The results of last week’s elections in United Kingdom proved to be decisive. The British government now has a clear majority, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to guide the nation out of the European Union once and for all. Brexit, after years of false starts, and ceaseless bickering, appears to be inevitable. Finally.
The European Union’s part in the election results cannot be overlooked. Mistakes were made at the worst possible moments. Ruling out a Brexit extension will likely go down as the biggest error. Had Brussels been more flexible in this regard, the uncertainty and political chaos that ensued in London could’ve been avoided. Both sides likely would have come to an agreement each could live with and have moved on by now. The decision by some EU leaders to collude with Remain elements in British society, and politics was a gross miscalculation which only helped undermined the Tory and Labour reelection prospects. There was never a realistic chance of a second Brexit referendum happening, yet some EU leaders were not to be deterred and pushed for it. The results made obvious last week. The EU should have made every effort to help Theresa May get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament instead. May’s agreement was far from perfect, but it offered the likelihood of a prosperous, and amicable EU-UK coexistence in the post-Brexit era.
Now, the EU is left trying to figure out exactly what it wants from a new bilateral relationship with Great Britain. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has not been healthy for the EU and unless the transition period is smooth, this will not change. The upcoming trade negotiations will tell a lot about the EU’s inflection and offer hints as to whether or not Brussels intends to be part of the problem, or the solution.