September 24, 2018

Does Britain still have sufficient resolve capacity? If yes, perhaps a no-deal Brexit could be a good time to exercise that muscle.

Sir, Wolfgang Münchau though he states“If the UK were to crash out of the EU I doubt the bloc’s leaders would sit down to negotiate” he also a bit contradictory opines“the EU has a much lower political pain threshold for a hard Brexit.” “A no-deal Brexit creeps closer” September 24.

Even though the debates on Brexit seem to have been politically skewed to only mention Britain suffering from Brexit, in any which shape it comes, I agree with Münchau on that the EU could also suffer a lot of political pain.

I am not a Brit. Way back I spent a year in London practicing at a now sadly extinct merchant bank, and studying at London Business School and London School of Economics. I have also had English corporations as clients, and of course I have many good friends there. So let me say the following from the heart.

If Britain has the needed resolve capacity to take on a no-deal Brexit then, having to use it could help to strengthen its resolve capacity for the many other probably even larger challenges awaiting them and all of us around the corner. If Britain does not have it, then accommodating to EU wishes, will de facto also weaken its general inventory of resolve capacity.

All that is made worse by the fact that in many ways many of EU’s “successes” seem more the result of heavy marketing by the European Commission, than grounded on real results. For me that EU has not been able in twenty years to really tackle the challenges posed by the euro; and that after its own authorities assigned a risk weight of 0% to Greece, it left that nation to pay on its own for the over-indebtedness that had to result, makes it clear that something very serious is amiss in the EU. In fact, when I see some of its promo material such as regulating the entrance fees to a monastery in Romania I have even caught myself thinking of a Banana Union.

At the time of the Winter Olympics, I was blown away when I saw the enthusiasm of Italy’s Soffia Goggia singing her national anthem after getting a gold medal. Surely few would sing the European anthem that way. And though I know, after looking it up on the web, that Maryland USA, were I live, has an anthem I have never ever heard it.

Sir, creating a Union is something that also needs a lot of heart put into it. Do those hearts exist sufficiently in Britain or in Europe? If the answer is no, then perhaps it would not be contrary for Britain to exercise some of its resolve capacity now. Like with any other muscle, if you do not use it you lose it.