Why Germany will ensure a painless Brexit
Germany is quintessentially pragmatic when dealing with conflictual situations. That's why they will ensure Brexit is as smooth and painless as possible for all concerned. Berlin won't play Project Fear when it comes to the crunch
On Sunday, we ran a short, but widely read, news item based on several weeks talking to German and American officials. It suggests that Germany has already begun making provisions for Brexit.
That should not be surprising. The country's political classes are highly sophisticated, and nothing if not pragmatic when it comes to potentially conflictual situations with countries that are now great friends, but once were mortal enemies.
No-one has a crystal ball. But with the latest polling suggesting a 50-50 split in Britain, the fact that Brexiteers are much more motivated to turn out probably means that, as things stand today, Britain will indeed vote in June to leave the European Union.
Project Fear -- an entirely negative campaign led by David Cameron and the European Commission -- has failed to frighten Britons into believing it will all go to pot if we leave the EU.
As that news article points out, Germany will immediately drop the "Punish Britain" rhetoric -- not that Berlin has been playing that card very hard anyway -- and will use its considerable influence to calm everyone down if we do in fact vote to leave.
That's the right way to go. The campaign in Britain is understandably very heated right now. But, both inside Britain and between Britain and our European friends, it is vital that cool heads prevail.
They will. And they will because great relations with Britain outside the EU are in everyone's best interests. Germany's manufacturers make vast sums of money as Britons buy their admirable, world-class products. Long may that continue. And it will.
Strategically, Britain has an enormous amount to offer Europe, as Europe does to Britain. We can and will work just as closely on security after Brexit as we do now.
It's just that we don't need or want our laws to be made in Brussels. That's all.
So, will Europhiles please calm down about Brexit? You will be amazed how painless it is going to be.
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