Who pays the price of Juncker’s hardline approach?

Further to yesterday’s post on the EU and Brexit, Damian Counsell, he of Pootergeek fame, made some good points on Twitter yesterday:

What Juncker will do with his “punish Britain” approach is impose considerable costs on businesses, citizens, and the national treasuries of EU member states. In other words, he is playing tough with other people’s money. Whereas it is tempting to say that the EU has always ridden roughshod over these concerns, precedent says this is unlikely to happen:

The EU is run by and for the national and business interests of France and Germany. The minute German industry starts to get hit with additional punitive costs imposed by swaggering EU politicians, Merkel’s phone is going to be ringing red-hot. The same goes for Macron. Like Damian, I am sure the EU negotiators will be made very aware of what the costs to European businesses will be every time they suggest taking a hardline approach in one area or another, even if this is not done publicly.

As I’ve said before, I think the EU negotiators have a far bigger headache than the British ones right now. The politicians and bureaucrats at the EU-level have always been about noise and bluster, and when pushed quickly retreat into petty obstructionism (see Greece, for example). For probably the first time in their lives they have been tasked with something which requires real negotiation and the outcome of which will seriously affect those who pay their salaries and maintain their positions, i.e. German and French business interests. It will be interesting to see if they are up to it.

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5 thoughts on “Who pays the price of Juncker’s hardline approach?

  1. Problem will be if Merkel loses. Schulz is a TrEU Believer, a fanatic. Merkel is somewhat of a pragmatist and might have backed down from her principles if German Business could make a good case (not that they can I think, even a rock hard Brexit isn’t particularly worrying to most German businesses as far as I can see). Schulz would prefer to drive the Germany and the EU to the wall than sacrifice on any of the 4 founding principles.
    I think even the most hard line frothy mouthed Lil’ GBers & remoaners would agree with me on that last point. Schulz is perhaps far more a menace to a ‘good’ Brexit (however one defines that) than Juncker.

  2. @dearmie you don’t get to be to Pres of the EU parliament, nor the German Labour Party Leader nor, possibly, the Chancellor Of All Germany (ie Germany and the 27 countries of the Neu Reich) by being stupid. Schulz is many things, few of them good and even fewer good for the UK but stupid he ain’t. He knows what sticking to his guns might mean for the EU, Germany and Brexit.
    Never mistake the German Labour Leader for his English counterpart. Schulz will wipe the floor with May in any negotiation at Prime-minsterial level.

  3. They think they are dealing with Greece.

    Greece: Please give us money, we’re broke
    UK: we’re not broke, and aren’t going to give you any more money.

    Different frames.

  4. even a rock hard Brexit isn’t particularly worrying to most German businesses as far as I can see

    Nor for UK business, since trading under WTO rules is what we do more of than we do with the ‘Single Market’.

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