Europe learned nothing from Brexit – Politico

Dr. Owen Drea is Chief Research Officer at the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies.

It remains remarkable that for such a seismic event, Brexit is still made more visible by its absence in the formulation of future EU strategy. From the Conference on the Future of Europe to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union, Brexit, speech, Britain and the future of Anglo-European relations struggle for Derive a single reference Or a positive syllable.

That in itself is a remarkable achievement given Britain’s unique role in the EU landscape. A European economic giant and 47-year expert in EU policymaking (mostly positive) is now considered less important than Brussels’ undefined vision of connectivity Global Gate.

It is as if – as in the dreams of many Parisians – that Britain did not exist at all.

Sadly, as the first anniversary of Brexit approaches, it is clear that the EU has learned every wrong lesson from divorce. Because of the deliberate provocative actions of successive British governments since 2016, the European Union has been unable to separate the UK’s bark from its bite – and the danger this poses is growing rapidly.

Consider how the EU’s current approach to discussing Britain relies entirely on the “Brexit” strategy.

This is the approach reinforced by the pandemic, which has allowed the European Union to include Brexit in a broader re-imagining of a more important, assertive and global union.

Europe, in its mind, has bigger fish to fry.

But while “Brexit overrun” might make the EU feel better about dispensing with one of its largest members, it is a pitifully short-sighted approach to understanding the potential consequences of Brexit on its long-term development.

Another weakness of the EU’s approach to ‘understanding’ Brexit is that it has focused obsessively on pro-Brexit misrepresentations of Europe.

The “It’s not me, it’s you” approach has built a narrative that sees Brexit as a completely distorted British issue. By feeding the slow tropes of British secession, this plan trapped the European Union in easy tales of British exceptionalism.

No real attempt has been made to place the UK’s involvement in Europe in the specific context of the European integration process. Brexit was not just an entirely British affair. It was also shaped by the strategic choices made in Brussels over several decades.

The EU’s latest misjudgment when it comes to Britain may be the most damaging. Brussels continues to downplay the strategic importance of the United Kingdom and refuses to acknowledge – or even consider – the political risks of a somewhat successful Britain.

The EU’s focus on the crunching technical details of “protecting” the single market – due to Britain’s troublesome but highly effective focus on transforming Northern Ireland – has led to Brussels’ miscalculation of the medium-term risks to Britain as a strategic competitor.

But this danger is real.

The coming years will bring stability to Britain’s domestic politics and refocus the country’s economic priorities in areas where it has its current strengths. Finance, education, security, defense, fintech, and artificial intelligence are just some of those areas that can lead to a relatively stable and dynamic economic framework for the country.

And despite talking about the economic costs of Brexit and COVID-19, the economic outlook for Britain in terms of public debt, economic growth and The unemployment It remains much better than most other major European economies, with the exception of Germany.

Britain is not Italy, no matter how much the EU wants it.

Britain’s return to growth will be complemented by London’s doubling of its strategic partnerships with the United States and other English-speaking economies in the “English Ocean”.

Although utterly derided in the European Union, Britain’s relationship with the United States remains the foundation of its post-EU identity. This is a relationship whose strategic importance is obscured by Brussels’ perceptions of British weakness.

For Westminster, it does not matter whether Britain is seen as Washington’s most important partner – London’s preferred choice – or as a “vassal” of the United States, Vitality arrived Clément Bonn, French Minister of State for European Affairs.

Even subjugation brings the benefits of proximity, importance, and integration into Washington’s broader geopolitical strategies. These are the benefits that other EU member states lack with the Anglosphere, as evidenced by the recent controversy over Australian submarines and AUKUS Defense Charter.

It is clear that the EU needs to adopt a new strategy towards Britain. All the serious talk in Schumann’s cafés in Brussels about ‘punishing’ or ‘strict action’ against Britain if the Northern Ireland protocol Article 16 is invoked Is ridiculous. Europe missed its chance to impose its economic power on Westminster during the Brexit negotiations.

What recent British actions have really shown is that, beyond political plays, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan is simply to keep the Brexit fires burning at home by constantly feeding off the common hostility between England and the European Union. The ultimate goal is the EU’s overreaction to British incitement.

So, rather than succumb to every little British provocation, Europe needs to take a distant view – and claim high ground. Brussels must ignore British threats with a smile, speak the language of strategic partnership with gritty teeth and understand that Brexit does not begin and end with Irish borders and angry French poachers.

There is a much bigger game at play.

Because Britain will not always be a political disaster. Soon it will be a serious economic threat.

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