August 10, 2018

It behooves EU technocrats to find out what Europeans want and do not want to come out of Brexit.

Sir, Karin Kneissl, even by daring to explain some historical reasons for why Britain might not really belong in EU, makes a firm and clear call, to all the parties directly involved in the Brexit negotiations, to come back to their common senses. “A pragmatic approach to Brexit will pay off for both sides” August 10.

Hopefully it will give those many in Britain (including some in FT) who seem to want Brexit to fail, big, so that they can say their “We told you so”, some reason to recapacitate. Of course many of them, just like many Trump enemies in the US, are beyond the point where they would be able to do so.

If Karin Kneissl wants to help even more she should give Mr. Negotiator Barnier a call, and remind him that it behooves him, and all other EU technocrats, to find out what Europeans want and do not want to come out of Brexit. That this has not been done is sincerely amazing and only points to way too much besserwisser arrogance playing a role.

And Sir, if Brexit fails big, it is not certain at all that the loudest protesters would be British. Among Europeans, Britain counts with much more sympathy than what all commissioners, whose egos were hurt with Brexit, think it has. A French finding it harder to visit London is just as likely to be upset than a Brit finding it harder to visit Paris… perhaps even more “Mon Dieu, que dirait de Gaulle?”