I see Juncker honed in on the superficiality of the British press and Macon honed in on voters not having had the consequences explained to them. Which suggests they’re a bit sharper at understanding how the land lies on both sides of the fence, than the UK seems to be at understanding how the land lies anywhere at all.
This learned person hits the nail firmly on the head.
SIR – Nick Timothy (Comment, October 20) is right in pointing to Germany’s hegemony within the EU.
His advice is that Mrs May should negotiate with due respect to German national interests. Is this actually possible, and what price would it entail? Mrs May’s first duty after all is to protect British national interests.
As Britain is outside the eurozone, its departure should not affect the value of the euro. The trouble is that Germany clearly wants to undermine the pound by undermining London as Europe’s leading financial centre.
Germany demands an outrageous exit fee from us, too, seeking to limit its future financial commitments to the EU by taking us to the cleaners. It also seeks to enforce the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in a post-Brexit independent Britain. This would limit our national sovereignty.
Generally, Germany is behaving as if it is in its interest to undermine ours.
In these circumstances, paying attention to Germany demands not acts of mutual friendship but the willingness to stand up to a bully. That is Germany’s true status today.
We should walk away from the talks in Brussels and negotiate only when Germany relearns the need for Gleichberechtigung [equal treatment]. It used to demand this for itself. Now it refuses it to others. It will have to learn a new diplomacy. Fortunately, we are not in the same position as the Greeks.
Professor Alan Sked
London School of Economics
Prof Sked really doesn’t like Germany does he!
Why is he singling Germany out, when all 27 are saying the same thing and it’s a Frenchman who’s leading the negotiations? What is Germany demanding that France, for instance, isn’t?
Hitting which nail on the head? Every German politician or business leader that I’ve heard has been a great supporter of Britain and would rather that Brexit didn’t happen. That’s a long way from this idea that Germany is an evil bully pulling the strings while hiding behind the other 26 countries.
(Many Germans are particularly competent when it comes to hitting nails on the head. In bars in many areas they play a game which involves driving nails into a tree stump using what is basically an ice pick. Their level of skill, especially after a Jagermeister or two is pretty impressive.)
I suppose it’s because TM phone Mutti to try and get her onside, and Mutti assured TM that mummy loves her but she has to be a big girl and fight her own battles.
The Germans have been bankrolling the EU for years as a self imposed form of penance. Just imagine how well Germany would perform if it didn’t have the yoke of the EU hanging around its neck.
Having spent many years living in Germany, I am quite pro German, but the fact remains that Germany has used the Euro to great effect to further their wealth at the expense of others, if they still had the DM (which the French insisted had to go and Euro be introduced) the exchange rate would be such that many goods would be beyond non German buyers, thus their GDP etc would be “somewhat different”. It was Germany that failed to do due diligence on Greece’s BoP etc that allowed them into the EU, had they done that task, Greece would not be in the EU. The Germans are disciplined and organised and they will stay that way to look after the fatherland, be under no illusion that France or any other country will get short shrift if they challenge Queen Merkel’s. This is not bias but observation.
If the DM was still their currency the German government would be able to manipulate its exchange rate as others do. The idea that a strong economy results in a strong currency is flawed. Germany has a strong manufacturing base and the sort of export figures that are every Brexiteer’s dream but the government understands the importance of exchange rates to maintain their competitiveness in their export markets. If anything they are hampered by the Euro as they have far less control over the foreign exchange rates for that shared currency than they would for their own. The Germans compensate for that lack of control, anyone buying a new Porsche in Britain is subsidising the same cars sold in the USA, that’s to do with supply and demand within different markets allowing for an average exchange rate. Germany has a strong industrial base that is far more than a committed workforce and modern factories. The whole education system is based around getting the best for the individual child. Those with academic ability are allowed to exploit those strengths, those with more practical ability follow a curriculum appropriate to their needs. Unlike Britain where too many children leave school with worthless certificates illustrating their academic limitations in Germany they leave with professional qualifications that ease their transition into apprenticeships and in work training. Germany’s success has nothing to do with bully boy tactics, it’s far more than that, the success starts within the education system and ends with the world class products that are in great demand. In between their are any number of additional factors that contribute to their success, pick the ones you like; high standards, a classless society, a good work ethic, traditional family values, free higher education, high taxation, an excellent transport infrastructure, an understanding of the importance of being fluent in other languages…
This is not bias, this is observation made during my 26 years of living and working in the country.
We seem to share some views, but I will agree to differ on some aspects. Having first moved to Germany in 1972, I have seen many changes and a few generations, the last 15/20 years being quite different, but some of that is progress. If we went back to the EEC and abandoned Federal EU, each member country would its natural level rather than being driven to something akin to Communism in a different cloak.
Communism? I think we need to be honest, the Germans are very very good at what they do, in fact so are most members of the EU, most of the problems are caused by inept governance.
The Greeks joined the euro, borrowed shed loads of cash and wasted it, the Portuguese did exactly the same thing. The Spanish allowed their housing market to get totally out of control, the Italian governments spent all their time arguing rather than running the country, the French want to stimulate the economy, so they put up tax’s and introduce even more employment law’s. Meanwhile, the Dutch, Belgian’s, Swedish, Finn’s, Germans, Austrian’s, Dane’s all just got on with it.
I wonder what would happen if Bernier stood up and stated that the negotiations were a complete waste of time, and from a week on Monday, its WTO terms with the UK, border controls, customs checks, out of open skies, rescind the financial services passporting rights, basically out without a deal. Should all be quite fun.
But he won’t, because Barnier generally acts like a patient mature adult not a petulent fractious child, and the EU takes its responsibilities towards its citizens in the UK seriously, and it also seems to feel some responsibility towards UK citizens in the EU.
Exactly, so obviously the UK are bluffing, as no one would expect any rational person to quite happily accept all of the above.
No RATIONAL person would. But the UK might.
If Macron thinks it’s a bluff, then he does not know the English very well.
Germany is the EU’s “banker”. If you look at the funds at the ECB that are employed to cover government debts ALL AROUND THE EU, you will see its mostly funds from Germany that allow the EU to do so.
So, just what are you quibbling about if, these past 8-years of resulting economic devastation from America’s Sub-Prime Mess, raised Euro interest rates and almost drove certain countries to the wall? They were saved by the EU that assumed their debt - rather than paying 10/12% market rates.
Blaming Angela for Britain’s self-devised Brexit plight-to-come is simplistic. The Tories want out of the UK, so they have to pay the price - and they knew what that cost-price was from the very beginning.
You seem to have forgot that allowing the UK “special conditions” will simply promote other nations to think “Hey, why not us too!?!”
Brexit is a danger personified should others want to leave …
Well, one can always try.
But, Macron is calling the UK’s bluff.
He learned a thing or two whilst earning his mega-euro salary at the Rothschilds Bank. He is one helluva smart-guy and never to be underestimated …