Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A divorce without a separation

20 March 2019

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On 29 March 2017, the UK PM wrote to the “European Council President Donald Tusk to notify him of the UK’s intention to leave the EU” (UK gov). For 2 years, both parties have been negotiating their divorce and separation. Two years later, it appears that the UK wants a divorce without a separation.

On 18 March, the Independent gave another – and quite funny – comparison:

“France’s minister for European affairs says she has named her cat “Brexit” on account of its indecisive nature. Nathalie Loiseau told Le Journal du Dimanche that her pet meows loudly to be let out each morning, but then refuses to go outside when she opens the door.” Actually, my mother’s cat does the very same……

Most likely, the UK and the EU-27 will negotiate a delay of the UK’s departing date in order to avoid an embarrassing blame game. Possibly, this delay will even match the current 2014-2020 EU budget cycle. At this moment, it’s highly unlikely that the UK would then want to participate in the new seven year EU budget cycle of 2021-2027.

To a large extent, a divorce without a separation resembles Norway’s relations with the EU. Unfortunately, the UK still believes that it can opt-in for certain EU benefits (ie, trade) while opting-out of the remainder (eg, EU contributions, EU directives). The EU would collapse the moment it would consider a cafetaria model.

UK Parliament voted overwhelmingly (334-85) not to support a second Brexit referendum (eg, the Hill). This also implies that the outcome of the next UK General Elections will de-facto result in a 2nd referendum on leaving or staying in the European Union. The next UK General Elections are in 2022, at the very latest.

The extreme political chaos in the UK – and USA – cannot be separated from its political system of bipartisanship. Essentially, the two main political parties (i) view each other increasingly as enemies, (ii) do not trust each other, and (iii) are thus unwilling to cooperate. Without bipartisanship, countries have no choice but to cooperate and create a coalition government.

Interestingly, the Financial Times recently wrote that “the UK’s splintering politics makes it more European” and that its “system is fragmenting in similar ways in response to economic and social pressures”. European countries are familiar with political chaos (eg, Italy) but never ever to the extent that we are now witnessing in UK and USA.

A divorce without a separation is doomed to fail as (negative) emotions (eg, still no independence) will always be stronger than (positiveratio (eg, on trade benefits).

Some hilarious Groucho Marx quotes on marriage:

  • Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?
  • The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his checkbook open.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E (1968) by Tammy Wynette (1942-1998)

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E; becomes final today

Me and little J-O-E will be goin’ away

I love you both and this will be pure H-E double L for me

Oh, I wish that we could stop this D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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