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Boris Johnson may have saved the EU

It's hard to remember now, but until recently, many people thought that Brexit would trigger a rush to the EU. After the British vote, Europhobe politicians, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, tried to replicate the result in France and the Netherlands. In October 2016, the British newspaper Daily Express announced: "Europe is in trouble as the countries of the continent are preparing to hold their own referendums on membership of the super-state."

Donald Trump then arrived at the Brexiters commercial future. Just before taking office, he assured Brexit Michael Gove in a newspaper interview: "I am a big fan of the UK We will work very hard to do it quickly and correctly." Last February, Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian far-right league, has compared the EU to "a Titanic about to sink." When Salvini helped form a eurosceptic government this spring, even sane people s & # 39; Expected that he would sink the EU ship.

But since then, the risk has virtually disappeared. It's largely because we now know one thing about of Brexit: it will be a failure, in the sense that it will worsen the lives of the British Brexit saved the EU

Most of the time, the Brexit looks like the worst British comic series of all time : a robotic main character, with a couple of British eccentrics; endless ureaucratic; and almost no development of the plot. Yet this month, something finally happened: the British cabinet, meeting at Prime Minister Theresa May's country house, Checkers, gave up "hard Brexit". It had been the fantasy (or "dream", to use Boris Johnson's words) that the UK would let all the European institutions and planes in the world sign extraordinary trade agreements. After the cabinet decision, several senior conservatives resigned. However, they do not even have the majority within their party to revive the tough Brexit, just as their fantasy trading partner has just launched an international trade war.

This leaves the UK with three options: 1. "Sweet Brexit", which means paying the EU for it to obey almost all its rules, accepting "colony status", as Johnson says, and renouncing trade agreements. 2. Brexit no way out: escaping from the EU, waiting lines at the border, ground flights, the Royal Air Force delivering food and medicine, etc. 3. No Brexit.

Whatever the option chosen by the United Kingdom, the end result is now clear: British humiliation. The Brexiters will blame it in May and the EU, while the Remains will blame the Brexit, but both will agree that it is humiliation. One must really love 19th century sovereignty (or consider oneself out of the economy, which probably means retiree) to continue to support Brexit.

Most Europeans were bored of Brexit for a long time, but partly because of English dominance. from the European public sphere, they are vaguely aware that British master planners are in the soup. The joke travels the continent in a way that would not be if it was playing in Germany, which remains a mysterious black box for most Europeans. In covering the World Cup, I even noticed that Boris Johnson (Boris Johnson) was in fashion on the Russian Twitter.

And the failure of Brexit fits into a continuum. In 2015, the Greek government of Syriza tried to renegotiate its relations with the EU, or maybe leave, and failed as well. Today, Syriza is a docile pro-EU government. The new Italian government has already stopped talking about leaving the EU or the euro, frightened by the peaks of Italian bond yields this spring. In France, Le Pen now says, "We can improve the daily life of the French without leaving Europe or the euro."

Explaining her change of opinion, she admits, "We have heard the French. "And not just the French: support for the EU around the continent is at its highest since 1983, according to the European Commission's survey of 27,601 people in April. Brexit has converted many young Britons into fanatical Europhiles of a type that hardly existed in the UK before. The EU has also acquired the perfect outside enemy: Trump is even less popular in Europe than at home, so when he calls the EU an "enemy" he helps to unite the Europeans behind him.


The populists quietly leave EU out of their offer. They will still have enough to tell. They can simply become meaner: Salvini is now hitting migrants all the time. Vladimir Putin supplants Brexit as the last populist geopolitical cause. However, Brexit can persuade many voters that slogans are what populists do best.

The vote for Brexit was in part an attempt to relive the high emotional levels of the Second World War in Britain. Rightly, Brexit will probably end up restoring Britain's unselfish rescue from mainland Europe, but this time as a joke. Johnson will remain in history as a European hero: the man who saved the EU at its moment of peril. It took a sacrifice to bury the whole question of leaving Europe, and the UK came first. Like the EU or hate it, the British have shown that you can not leave it. For better or for worse, the EU now seems as inevitable as capitalism.

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