

This article appeared in the Europe section of the edition printed under the title "Magnetic field"

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