Sonntag, 31. Mai 2020

Großbritanniens riskante Strategie Warum Angela Merkel und Theresa May so entzweit sind

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Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat die Europäer aufgerufen, ihr Schicksal stärker selbst in die Hand zu nehmen. Auf die US-Amerikaner und die Briten sei nicht mehr wie zuvor Verlass. Gerade in Bezug auf Großbritanniens Premier Theresa May ist die Entfremdung Merkels inzwischen elementar.

Editor's Note: The article was originally published in The Guardian.

Here is important news for the British prime minister and her media acolytes: It isn't just Jean-Claude Juncker who believes that Mrs. May lives in another galaxy. Most leaders in continental Europe believe that. This includes Angela Merkel.

Stephan-Götz Richter

The German chancellor never took kindly to May's blatant attempt early on after the Brexit vote to create a "W2" - an alliance of the two powerful ladies of Europe - to get Britain a special deal.

That has always been a pipe dream. Merkel is firmly driven by safeguarding Europe's future, not the pursuit of gender-based political deals.

Truth be told, the German chancellor must increasingly feel as if she is dealing with a female Erdogan at Downing Street No. 10 - a British leader so wrapped in her own world that she has lost touch not just with European realities, but the fundamentals of international negotiations.

Definitely not doing the "British thing"

For a Turkish President to act in an aloof, shrill and pompous manner is one thing. For a British prime minister to do likewise s something else completely.

The total absence of any sense of realism and pragmatism in May's camp represents a profound culture shock not just for official Berlin, but all European capitals.

Contrary to her own claims, Mrs. May is not at all acting in a Churchillian manner. Rather than doing "the British thing" and pragmatically adjusting the nation's flawed strategy post-haste, May and her party are digging themselves in and resorting to Macho-style rituals of self-assurance.

As a matter of fact, May is acting in the style of German politicians of yesteryear.

"Divide and rule" not working

But it isn't just continental Europe that is shocked. In a purely domestic British context, the people of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have plenty of reason to be shocked as well.

They could only dream of having a prime minister that would be as concerned about internal unity and cohesion as the leaders of the EU 27 nations have proven to be.

On the Brexit matter, 27 different nations are showing a sense of internal cohesion and solidarity with one another that is far greater than what Theresa May has been willing to accord to the constituent parts of her supposedly "United" Kingdom. To have her way, she risks the disintegration of the UK.

No wonder she and her ministers are going berserk over the EU 27's unified stance on the negotiating mandate.

The Tories are also furious because their customary "divide and rule" strategy toward Europe does not work at all. The British art of "splittism" failed very early on - in the very moment that the Brexit campaign zeroed in so centrally on Polish workers in the UK.

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