A few days ago, Boris Johnson’s governement announced that they would not respect the agreement they made with the EU at the beginning of this year and proudly claimed they would break international Law. After 4 years of battle and efforts, why does the EU bother and doesn’t just go hard?
The UK has not been very cooperative
It’s maybe subjective (not that much) but since the British voted in June 2016, the successive UK governements have not been really cooperative. David Cameron didn’t expect the British would vote for a Brexit, Theresa May was under pressure and her hands were tied while Boris Johnson just came like a spoiled prince who thought he could do anything he wants.
On the other hand, the EU is not perfect either. EU leaders were not soft nor kind. That was their revenge for wanting to leave. Were they right? Probably not about everything but on the point of negotiating and not giving the exiters all tey wished for, the EU was perfectly right.
Loosing the UK is hard for the 27, but they accepted it, managed to keep their budgets and somehow anticipated the economical losses. The EU suffered but has never given up on keeping going and fingind the best agreement possible with the UK. Objectively, the EU made many efforts. While the UK only seemed to be a spoiled child who just realised their actions might have consequences they didn’t expect or like.
The Irish border : the burning point
The only point the EU really fought for is the Irish border. Letting the border open would keep peac between both Irelands. One is part of the UK, the other is a Republic, member of the EU. That’s the EU argument. That we can realy discuss actually (it seems more like an excuse). The English argument is that exiting the EU means leaving it completely and not having a loophole. Yet, both parts came to an agreement by the end of 2019 and the officiel exit took place by the end of January 2020.
Ans that’s exactly on this point that the current UK government is reversing. Clearly, they no longer like the agreement and decided to do whatever they want. Even if it breaks international Law.
Why keeping negotiating?
So, why the EU should bother wasting time? Boris Johnson received bad reviews from many countries all around the world for assuming that the UK will bend trade agreements. Even in the Conservative party, many of its supports left him. Everybody know they are wrong and that is not good for them. They’re loosing responsability and credibility. No country can trust the UK anymore if they changed their mind like that.
The EU should let it go. A hard Brexit was just meant to be. We’ve known it since tthe beginning but nobody wanted to face it. The EU tried to pick up the pieces. In vain. This is a waste of time trying to negotiate with people who won’t respect the rules anyway. And everyone, Europeans as much as British, are fed up with this telenovela.
Let’s remember that in the history, the UK is the one which got the most to lose: money, credibility and allies. The EU can survive without 1 member. Not sure that the UK can survive all alone.