Franco-German Split Gives UK Rare Opportunity
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  • Neville

    The only thing wrong with this rosy scenario is that the French would rather take the entire European banking system down with them than accept this kind of catastrophic defeat, especially to the British.

    De Gaulle showed his willingness to do something similar in 1965, when he attacked the dollar (Time magazine said “Perhaps never before had a chief of state launched such an open assault on the monetary power of a friendly nation”).

    The image the French wish to preserve of their relative position in Europe stands in their priorities well above any risk of economic chaos in Europe, especially if that chaos would also hit Britain and Germany hard.

  • Eurydice

    How fascinating. If one connects the dots, the US can skip right over France. And we can watch these new layers of political influence being carved out in real time. Will France’s dream of global influence be reduced down to being the shepherd of Club Med?

  • Andrew Allison

    Regardless of whether Britain succeeds in weakening the French-German axis, it seems clear that France is faced with the choice of playing second fiddle in the Eurozone or leading the Club Med menagerie, er orchestra.

  • Luke Lea

    @ – “ensuring that non-euro states won’t be frozen out of future EU plans.” Could Meade please elaborate? Is this in reference to other British Commonwealth nations? I presume it isn’t Turkey.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Only 17 member states of the EU use the euro. Many others do not.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    The British wisely avoided joining the Euro, and they will wisely avoid being damaged by the fall of the Euro. In fact they will likely experience a capital influx by those seeking to protect their capital from the Euro’s demise. I don’t see them helping Germany with anything beyond moral support, and certainly not with closer financial integration with the slow motion Euro train wreck. With so many leadership changes in Europe, Merkel is looking more and more like a lame duck, working against the German voters’ wishes, which are clearly against bailing out the PIIGS.
    The European political elites which cobbled the EU together with Duct tape and Bailing wire, forcing things together with however much red tape it took (thousands upon thousands of pages), are now facing a stress test of their contraption. It will not survive.

  • PaulH

    So, if I wll understand, Britain want take the place of France as EU driver but…without being an Euro player.
    I’m not sure the rest of the Europlayers (starting with Germany) will accept that.
    In an other hand, for historical and political reasons, even being very pragmatic (or for being it!), I am not sure that Germany has the willing to kick France out.

  • Kris

    Might you be overstating this? All I get from the article is that the UK would accede to Germany’s plans in exchange for a guaranteed opt-out. My headline would be: “A Separate Peace.”

  • Ralp Brandt

    Political leaders can play clever chess with each other, but whatever the agreements, the proof of the pudding will be in the unemployment fallouts. There is a necessary enlightenment in process in which the voters are being made aware of the reality of where we have collectively got to and why debt accumulation has reached its mathematical limits. Now the policy options and their consequences are being clarified. A slow but overdue and necessary levitation of public awareness. The voters will translate national power plays into employment consequences and these can not be swallowed if perceived as clearly unbalanced.

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