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HMS Brexit and the Brussels Iceberg

Dickson Igwe

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

The United Kingdom must skillfully negotiate its exit from Europe, or risk being torn apart.

With the Brexit Referendum, Brussels has become a massive and ominous iceberg that the seafaring vessel, The HMS Great Britain, would be wise not to crash into.

OK. British Prime Minister Theresa May has offered specific measures of policy and governance set within the context of the forthcoming British General Election of June 8, 2017, and the Brexit negations afterwards.

Mrs May has further offered a governing focus for the before, during and after, of the UK General Election, and subsequent Brexit matters.

She has said that the UK government will invest heavily in the reform of technical education; it will provide a free breakfast for all primary school pupils; start a prosperity fund to reduce inequality in the UK; protect critical national infrastructure from foreign ownership; support primary schools with the establishment of nurseries in primary facilities; establish sovereign wealth funds to pay for new infrastructure; and build 1.5 million homes by the end of 2022.

The preceding will be attractive to voters, especially working and lower middle class Britons.

With regard to Europe, the British leader has stated that she will review human rights laws after the UK leaves the EU.

However Mrs May has also said that she is committed to the European Convention on Human Rights for the time being.

Finally the Prime Minister is seeking the best possible deal for the UK with the Brexit negotiations. However, she is willing to walk away with no agreement.

Now, on May 4, 2017, Stephan Richter, writing in the British Guardian, described how the view from Berlin was that Theresa May’s Brexit strategy was a MONUMENTAL MISCALCULATION. This was a “departure from reality based British pragmatism”.

The paradox: the Brits are one of the most pragmatic of peoples. Consequently, many in Europe scratch their heads with dismay at the whole Brexit matter, and the complete illogicality of Brexit.

EU Officials have asserted that the UK will not be able to retain the best bits of the European Union without accepting its various obligations.

One official described the UK Leader as “living in another galaxy’’ in terms of her views on Brexit, especially when compared with the views of most of Europe’s leaders.

“She has lost touch with European realities, and May is ignoring the fundamentals of international negotiations.’’

Richter writes that the British Conservative party’s “customary divide and rule strategy towards Europe has not worked’’. The writer describes an own goal. The matter of Poland: where Britain needed the support of Poland the one European nation that appeared to side with the UK.

However, the xenophobic attacks against Polish workers, that helped win the Brexit vote, ensured that Poland stayed firmly in the EU camp.

The EU 27 remains united against Britain in the Brexit matter. The German’s believe that Europe’s best interests are served by Downing Street abandoning Brexit. That will not happen.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, thinks the British negotiating position, “totally unrealistic”. Merkel has stated that the deal Mrs. May wants is impossible. Merkel stands 100% behind the EU 27’s united strategy on Brexit: that it is a bad idea.

Ironically, Merkel believes that Brexit will create a weaker European Union: the only way for the EU to remain strong is with the UK inside of Europe.

So how do the European’s view the Brexit Referendum Vote? European’s see Brexit as a venting: “British working class voters were too cowed to see the Tories for what they were. These voters were directed by a section of the British Elite to vent their anger against Brussels for their woes. The working men and women of Britain were in effect used by the Conservatives for ‘political purposes.”

Dismally, Theresa May is increasingly viewed as the TRUMP OF EUROPE. This description of May as another Trump is based on her assertion that “the EU position on Brexit will lead to foreign imposed uncertainty and instability”.

The European Union is bad for Britain according to Brexiteers because “it will bring grave risk to the British economy’’.

Brexit is a nationalist idea. It is a belief in closed borders. It has seen an upsurge in racism and xenophobia in Britain since the Referendum.

There is more. The 27 EU states may view Brexit with nervousness and decide unity and cohesion is the best way to go: the beginnings of a FEDERAL EUROPE. This is the meaning of irony.

Then, on the other hand, all signs are pointing to the disintegration of the United Kingdom as a result of Brexit.
Scotland will shortly have a second Independence Referendum, and Brexit may push the Scots to leave the Union.

There is great nervousness and anger in Northern Ireland and Wales over Brexit.

The Scots, Welsh, and Irish view Brexit increasingly as an English proposition that is not in their best interests.

What is most alarming about Brexit according to Richter is that the UK has always possessed a ruling culture that is based on “unflinching reality based political assessments”.

Measured calculation has been the hallmark of Britain’s international policies for centuries. The UK has never allowed the outcome of national strategy to rest on “a hunch”.

However, Brexit is changing the Britain of pragmatism and realpolitik. Britain these days looks like she has suddenly changed from a chaste and virtuous spinster, into a carefree ‘belle,’ throwing away her virtues, and tossing her chastity to the wind, running away with a dangerous playboy, and irresponsible wanderlust.

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