Brexiteers said Europe was bluffing The British people called Europe's bluff last week.
The problem is, I don't think Europe was bluffing. The negotiations we're headed for are going to be tough, but there is at least an idea emerging of what Britain wants. We would maintain or even deepen our economic relationship with the continent because we are a trading nation that knows well how to take advantage of free markets and efficient capital flows. But alongside that, we'd like to dump the ever encroaching influence of foreign officials over our courts, home affairs and, most importantly, immigration. What divided Right wing Remainers like myself from Brexiteers was the belief that, in the long run, we were likely to get more of what we want inside the EU than outside. We lost that argument. Now we will see if where to sell pandora jewelry the Brexiteers are right. They argued that once Britain voted out, we'd have the EU over a barrel. They'd have to compromise to stop the whole project falling apart and protect their exporters. Once we'd struck a better deal real concessions rather than the chaff we saw in February we could choose to stay or leave as we pleased. But before we start negotiations on this premise, let's have pandora charms sale online some realism. It's true that the EU's politicians fear a break up of the union more than anything else. But by and large, they believe that giving major concessions to Britain after we voted to Leave would actually encourage that disintegration rather than prevent it. Striking an excellent bargain for Britain would open up "a Pandora's box" for the EU, an official for a major EU government told me this week. Why? Because it would send the message that the way to get what you want from Europe is through threats and referendums. Greece tried that. It didn't work. This is not just the view of ideological zealots in Brussels such as Jean Claude Juncker. It is also the view of Germany, whose support will be critical in our negotiations. Germany, the paymaster of Europe, should be our natural and most important ally. Its leaders believe in sensible, market based policies. We are its third biggest export market. And Angela Merkel doesn't do vengeance, she just does what's best for Germany. But unfortunately for us, there's something she fears more than a hit to German exports: an outbreak of referendum fever across the continent. This prospect provokes particular horror in Berlin partly because referendums bring memories of the doomed Weimar Republic. This is why we saw Ms Merkel echoing the words of Mr Juncker on Tuesday, saying Britain cannot "cherry pick" EU policies. This is why EU governments issued a statement to this effect yesterday. Immigration is a sensitive topic on both sides. Neither EU nor German officials want to water down the sterling silver pandora bracelet principle of free movement by granting Britain both good trading terms and immigration control. This is not just a matter of ideology. They believe altering the region's internal migration policy could require opening up and altering the EU's basic treaties. Avoiding treaty change is a German priority because of the enormous opportunity it would give Eurosceptic countries like Poland to unpick huge chunks of EU policy. While Germany wants European reform, its desire to avoid European revolution is greater. Of course, none of this means that Germany or other states' views will not change. Extremist, anti EU parties are on the rise, particularly in the Netherlands, Austria, France and Denmark. Italy will hold a referendum on constitutional reform in October. France and Germany will hold elections for their leaders next year. It's not clear how mainstream parties will react to these events and waiting as long as possible before we move could be to our advantage. If the prospect of Brexit delivers a major blow to the EU economy, the pressure to strike a deal, even one favourable to Britain, could grow. There is also an increasing recognition among EU leaders that jewelry center they might need to change their ways in order to calm their own voters. It is likely they will actually start to work out compromises with Europe's populist forces in the coming years. But they do not want to be seen to do that under duress from Britain. This is where we start our game of chicken with the EU. British voters, and especially Conservative Party members, need to understand it rather than burying their heads in the sand because in a few months' time, we will have a new prime minister and probably also a recession.
The country needs someone at the helm who has the guile, patience and persuasive power to bridge the vast gap in understanding between Britain and the continent as well as wade through the tedious but vitally important provisions of a new deal with Europe. I have doubts about whether Boris Johnson, a man now despised in Brussels and disparaged in German newspapers as a British Donald Trump, can be that person, but perhaps he can surprise us. Whoever does lead us had better be up to the task.
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