The people driving the EU would have been for awful divorce attorneys. If you want to consummate a deal quickly, you don't stand there saber rattling. You take a deep breathe and acknowledge that there's some tough negotiating ahead that will take time. The notion that you're going to be punitive in the hope of intimidating other nations from leaving suggests a lack of understanding of human nature. (Then again, it is the EU.) Alternatively, if speed of the divorce is your focus, accepting many of the other party' demands is the way to proceed.

The EU is a confederation, and as such, survives only by providing a compelling reason for its member states to maintain their membership. While the EU has its problems/limitations, it could have been reformed. That it wasn't (and hasn't had much discussion of that need) suggests that the UK will not be the only country leaving it. For the purposes of trading and harmonization of legal matters, the EU has a raison d'être.

It's worth noting that you've had a sustained period when there was no fighting in Western or Central Europe. Has there been a similar period before? Perhaps between 1815 and 1870? I guess that depends on how one looks at 1848.





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1 Comment so far

  1. russell thomas on July 6, 2016 10:37 am

    It is debatable whether the EU is the reason for peace during the current period. The EU in its current form is relatively new, 20 to 30 yes old roughly as it started out as a small trading bloc, originally France did not want UK to join in the early days. My reasoning is NATO and separate from NATO is France, UK and Russia have nuclear weapons since the second world war ended, a big reason for peace. So I see the EU as a spurious correlation for peace ? Its possible if EU does not adapt and become pragmatic it may do more harm for peace in the long run if it breaks up badly.


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