The EU isn’t doing very well at these negotiations…
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government fears Brexit talks will break down unless the European Union gives ground at a key summit this week, according to a person familiar with her team’s views.
She’s trying to help. There’s no way they can succeed without agreeing to British demands. Isn’t that obvious? How else could they possibly achieve an agreement?
That was my immediate translation when I saw this headline yesterday:
Theresa May and David Davis to travel to Brussels for urgent Brexit talks
Obviously the British are trying to create an impression of comity with the EU negotiators, to show that misunderstandings are being swept aside, and the negotiations are now going to run smoothly. An impression that is not fostered by this:
Though Downing Street insisted the dinner had long been in May’s diary, EU sources suggested it may have been more last-minute, but were not able to provide confirmation.
I saw this headline in the Daily Mail yesterday:
Pity the poor NHS. Doing its job perfectly, but being cruelly let down by the shiftless population. To paraphrase Bertolt Brecht, perhaps it would be better were the NHS to carry out a root-and-branch reform of the British public. Eliminate waste. Get rid of the dead wood.
Ten years ago, still living in Canada, I had to look into the procedures for acquiring the right to work in the UK. As my partner is German, and would be working here as well, I had the right to live and work here under EU law. The procedure looked easier, and it would be free. Instead, I chose to spend hundreds of dollars to get my own UK work permit. Why? Looking at comments on various web forums I got the general impression that the UK authorities were generally hostile toward the EU. It seemed to me that I could have trouble if the laws or circumstances changed, and the UK bureaucrats felt that I had evaded their laws to sneak into the country under colour of foreign laws. I wanted to have my rights registered under UK law.
Here is what could have happened otherwise:
A Spanish woman who has lived in the UK for 15 years has accused the Home Office of treating her family like criminals after her American husband and the father of her three children applied for a permanent residency (PR) card.
In a three-year ordeal, the Home Office threatened to deport the historian Stuart Ross three times, suggested he was lying about his wife’s work as a Spanish language teacher and refused to accept a judge’s verdict in a Belfast court that officials had been wrong to refuse him a PR card when he first applied in 2013.