Germany ‘Prepared to Wave Goodbye to Britain’

It is no coincidence that on the same day Merkel visited Cameron, virtually all of Britain’s main newspapers ran stories highlighting Germany’s mounting frustration.

Listen, Britain. Germany’s Had Enough of You,” stated the headline in the Times. In the article, Alan Posener cites a recent editorial from the political editor of Bild, Germany’s most influential newspaper, making the case that Turkey is now more integrated and on better terms with Europe than Britain. “One way or another, Turkey is becoming more relevant to discussions on the future of Europe than Britain,’ concluded Posener.

Meanwhile, German politicians and the German media—many of whom have up till now preferred to see Britain remain in the EU—are also beginning to more openly vent their frustration and hopelessness. Last month, Spiegel Online reported how Chancellor Merkel once went out of her way to keep Britain in Europe—but not anymore. Merkel’s hopes for a Europe with Britain “have now been dashed,” it wrote. “The German government is convinced that the Euro Group will be the core of a new, more deeply integrated Europe.” The article compared Britain to Statler and Waldorf, the two muppets that sit in a box and hurl insults at the performers on The Muppet Show. (Several British papers reported that the comparison came directly from a frustrated Angela Merkel.)

George Parker and Quentin Peel, writing in the Financial Times recently, lamented the inevitable divorce. “In spite of the personal rapport, the two leaders [Merkel and Cameron] are heading in different directions,” they wrote. “From Berlin’s perspective, this impending drama is just another staging post in Britain’s protracted departure from the European mainstream and—potentially—its exit from the EU altogether.”

“The mood towards the UK in the German political establishment is a mix of exasperation and deep concern,” they wrote.

It’s easy to see where this is headed. Sometimes an unhappy relationship can be temporarily preserved, even as resentment and frustration continue to mount, as long as one party still desires the relationship, and is willing to compromise and work hard to keep it alive. That’s kind of the way the Britain-EU relationship has been ever since Britain joined the European Community in January 1973.

But what happens when both sides in a relationship become resentful, frustrated and angry?

We all know the answer: separation.

Full article: Germany ‘Prepared to Wave Goodbye to Britain’ (The Trumpet)

Comments are closed.