The earlier breakup of the former Czechoslovakia ...
... other changes to come in the continuing dissolution of nation states in Europe, as EU governance replaces national functions.
German democracy rests on the assumption that nationalism leads ineluctably to Nazism. The transnational EU originated as part of a geopolitical strategy to block a potentially dangerous reassertion of German sovereignty by integrating the country economically into the rest of Europe and by giving the Federal Republic a ‘post-national’ identity. In Germany, as a result, ethno-nationalism came close to being criminalized. Central and eastern Europeans, by contrast, find it difficult to share such a negative view of nationalism – first, because their states are children of the age of nationalism that accompanied the breakup of multinational empires; and second, because nationalism played an essential role in the mostly nonviolent anti-communist revolutions that began in 1989.
In central and eastern Europe, unlike in Germany, nationalism and liberalism are likely to be seen as mutually supporting rather than clashing ideas. Poles would find it absurd to cease honouring the nationalistic leaders who lost their lives defending Poland against Hitler or Stalin. The region also was forced to suffer for decades under communist propaganda that reflexively, indeed numbingly, denounced nationalism. Here is perhaps another reason why central and eastern Europeans feel wary of Germany’s obsessive desire to detach citizenship from hereditary membership in a national community. ... ... ...
Boris Johnson has launched his Conservative leadership campaign with a pledge to end the Brexit "disillusion and despair" by taking the UK out of the EU on 31 October.
It comes amid questions over a shock poll suggesting he would win a general election landslide as prime minister.
The ComRes survey for the Daily Telegraph – which pays the former foreign secretary £275,000 for a weekly column – said Mr Johnson’s Tories would win 37 per cent of the vote, which the paper claimed would translate to a 140-seat majority following analysis by the Electoral Calculus website.
Meanwhile, MPs prepared an attempt to block the possibility of any new prime minister proroguing parliament and forcing through a no-deal Brexit, as former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has proposed.
t will take “six to eight months” to build up supplies of medicines for a no-deal Brexit, a leaked cabinet note says – undermining Boris Johnson’s threat to crash out of the EU on 31 October.
The warning says the pharmaceutical industry needs that period of help from the government “to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to build stockpiles of medicines”.
It also says that it would take “at least 4-5 months” to make traders ready for the new border checks that might be required, including incentives to register for fresh schemes.
The note was revealed by The Financial Times as Mr Johnson – the overwhelming favourite to succeed Theresa May – launched his campaign on a pledge to leave the EU on 31 October “deal or no deal”.
It states that, while government departments had delivered around 85 per cent of their “core no-deal plans”, many of those provided only “a minimum viable level of capability”.
Prepared for a cabinet discussion on 21 May, it was never circulated because Ms May was concentrating at the time on her doomed attempt to force through her withdrawal agreement.
After that attempt collapsed, the prime minister announced her plans to resign – throwing the country into the uncertainty of the Tory leadership race.
MPs have rejected a Labour-led effort to take control of Parliament's timetable, blocking the latest attempt to stop no-deal Brexit.
The Commons opposed the move by 309 votes to 298.
EU officials are working on the basis that the UK’s economy will be hit up to ten times as hard by a no-deal Brexit than the UK, the latest analysis by the European Commission shows.
The working assumption in Brussels is bad news for Tory leadership contenders like Boris Johnson, who are hoping to use the threat of a no-deal Brexit as part of their strategy for renegotiating Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
But with the EU convinced that the UK will fare much worse than the continent if it decides to crash out, the brinkmanship may struggle to produce results.
A “state of play” document put out by the Commission this week, meant to brief EU leaders, MEPs, and central bankers on the current situation, cites a 2019 estimate by the IMF that the long-term effect on the EU’s GDP by a no-deal will be “well below 1 per cent”. The Commission says his is “in line with most other studies”
By contrast, when looking at how the fares, the Commission cites figures ranging from 3 per cent to 8 per cent for the hit to the UK economy, including the British government’s own 2018 estimate of 7.7 per cent.
“As the Commission has constantly stressed, contingency measures can only mitigate the most significant disruptions of a withdrawal without an agreement. While the Commission does not speculate on the possible economic implications of different scenarios, it is clear that a withdrawal of the United Kingdom without an agreement would have a serious negative economic impact, and that this impact would be proportionally much greater in the united Kingdom than the EU27 member states,” the document says.
“Preparations by member states and stakeholders are likely to reduce their individual exposure to the negative impact of a withdrawal without an agreement. A high level of preparedness across all sectors of the economy will also mitigate the negative impact.”
The economic assumptions are based on the British economy being subject to WTO “most favoured nation” tariffs, which apply to WTO members in absence of other agreements. Under the withdrawal agreement struck by the UK, a multi-year transition period would apply during which the UK continued to benefit from EU policies, while a replacement deal was negotiated.
The judgment comes just days after a leaked UK cabinet paper warned that the UK was not ready for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, when the current extension of the Article 50 period will expire if it is not extended again.
The note, obtained by the Financial Times, said it would take “six to eight months” to build up supplies of medicines for a no-deal, and that the it would take “at least 4-5 months” to make traders ready for new border checks that might be required.
The EU has constantly said at all levels that it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement struck by Theresa May, which was rejected by MPs back in the UK three times and which precipitated the prime minister’s resignation. The deal has been rejected by all leading candidates in the Tory leadership race, who advocate various forms of renegotiation with the bloc.
I conclude that an "orderly" Brexit is not a possibility in any event: The broad spectrum of intrusive EU administrative processes makes it impossible.