Britain – a small, uncomfortable nation

“There are two kinds of European nations,” Kristian Jensen, the Danish Finance Minister, said last year, referring to Britain’s situation. “There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.”

—From the New Yorker

Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

“… away from multiculturalism and towards assimilation”

Segregation scars parts of Britain, some immigrant groups remain poorly integrated and minorities within them are hostile to liberal values.

Britain’s genius is its ability to integrate newcomers, January 13, 2017 at 06:03PM

Continue reading Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

Zersetzung, c. 2017

What Russia does today is very much the digital version of what we Germans, before 1989, termed “Zersetzung.”

… political equivalent of what happens when you pour acid on organic material: dissolution and disintegration.

Angela Merkel, Russia’s Next Target, January 11, 2017 at 03:32PM

‘Head in the sand’ negotiation strategy

Concern is growing among some high-ranking officials that ministers don’t understand or won’t admit the scale of the task they’re facing.

UK’s new ambassador to EU named – BBC News, January 5, 2017 at 12:16AM

Bureaucrats aren’t the only ones concerned. So are the remain voters, the media, the financial markets, and I.

Brexit – an EU perspective

Individual motivation:

As an intellectual exercise, managing the multifaceted complexities of Britain’s departure from the EU offers the kind of satisfaction rarely found in policy work. As a historic negotiation without precedent—no country has left the EU before, let alone one of Britain’s size and stature—it is a wonderful CV-builder.

In Brussels, where the talks will take place, officials are scrambling to involve themselves with what one calls “the sexiest file in town”.

Collective motivation:

Officials everywhere insist that their priority will be preserving the interests of the EU, not keeping Britain happy. “This is a negotiation where we have to defend Europe, not undo it,”

The other side:

For the EU, at least, that means placing hope in a British government that it fears may not warrant it. “From a rational point of view, we can’t fail,” says an official in Brussels. “But I’m not sure the rationality is there in the UK.

European negotiators who think it is essential to act as one are staggered to hear some ministers cling to the delusion that Germany’s need to sell cars to British motorists will ensure that Mrs May secures a good deal.

The EU’s Brexit negotiators prepare for disaster, December 21, 2016 at 12:57AM