The EU Continues to Wobble While France Holds It to Ransom, by Martin Jay

The Brexit negotiations continue to highlight the weakness of the EU. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:

Too many signs have shown us that the EU is in real trouble. The worst one possibly is that its own outdated idea about governance is replicated by a French leader facing defeat. What losers!

In practical terms, it is clear to see that the EU as a viable project is not only in a panic mode currently, but actually going backwards in its desire to model itself on a United States of Europe federal model. And there can be no better examples than Brexit negotiations, Covid and France’s current malaise.

At the eleventh hour we have seen how, despite Britain remaining steadfast to its demands at the negotiations for a departure from the European Union, the EU itself shoots itself in both feet and looks even to its own supporters to be a loser of the highest order. Last minute demands are thrown into the negotiations by France’s Macron who is fearful of his own presidency hopes being scuppered if he has to deal with the wrath of thousands of French fishermen who will be out of a living by January 1st – if Britain is to get back full control of her own waters. To counter this with new demands about how the UK, as a non-member of the EU, goes about its business internally is both hilarious and desperate. Of course as a non-member of the bloc the UK will have its own ideas about how government interacts with business and state aid rules. How did a desperate French president threw this into the negotiations at really the eleventh hour demonstrates how weak the EU is and when it is presented with important matters, how it plays the role of a cheap girlfriend to its real masters. The fact that France could be allowed to do this is shocking. But the truth is that Macron is not playing for a deal. He prefers a no deal which he can use as political capital for his own fishermen. And the EU almost fell for it. Clearly there are divisions within the EU as to how to go about getting a Brexit. Many member states, like Germany, for example, are happy to give back fishing rights to the UK in exchange for a Brexit deal. Doesn’t the EU have billions of euros at its disposal to compensate and retrain out of work citizens? Of course it does. Structural funds run into billions and there is no viable reason why the existing EU rules would not favour out of work French fisherman.

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