January 29, 2017

Beware of Brexit EU. Britain might not use Euros, but that does not mean the Euro is totally independent of Britain

Sir, Tim Harford writes: “Imagine detaching your steering wheel and flamboyantly discarding it as you race headlong towards your opponent. Victory would be guaranteed. Nobody would drive straight at a car that cannot steer out of the way.”, “Brexit as a game of Chicken” January 28. 

It reminded me that in 1998, on the eve of the Euro, I wrote an Op-Ed titled “Burning the bridges inEurope”, because “in all the abundant legislation that regulates this process, there is no mention whatsoever of how to manage the withdrawal or future regret of any of the union’s members.” That sure was something like discarding the steering wheel.

But looking back at the Euro now, I have also come to believe that part of the glue that has helped the Euro hold together, has to do with the feeling that Britain in EU would be able to help arbitrate and reduce the frictions between Euro’s so dissimilar members.

Therefore the Eurozone should very carefully consider what a bad Brexit would do, not solely to the EU, but also to the Euro. 

Sir, Hartford also writes: “May badly needs to sign a deal with someone –Trump, perhaps, or China’s president Xi Jinping. But neither Trump nor Xi badly need to sign a deal with her. This is not a great starting point.”

I am not so sure about that. The way Trump seems to be digging himself into a hole, he might very well need to sign a big deal with someone. Perhaps “A New English Language Empire”?