The UK should think again over Brexit.
The US is not the only great nation hobbled by the overreaching of its leadership. Boris Johnson, never known for modesty, for care, or for constructive thoughtfulness allowed his original reach for the Premiership to be built around a complete misreading of his negotiating power with Brussels.
The negotiations have always had to deal with two intransigent positions – and neither are to do with Ireland.
The first concerns fishing rights. The second – the degree to which an independent UK could support designated key industries of the future with cheap sovereign funding. The EU cannot give way on either point. On the first, its northern member states have their own significant fishing needs that must be met. As to the second the future of the EU depends on its building its own new technologies on the back of its hard won and enormous common market. For these powerful reasons the EU cannot and will not make an exception. This was never a club nations could treat capriciously, flexing rules and regulations to suit their latest whim.
But there is something more at work here. The EU is already facing multiple challenges to its rules from the nouveau arriviste former vassal states of the USSR. It is only too aware that the challenge of migrants will further test its resolve, and it is confronting extremist populism throughout its continent. This is not the time politically to show any hesitation. This is the moment for resolve and firm commitment.
Johnson wrongly thought he could push his way to an agreement. He gambled on using his bully pulpit to threaten those he caricatured as foreign speaking bureaucrats. He has gambled and he will lose.
The UK has always been diffident about its role in Europe. Johnson, ever the opportunistic chancer, saw this as his ticket to power. He should think again. The future of the UK lies not with the USA happily 3000 miles away but with the Europe just 23 miles across the Channel. The challenge now is to start over and to commit to making the EU, already an almost success, the major economic force it could become.
The UK is running out of bluster, it is running out of time, and it is running in the wrong direction. It has barely one week to make up its mind – it must think again.
Have a good day, James