One gets the impression that Brexit Britain is like a wild animal caught in a steel trap, driven wild with pain and frustration, gnawing at its own limbs in order to escape while growling and snapping at those who would try to free it. Except in this scenario, the beast laid the trap itself and knowingly stepped into the jaws, having convinced itself that somehow it could manage to pass through unharmed. The latest news from the BBC gives more evidence of the United Kingdom’s frenzied thinking, as unnamed officials warn their opposite numbers in the European Union that they must adopt a more flexible position, conceding to the UK’s withdrawal proposals, however fantastical, if good relations are to be maintained between both parties:
“The risk is that, if they follow down this track, putting conditions on our unconditional offers and trying to insult us, the EU will end up with a relationship with its third biggest economy and largest security partner that lets down millions of citizens in the EU and UK.”
This is Trumpian-style diplomacy, complete with plaintive whining about “insults” and injured national pride, not to mention vague threats of future repercussions if certain demands are not met. Speaking of inane politics, from the “Crimea” of Western Europe, the ultra-right Democratic Unionist Party is reviving the dispute over the maritime boundary line between Ireland and the UK in the Irish estuary of Lough Foyle. Also from a report by the BBC:
…the DUP has blamed Dublin for the stalemate.
The party’s Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said it was “time Dublin respected the UK waters”.
“Dublin needs to take a step back because the UK government has always taken the stance that its waters run right up to the high-tide mark on the Donegal shore and that should be the way its maintained,” he said.
To be clear, the DUP and the British authorities are claiming that the United Kingdom’s territorial waters in the locality run literally up to the high-water mark on the shore of County Donegal. Which of course lies in the sovereign and independent nation-state of Ireland. So, not only is the UK continuing to occupy the north-eastern Six Counties but it insists that the occupation extends to the neighbouring beaches of Donegal in the west!
Did I say the politics of Donald Trump? More like the politics of Vladimir Putin.