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London says to Brussels: don't leave me

(B2) The British-European relationship today resembles that of a spoiled child, the darling of the family, who slams the door into the family fold, but wants to keep the car keys, access to the fridge, and be able to continue to be able to have a say in all decisions.

One goal: participate in everything

It's a tune of 'Don't leave me' in reverse that the British are playing for us, who seem to suddenly discover that in the word Brexit, there is exit. The latest documents produced by London prove this, particularly in terms of security policy (internal and external). They can be summed up in a single principle: the British want to participate in all foreign, defense and security policies, including those about which they previously spat their anger.

The European Union a wonderful project

London wants to defend the role of the EU in international organizations. The European Defense Agency, these are interesting initiatives that must be supported. European defense, a project in which we must participate, etc. As for Galileo, it is an irreplaceable tool. You really have to pinch yourself not to burst out laughing when you read this type of documents which are in a certain way imbued with a certain irreverence, to the democratic principle, but also with a certain arrogance, even a certain contempt. for Europeans.

Such great generosity

Under the guise of shared security, common interests and values ​​(which are very real), London is trying to make Europeans believe that the British are there for the good of all, generously offering security experience, knowledge and personnel. London is even proposing to second British personnel to most European foreign policy and security structures. An act so seemingly generous, we must look closely at the reality it hides.

Foot in the door

The real objective is much less laudable. These staff will not only have the role of bringing the best from the Kingdom, but above all of informing London, in real time, of all possible decision-making projects in order to influence them, undermine them from within, or even block them. Under the pretext of cooperation, the British actually want to keep their foot in the door at all levels of decision-making in European foreign policy (at ministerial and diplomatic level). Because the British objective remains the same over the years: to delay, block, limit European autonomy. This is unacceptable, dangerous, and ultimately very cowardly. Theresa May's government is sowing the illusion that there would be the possibility of a hard Brexit without any changes or costs for the British.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).