RNigel Farage, the forefather of Brexit, was there with his rhetoric when the agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom, the Brexit Deal, was announced on December 24th, 2020: “The war is over!”
This is the error of all ideologues who believe that with the fulfillment of their dreams history will come to an end and peace will break out. The bone of contention Europe has only disappeared in one respect, and that only for a small number of five years, until new negotiations are pending in the tiresome case of the fishing quotas. During this time, Brussels and London will be relieved to distance themselves from each other, keep their distance in the style of our Corona timelines, and will have to concentrate on their inner well-being with the greatest urgency.
For the island this means that the public can no longer be beaten with the ritual lie that the EU is responsible for all the injustices of life. The realization will finally break out that the ailing state of British domestic politics has absolutely nothing to do with Brussels, and nothing at all.
No commission, no Brussels directorate has prevented the British from making their own misfortunes. One less whipping boy is available when the horrific imbalance in the structure of the regions, the productivity deficit in the economy or the dramatic crisis in the housing market are more clearly visible than the quarrel over Brexit recently allowed. Instead, a potential whipping boy has been added – the government, whose responsibility can no longer be shaken.
“A withdrawal is not a victory!”
Johnson personally will soon feel how the wind is turning and, just like on his desk, alone there, claims for recourse will arise if little or nothing changes after the self-evacuation from the EU, except – oh dear – the increase in bureaucratic hurdles in the Trade with Europe. Soon he will too Churchills As the nation celebrated the miraculous salvation of its troops from the Flemish beaches like a victory and the prime minister warned against it: “A withdrawal is not a victory!”
Because the insistence on the classic concept of sovereignty, with the acceptance of all the costs associated with it, is a grip on history that is no longer shared by the majority of British people. Certainly, they are more attached to national freedom of movement than continental European states may. That is in the gene of an island mentality.
But the junction that the Brexiteers liked to fool the electorate into believing that more sovereignty also means more power and influence will not stand the test of time, despite all the benevolence we concede to the British Pappenheimer. Rather, such a belief sprang from the illusion of a would-be greatness of national importance that contradicts the diverse global networks in the here and now.
Great Britain is a “soft power” of outstanding charisma, without a doubt a top-class cultural attraction factor. But politically, even this advantage loses its importance through a go-it-alone strategy, for example if the island decouples itself from Europe in the field of education (for example in the Erasmus program). Rather, the scales will lean towards the other definition of sovereignty, the Ursula von der Leyen lecture on December 24th in Brussels: “Bundling strengths, working, traveling, studying and doing business in 27 countries without barriers.”
How history has turned for England since King George VI. after the fall of France in 1940, wrote to his mother, Maria von Teck, that he was “much happier now that we no longer have any allies to whom we have to be polite and pampered”.
How does Boris Johnson for his part intend to compensate for the loss of “allies”? What strategies does the EU have to adapt to if London wants to honor its newfound freedom from January 1st? The answer to this is extremely poor in Johnson’s first interview with his house paper, the Sunday edition of the Daily Telegraph.
Apart from great promises of upcoming dynamics, it has nothing concrete to offer, since the control of the Covid crisis has recently demanded all strength, and with more than unsatisfactory results, for which one can already see the fickleness of the Downing Street blames. Every departure is also subject to the conditions of the negotiated contract, according to which neither partner may lower the standard of the applicable labor market conditions in order to gain a competitive advantage over the other.
Ultimately, the deal is little more than a facade of absolute commercial freedom. The only thing the prime minister is promising is financial support for the corona-stricken economy. But such state aid to alleviate the ruinous consequences of the coronavirus is permitted for all European governments, outside of the contractual conditions that prohibit state support interventions with threats of punishment in order to preserve the “level playing field”.
The truth behind the lack of concrete plans, in addition to the overstrain caused by the Covid crisis, is thoroughly sobering: After being exhausted from the almost five-year Brexit struggle, Boris Johnson finds a deeply divided nation that has yet to find the right strand, where she could pull herself up.
Any comparison with 1940 is wrong: Churchill had behind him a population united in the resistance, plus an unequivocally clear enemy image. Both are missing today. The people remain at odds over the blessing or curse of Brexit, and the enemy is defying clear definition. More virus variants could emerge, and the economic recovery is a matter of conflicting speculation. Added to this is the veritable sword of Damocles – the cohesion of the kingdom, the threatening one scottish Spin-off.
The war is over, said Michael Farage, who, like his peers, had lost sight of the internal crisis through “Brussels”. That is, in fact, over – while the real war for equilibrium in Britain is now beginning.