Well, that was predictable. Yesterday Teresa May sent her formal letter to the EU invoking article 50. Apart from flowery words it also contained threats. May tried to play hardball, threatening the EU that Britain would be less co-operative on security issues if May didn’t get simultaneous talks on the exit settlement and new trade arrangements. Needless to say, the threat impressed no-one. Within a few hours she’d got a ‘Nein’ from Angela Merkel and ‘Non’ from François Hollande which exposed just how hollow and stupid the Brexit slogan of ‘take back control’ really was. We’ve not taken control, we’ve thrown it away. Now the negotiations start in earnest and it’s becoming painfully obvious who holds all the cards – and it ain’t us – although (with typical English arrogance), Brexit fans think it is. When the truth can no longer be blocked out, it’s going to hit some people very hard.
This was all so predictable. But would the Quitlings listen? We are in for some very, very difficult times in the next two years.
The Guardian newspaper has taken the time to do what Brexit fans never do – listen to what Europe thinks. Here’s the view from various newspapers in EU countries. It makes interesting but depressing reading.