The British government is to trigger the infamous Article 50 on Wednesday 29th of this month. This is the mechanism to begin the UK’s departure from the EU. It should apparently take two years to achieve. Maybe.
It is the beginning of – at the very least – a leap into the dark. The seminal joke circulating on Twitter says: ‘Don’t forget, the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday and then back sixty years the following Wednesday’.
This may be a tragedy for the United Kingdom (or, yes, a blithe and fearless ascent into some fluffy Wonderland), but, on the whole, it could be a good thing for the remaining 27 States within Europe.
Two reasons: firstly, because the UK was always the one putting the brakes on the European project and secondly, ensuring that no one else follows the British exit, we can expect a slightly more democratic and sensible Europe – the future Home of Straight (and Curly) Bananas.
The losers in all this are the ones that Spanish Officialdom might describe dismissively as being ‘en una situación irregular’. Those of us who weren’t planned for in the European Utopia: the expatriate British in Europe, the expatriate Europeans in Britain.
Between one thing and another, these so-called ‘bargaining chips’ (who don’t have much political representation) add up to a little over four million souls - the population, for example, of Croatia.
We are left with the European reaction to all this – perhaps London Loves Business can explain:
‘...Fury has erupted by euro-sceptics after Jean-Claude Juncker boasted how harshly Britain will be punished and that no-one else will want to leave the EU. He said that the member states will all “fall in love” with each other again and this will ensure the survival of the Brussels club. Theresa May was also threatened that Britain will have to accept demands on the divorce bill as Brexit negotiators are preparing of up to a £50bn settlement that is regarded as Britain’s share of the liabilities. Mr Juncker was asked by Germany’s Bild am Sonntag about his concerns of other EU member states leaving the EU following our example in quitting. Mr Juncker said: “No. Britain’s example will make everyone realise that it’s not worth leaving.”...’.
Not a happy divorce it seems, but then, they never are...