Some pundits might be forgiven for believing that other EU member states are devoting just as much press coverage to the Brexit idiocy as their British counterparts. They need us at least as much as we need them, so they will also be talking about it. Except that, I have to tell you all, they aren’t. The rest of Europe has already resigned itself to the UK’s determination to walk away at the end of March, and they no longer care.
That might sound harsh, but it’s the way it is. Remember all those German car manufacturers who were going to ride to our rescue, leaning on Angela Merkel to get us a better deal, because they need us to buy their BMWs and VWs? They aren’t fussed, either. Spanish banks seeing the glut of property, much of which they are holding, because Brits aren’t moving out there? Nor are they. The message is clear. We’re just not listening.
Take, for instance, Die Zeit online. Yes, the lead item features the German Chancellor, but Angela Merkel isn’t telling of her foreboding at the Brits walking away. Instead, “In an unusually candid interview, Angela Merkel speaks about feminism, life as a female leader and the lack of recognition for the achievements of eastern Germans”. There are also posts on social media, the Middle East and climate change. No Brexit.
How about, then, the English edition of El País? Well, yes, here there is a Brexit item, but no, it’s not about what happened last night in the Commons. Instead, readers learn “Spanish vineyards send extra wine to Britain before Brexit … In preparation for the possibility that the UK crashes out of the EU, bodegas are shipping as much Rioja as they can in a bid to boost their stocks”. We can drown our sorrows, then.
Also, just to raise the blood pressure among the Wall Of Gammon™, there is an opinion piece from Miguel Otero Iglesias telling “The European Union: More united than ever … Divisions exist, and they are serious, but a calm and collected analysis, with historical perspective, shows a much better situation”. No more exits. It ain’t happening.
How about Italy’s La Repubblica? Nothing about Brexit on the website front page. Not a sausage. Rescue of migrants from the Mediterranean, pension reform, and of course plenty of football items. At least France’s Le Monde has an item about last night’s farcical Theresa May volte-face. But it does not make good reading for pro-Brexit Brits.
The PM, it concedes, has a mandate to reopen negotiations, but reopening the Withdrawal Agreement has already been declined. “Now what do we do?” is the question at the head of the article. Plus it’s not the lead story - that honour falls to the Huawei controversy.
Meanwhile, over in Portugal, the Público has no Brexit items at the top of its website. The highest-placed international story is about Venezuela. Like the Spanish, the Portuguese aren’t worrying about Brits not moving there. Or at least not enough to make the papers.
Do all those clueless pundits now get it? The French are deploying a Gallic shrug at Theresa May’s pointless charade, the Spanish are making sure they ship plenty of wine just in case there’s a No Deal, and no-one else cares.
They need us so much that they are no longer listening. Wake up, dozy pundits.
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