The debate about Brexit we can follow in a number of media today has a tendency to focus on the actual sand lock war. And that's true. British parliamentarians empty filled sand spans over each other's heads. It even happens that the rules for tomorrow's games are decided in the corridors outside.
But meanwhile, the big game is going on. This is what you may see clearer if you climb up the swing stand. It swings back and forth down there. But you have an overview.
There is one reason why there is no withdrawal clause for members of the European Union. Cooperation to promote sustainable peace should not be negotiated. Then the whole idea falls. So, as little as Spain wants an independent Catalonia or Britain want to see Scotland become its own state, EU representatives want to see a member leave the cooperation. All precedents could have consequences that we cannot overlook.
Therefore, the exit agreement between the EU and the UK is anything but a walk in the park. Therefore, the EU President-in-Office Juncker is declining any re-negotiation. We may well believe that he personally announced to Prime Minister May before he resettled his attitude via Twitter. Before Christmas, the European Court of Justice ruled that it was free for the UK to, on its own guard, ie. without consulting the other 27 EU members, change its mind and say that, well, on reflection, we will stay after all. A little strange initiative, but perhaps not, when we see that it leads in the same direction.
Meanwhile, PM May emphasizes that it is her responsibility that the British receive "what they voted for". The Bank of England has envisaged almost disastrous financial consequences. The legal analysis disallows the exit agreement as quite unfavourable to the British. Is that what "they voted for"?
The thoughts go to American historian Barbara Tuchman, "The March of the Folly - From Troy to Vietnam", about how leaders get relevant information that they choose to ignore because they are caught up in prestige.
Interesting is to see Teresa May, in a feature on YouTube in the spring of 2016, speaking warmly of the importance for Britain remaining a member of the European Union. Could it be that her position goes before all? That when she comes back from Brussels without a better deal, she can say: I did everything! It did not work. The Economist Intelligence Unit is foreseeing a new referendum. Then perhaps the British choose to remain in the Union.
Anyone who has climbed the swing stand will be the first to know.