At midnight on January 31st, Britain’s 47-year engagement in post-war Europe’s greatest achievement came to an end, “not with a bang but a whimper” (referring to T.S. Eliot’s famed line), writes Professor George Pagoulatos, Director General of ELIAMEP for the Sunday edition of Kathimerini. Pagoulatos denounces those who, oblivious to the fact that last Friday Great Britain downgraded to “Little England”, celebrated their country’s departure from the EU. If Britain chooses to compete with Europe, now free from any single market restrictions, it could undermine the established single market framework for the EU itself, but also signify a shift towards greater protectionism. This, Pagoulatos argues, would be mutually damaging, doubling the already mutually harmful effects of Brexit. Pagoulatos stresses that in this new reality both Britain and the EU have every interest in remaining as close as possible. Britain has identical or converging views with the EU on a number of important issues: from the Middle East and Iran, the defense of multilateral international institutions and free international trade to the Paris Agreement, relations with China, 5G, and much more. All this brings Britain closer to Europe than Britain’s infamous “special relationship” with the US would suggest. A relationship that is so “special” that only one of the two parties is aware of it, as Helmut Schmidt once sarcastically noted.
You can find the full article in Greek here.