The entire fabric of the European Union is under threat while the hierarchy in Brussels sleepwalks into yet another crisis.
The UK is highly likely to walk away from further Brexit negotiations, Italy which once survived on a diet of high interest rates and high inflation is threatening to blow the whole fiscal responsibility demanded by the ECB apart and the rise in nationalism and demands for a curb on immigration, which was until recently actively encouraged by Germany, continues to be “kicked into the long grass”.
It may just be time for Messrs Juncker and Tusk to re-examine their roles in these crises and to consider the intransigence that has been born from trying to run on so many fronts before it can walk.
Ten years ago, I gave a radio interview in Dubai about my feelings for the longevity of the euro. I made a comment that lived with me for many years, saying that “I would live longer than the euro”. Those words dogged me for quite a while but now I firmly believe again that the state of my health far outweighs that of the common currency despite the Italian Prime Minister calling it “unrenounceable”.
The issues will continue to pile up since trying to govern 28 states (after Brexit) using treaties that become out of date in a modern world almost before the ink is dry and having 28 different points of view on every subject is unworkable.
Furthermore, the absolute basis of the EU, the four freedoms, have become a millstone around the neck of anyone trying to negotiate. If there was no freedom of movement, for example, it is almost certain there would be no Brexit. Even if the UK had still voted for Brexit how much easier would negotiations have been without the Irish border issue?
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