All or Nothing

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BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME (Own report) – London’s government crisis escalated yesterday under the pressure of Berlin and the EU’s unaccomplishable Brexit requirements. Prime Minster Theresa May has barely survived a vote of confidence, which was ultimately triggered by the so-called backstop. Brussels insists on a regulation, which could indefinitely subjugate Great Britain to a customs union, without an option for a unilateral withdrawal and erect a trade border between two areas of the United Kingdom. These provisions are in Germany’s interests, but they will plunge Great Britain into chaos. The current government crisis in France is largely due to the austerity programs imposed by Berlin on Paris – while refusing to make any concessions at the EU level. In France and Great Britain, the extreme right is profiting, like in Italy, where Berlin’s drastic austerity dictates, have already crushed the traditional political establishment.

EU Prison of Nations

Berlin and Brussels’ refusal to grant even the slightest concessions concerning the so-called backstop was the ultimate trigger for escalating Great Britain’s government crisis. The backstop stipulates how to proceed, if London and Brussels cannot agree on consensual arrangements for their future relations: The UK would stay in a customs union with the EU and Northern Ireland would also stay in the single market. Remaining in the customs union is unacceptable for Brexit proponents, because it deprives London of the strategically important option of concluding its own free trade agreements. On the other hand, Northern Ireland’s special treatment arouses indignation even among numerous proponents for remaining within the EU: It would lead to permanent trade controls between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and to a division of the country. This would be tantamount to – using a German example – establishing permanent customs controls between Bavaria and Baden Wurttemberg. Even if a majority in the British establishment may have tolerated these two annoyances for a limited period, that also has been undermined by the EU. It insists on the backstop being permanent – and that London may only evade it with EU consent. This would possibly lock the United Kingdom into the customs union and a divided national situation – from now on.

Threatened with a Loss of Control

Even though the backstop is in full compliance with German-EU interests, Berlin and Brussels are now also aiming – with Great Britain being muzzled – at possibly forcing a reversal of the democratic decision to withdraw from the Union. After having achieved a Brexit agreement that is intolerable for the United Kingdom, London will be left with no other option than to repeat the referendum, it is said. Tuesday, the Chair of Germany’s SPD, Andrea Nahles, stated that Great Britain should “reconsider” the Brexit, thereby explicitly confirming this option.[1] Within the British establishment, on the other hand, there is a majority that does not – yet – dare to take that step backwards. It is feared that, should a second referendum come out in favor of remaining in the EU, this would lead to a long-term division of the country and a massive loss of the London elite’s control. Many are warning that a large portion of the 17.4 million, favoring Brexit on June 23, 2016, would feel cheated out of their referendum victory and betrayed by the establishment. Even though its party structure has been seriously weakened by leadership conflicts and hefty factional infighting, and in spite of its popular former leader Nigel Farage having quit the party, UKIP is already beginning to regain some of its former strength. Following the referendum victory, it sank into insignificance, hoping, at best, for two percent. However, today it can hope for eight percent at the polls.

“Merci, Monsieur Macron!”

No Longer a “Budgetary Model”

Confrontational Opposition from the Right

Characteristic Feature of German Politics

The German policy in relation to the EU’s 3 politically and economically strongest countries – after Germany – has not only the common feature that Germany pursues its own interests, no matter what, regardless of those of its allies, risking enormous government crises in London, Paris, and Rome. In each case, there are also strong German economic interests hanging in the balance. In the case of the “hard” Brexit, German industry stands to suffer losses in the double-digit billions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) Further escalation of the crisis in France also threatens German economic interests. If Italian banks collapse, this could even lead to the collapse of the euro – with unpredictable consequences. The German government banks on an “all or nothing” policy – a maxim that has remained a characteristic feature of Berlin’s foreign policy for nearly 150 years, which has twice plunged Germany into collapse, not to mention the damage caused to neighboring countries.

Full article: All or Nothing (German Foreign Policy)

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