The centuries old push and pull between Great Britain and the continent continues. The latest move in the culturally complex political chess game between Britain and the EU regarding Britain’s future status in the organization came via a statement from European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure Wednesday.
The July 9th statement from Coeure is rather coincidentally timed with yesterday’s leak of comments by likely new European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker seen as supportive of Britain’s efforts at greater autonomy within the EU.
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Coeure statement on Brexit
Coeure is quoted as saying Brexit (a British exit from the EU) would create an “enormous shock” to the organization that would be “very difficult to manage” at a roundtable discussion in Athens. He also said, “We are in effort to bring capital markets together, we don’t need that kind of shock.”
Recent Juncker comments
In a leaked recording of a meeting with a number of national EU representatives in Brussels on Tuesday, Juncker said that he does “not want the EU without Britain”.
He continued to say, “I would like Britain to stay as an active constructive member of the European Union. If Britain puts forward a proposal it will be taken under consideration.I am not in principle saying that no kind of repatriation can take place. If Westminster wants to recover competences, OK. If the others agree, it shall be done be done.”
British and EU rapprochement?
Political analysts on both sides of the channel are starting to take note of a possible rapprochement between British and EU political leaders. They point out that a Brexit would likely be enormously expensive for all parties involved, both economically and politically, and that some type of compromise regarding Britain’s demands/requests for greater autonomy still seems like the most likely outcome.
Moreover, the statements emanating from EU officials in Brussels this week seem to bolster the chances that compromise is in the air and a Brexit can be avoided, at least for the next few years.