Destinations Magazine

The Sleep of Union

By Stizzard
The sleep of union

WHAT a difference a couple of opinion polls make. Few brows in Brussels have remained unfurrowed by the declining fortunes of the campaign to keep Britain inside the European Union. The prospect of Brexit, which to the panjandrums of the EU was always such a patent absurdity that it could never come to pass, has suddenly roared into plain view. “We’re reaching the point of no return,” says one diplomat.

Some Europeans have already begun to draw harsh lessons from the British experience. Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister and a decades-long champion of European integration, says that a Brexit, or even a narrow vote to “Bremain”, would be a warning to the EU “not to continue with business as usual”. Donald Tusk, who as president of the European Council chairs meetings of EU leaders in Brussels, argues that Utopian calls for a federal Europe are hastening the EU’s disintegration. Even Jean-Claude Juncker, the increasingly absent president of the European Commission (the bit of the EU that proposes laws) and a dyed-in-the-wool federalist, admits that the EU has become a meddlesome presence in the lives of its citizens.


The Economist: Europe

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