France’s Rise and Britain’s Demise – Carnegie Europe – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

English: The Carnegie Endowment for Internatio...

English: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace located at 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a thoughtful article from international think tank Carnegie Europe. It argues that while Britain’s prime minister ushers in the decline of London’s influence in the world, France’s president seeks reforms that will reassert Paris’s role in the EU.

Source: France’s Rise and Britain’s Demise – Carnegie Europe – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The article is a good read and reflects current opinion, post elections in both France and the UK.

BUT the article oversimplifies strategy. The first step in strategic analysis is a ‘position audit’.

Well, the UK is fully reformed and currently open to global competition. Meanwhile, France is unreformed with labour practices that constrain French growth and collective prosperity.

Secondly, the article oversimplifies the political realities of the EU and the Euro which have spawned Brexit. In a drive to prop up the Euro to Germany’s advantage, other countries have been rationed in  fiscal strait-jackets, triggering austerity, unemployment and poverty. The EU is seen as part of the problem not the solution – this is across Europe not just in the UK.

What matters I suggest is the ‘national stomach’ for radical change.

I sense that whilst France is happy to give Macron their patronage for now, they will baulk at painful reforms and Macron will impale his presidency, just like his post-war predecessors.

Meanwhile, stellar UK citizens are fed up with austerity and are likely to become increasingly angry with the heavy economic consequences of Brexit.

For sure, both countries are on new trajectories. Whilst there will be little convergence, there will always be important touch points to mutual advantage, like defense and on the global stage.


One response

  1. I’m with Dr Alf here,France is the land where people riot burn English lamb,blockade lorries and have resisted economic reform for decades.
    Macron is not going to change this desire for self expression and get people to accept the need for painful reform unless he can get the burden shared more equally while it is being done and doing it more equally means that it cannot be done fast enough to deal with external competitive forces.
    Mrs May is not going to cause the demise of the City and Corporation of London which,like the Vatican is a City /State with its own flag,police,laws,customs and ways of operation.
    Lord Rothschild owns it along with most of the European banks and he leases it to the Queen who can only travel there in her golden carriage in her official capacity if she is given permission to enter by Lord Rothschild’s emissary,the Lord Mayor of the City and Corporation of London who greets he at Temple Bar.
    This is equivalent to a restricted right of way across farmland in rural Hertfordshire where I live whereby the landowner or farmer bars the gate once a year in order to demonstrate that it is not a right of way across “common” land but is a way that the public can use with permission.
    Most City firms already have offices employing people in the EU and they have websites through which clients can buy things.
    Whilst there will be some jobs lost because of Mrs May’s obdurate refusal to imagine ways to circumvent passporting rules many will be put off by 20% social chapter costs and language and cultural barriers.
    Jobs will go because of automation,robot process outsourcing,expert systems,machine learning,nanotechnology and automated high frequency trading systems but that will happen regardless of BREXIT.
    The City is already awash with criminal money,money from oligarchs,Arab potentates,corrupt African dictators,drug barons,Chinese billionaires,arms dealers and others and the process is set to increase so that the country levitates on this money rather than export sales receipts and the results of productive working.
    This is fine for the City but insufficient to lift the rest of the country hence the disquiet,the hung Parliament and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn.
    May will have to be replaced,the stony faces of her MP’s when Parliament opened showed their anger and dislike of a loser despite her supposed contrition in front of the 1922 Committee and whoever comes next will have to get the country firing on all 4 cylinders,a tough proposition but one people here can be shocked into in ways that no Frenchman would put up with.

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