Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Brexit - Rest Of Europe DOESN’T CARE

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 learnSpanish 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.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Britain is now paying a long overdue invoice dating back to its loss of empire.

Instead of facing the future it exists desperately by clinging in pathetic fashion to the rat tail of US state terrorism around the world. The latest example is the lying weasel words of slimy Jeremy "I am a capitalist" Hunt on the looming tragedy of Venezuela, a horror directly caused by typical US thuggery and mass murders across the Americas - further examples of which are a matter of public record.

The reality is Britain is held in contempt in the real centres of power in the USA. In Europe there are ancient resentments of Albion Perfide and old tribal rivalries. Because of this combination, when it comes to a crunch both power centres can easily dispense with Britain if that is how events work out.

The great danger of Brexit is a Britain even more incapable of dealing fairly with its own people, of a political system disintegrating into a fire sale of everything worthwhile, all of it promoted by craven media employees without conscience or courage. Why should Europe care about such a suicidal culture? It has its own problems struggling to keep the remnants of social democracy.

The seemingly unpalatable truth for this country is that it took a terrible wrong turning in 1979 when it decided to swing toward a small version of ur-fascism. The invoice is now due. We can either cough up for it and then choke to death, or we can face reality, admit our mistakes, and rebuild decency and fairness as best we can.

But I wouldn't make book on it, not with the current gang in Whitehall, Westminster and Oxbridge. After all, it's them who long ago got us into this mess.

Ann Kelly said...

You obviously haven't been listening/watching/reading the Irish media!!

Roderick Joyce said...

Die Zeit online has a whole section about Brexit: "Brexit. Bye-bye EU. Alles zum Thema."
Der Spiegel's prinat and online editions have covered Brexit extensively. SPON (Spiegel On Line) currently has an article about the Backstop: "Brexit-Verhandlungen Backstop - was ist das, wann kommt das, warum ist das so verdammt kompliziert?"
Several German media channels livestreamed the HOC debate. I can't help feeling that if our media had livestreamed debates in the Bundestag and enough Brits had been capable of following said debates (they're in German which everybody keeps telling is very difficult) we might have been in a better place.
There is an article dated 29.01 in the Frankfurter Rundschau "Brexit
Die EU weist die britischen Forderungen zurück"
There's an older article in L'Espresso (21.12) "Il suicidio politico di Theresa May
La lady di latta doveva condurre il Paese verso la Brexit. Ma l'accordo sul negaziato scontenta tutti e troppe cose restano da definire" Incidentally "latta" means sheet metal - or tin can. I leave it to Tim and you, dear reader, to decide which suits May best.
Repubblica has two articles about Brexit 15.01 and 16.01, the latter dealing with Brexit in an Italian context.
While it's true that the European press doesn't report on Brexit with the sort of hysterical headlines and bullshit editorials that the British press loves; this is simply due to the facts that 1) by and and large the European press is published by national companies owned by shareholders rather than millionaire tax exiles with an axe to grind 2) by and large the European press tries to respect its readers' intelligence and (mostly) separates factual reporting for editorials 3) Brexit is mostly a British problem 4) there is only a limited value in listening to the neighbours' fifty-seventh row about who has the unicorn with the biggest dick.

Roderick Joyce said...

Ann, I have been following the Irish press, even though I'm supposed to follow the German and Italian press to keep my languages up to date. I have to say that the Irish press is also a great deal more intelligent the the English press.

Anonymous said...

Roderick Joyce 22:32.

Almost ANY other nation's media is better than the British version. Except the USA, which by some distance is the most corrupt on the planet.