What is the EU’s strategy for dealing with Brexit – if it has one?
Are confrontation and slander likely to achieve more than diplomacy?
Juncker accuses the UK of 40 years of lying and racism.
Does he hope Ms May will respond with Farage-like jibes?
15 thoughts on “Why, Juncker, why?”
1. Name calling and bully-boy tactics. As you may know, the EU has put pressure on countries such as India, Japan and whatever’s south of Canada to not start negotiations with the United Kingdom until after it has left the EU. The UK called the emperor naked and the emperor is doing everything he can do save face.
2. The EU was never about achieving anything save a more generous gravy train. Peace? A new way of co-existence? The EEC and EC had already accomplished that in a sustainable way. The EU, if anything, has set relations back 50-60 years. The Mexican novelist Mariano Azuela once observed that battles are like a rock that’s been thrown off a ledge. It keeps falling and keeping rolling because it knows nothing else.
3. Juncker has always despised the UK. It’s merely projection. The UK’s European policy has been dismal for generations. I strongly suspect it’s because the British simply don’t understand the continent or its dynamics. In much the same way, continentals save for the Nordics and the Dutch (to varying extents) simply don’t grasp even rudimentary aspects of the “British World View”. For many on the continent Britain’s policies have been suspect and seen as disingenuous at best. For them, the UK has been far too demanding and the EU far too accommodating. Despite this, and after accepting the same treaties as everyone else — even with additional concessions granted, the British vote to leave.
4.Juncker is trying to make Brexit was squalid as possible to discourage others from asserting their independence. There is a profound divide between reformists such as Tusk, Szydlo and Fico who warn that the EU has gone too far in its centralising drive and risks alienating more and more countries and the last of the old euro-fanatics like Juncker, Hollande and Renzi who think that repeating and amplifying the failed policies of the last decades will solve all of Europe’s problems.
Juncker is a former prime minister of Luxembourg and is therefore batting way above his station. Likewise the last Luxembourger to hit the EU stage, one Jacques Poos, who I remember as spouting EU policy on various’grown up’ military engagements, such as the Falklands War and first Gulf war, like it mattered.
For the record, Luxembourg is small historical irrelevancy landlocked between Belgium, France and Germany, only one of which had any dreams of European (or World) domination.
That’s the EU for you.
Oz: I read the editorial in my local newspaper, the Trierischer Volksfreund, this morning. It was almost a piece of JC Plonker hagiography. The writer did all he could to belittle and condescend the UK, especially piling on the English. He referred to the country as the United Kingdom, but made a point to refer to the people as “Engländer” when “Briten” would have been the better word. One suspects that Monsieur Plonker has heard nothing about praise for so long that he no longer understands why a majority of those who voted in a major country would want to be out from under his rule!
Indeed, Junker is right: the British public have been fed 40 years of lies and even racism – from their own leaders. Lies about the benefits of belonging to the EU and racism against their own people, in that we must all change ways to accomodate the rest of the world’s screwed up notions of ‘tolerance’ and forget that we have a long history of independence.
Christopher is quite right that many other countries do not understand the way Brits look at the world – and I doubt they ever will. Too much history has passed between the UK and ‘that lot’ on the continent to be otherwise.
I suspect that the mob trying to enforce even closer union by contemptuously dismissing the very different cultures that make up the EU will find that their efforts will be in vain – and, indeed, counterproductive. Well, I hope so.
Interesting. There can be no doubt that continental politicians have always failed to grasp the basic fact that the Inselaffen have never, ever, thought of themselves as ‘European’ despite the best efforts or our elected (and mostly unelected) representatives.
By the way, I am proud to be an Inselaffe.
Me, too OZ
Me and Backside too! 😎
Boadicea: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary have already undergone “internal withdrawals”. They are still formally members of the EU, but have by all means and purposes chosen to ignore Brussels and scarcely engage the EU beyond saying “no”. The Netherlands and France aren’t far behind. When that happens, the EU will well and truly be buggered. Italy is another tinder box.
Oz: Ted Heath was convinced that “Europe” would become the heart and soul of Britain’s political life. His assessment, as with most things related to Ted Heath, was an abject failure and abortion. Even most remoaners are more upset about losing easy access to continental junkets and ephemeral job opportunities than about any real “European” ideal.
I can’t say I’m proud to be an Inselaffe, but I understand and sympathise with them better than I do with these thick-o continental types. Empiricism means nothing here and to them. Then again, I’ve long been the Tom Hagen of the Inselaffen family.
The theme time is even now playing quietly in my head(s). Which Europrat will wake up with a horse’s head?
Time? No, tune, I meant. 😢
Christopher – Consider yourself an honorary Inselaffe if you wish and I hope you will. You write English better than most anyway and your comments reveal fundamental doubts about the European ‘Project’.
Oz: I’m chuffed to bits to refer to myself as an honorary Inselaffe or, more politely, fully Anglicised Hun. I’ve managed to find myself in hot water in Germany for referring to JC Plonker as the “disgraced former PM of a glorified tax haven that doubles as a petrol station”. The British learnt their lessons centuries ago. Continentals continue to bash their heads against walls hoping that the next time it won’t hurt!
Definitely all of the above.
Whilst we are at it can we not get rid of that bloody tunnel and cut down the ferries? We never were part of Europe, why bother pretending?
I’m pleased to see that I’ll get free wifi by 2020! (Not)