Story #8: The European Union After Brexit

I chose as the campaign logo a blue rose, which means ‘make possible the impossible.’ I think the British with Brexit, then the Americans with the election of Donald Trump, did that: They made possible the impossible. ~Marine Le Pen

The 2017 European Elections

The year began with the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic in a panic that the Trump phenomenon would spread across Europe during the 2017 elections. That did not happen, with Wilders losing in the Netherlands, Le Pen losing in France and Merkel holding on in Germany.  Merkel’s challenges became one of many reasons we were glad we recommended the Danish political drama Borgen. You cannot understand politics in this environment without understanding the tricky business of building coalitions.

 Wilders loses in the Netherlands

Macron Wins in France

Merkel Squeaks By

May Negotiates Brexit Deal

Across the English channel May tried to negotiate a Brexit deal with both her British and EU counterparts, made much more difficult after a disastrous showing at the polls in June.

In December, EU leaders announced an agreement to begin the next phase of Brexit negotiations to begin in early 2018 and discussions on the future UK-EU relationship, including trade and security, to begin in March 2018.

EU Proposes to Consolidate Military

In the meantime, the EU grappled with the question of how to ensure the Euros future in the face of possible wavering in the US commitment to NATO.  As we all know, central banks all require their “warfare” partner.

The Immigration Crisis Continues

The immigration crisis continued with a number of countries in Eastern Europe – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – taking a hard line on border control.

One commentator said that the US destruction of Libya under Obama and Clinton had “uncorked” Africa. The resulting flow of immigrants into Europe has had a devastating impact on France who was a partner to the US in the Libya invasion. Given the real costs to France, I said in 2017 that no matter how much of the Libyan gold France got, it was the highest per ounce they will ever pay for a large purchase of gold.

Immigration was a major political issue on both sides of the Atlantic.  Expect more discussions of the similarities and differences of immigration happening on both sides of the Atlantic in 2018.

Immigrant crisis in US vs Europe

The future of Europe in 2017 felt fluid and, like so many things, “up in the air.”

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