How does a country leave the EU

Great Britain is not leaving Europe, but the "German EU"

Comment: The left is perceived as a party to the status quo on the EU issue. It would be up to her to develop an alternative to right-wing Brexit

So now Brexit has taken place after all. A few weeks ago, commentators in the German media were sure that he would never come. Even the young voters who stayed away from the Brexit referendum and woke up after the result would not allow that. That they would do anything to correct the result.

That was the story in almost every media in Germany. Only the youth uprising against Brexit in the British elections in December failed to materialize.

After the result, it dawned on some that Brexit was really coming and that a country like Great Britain was actually taking seriously the intention of leaving the bloc of the EU dominated by Germany. Because, even if the published opinion suggests otherwise, Great Britain is of course not leaving Europe, which would be conceivable in the context of continental drift in long periods of time, but the EU bloc dominated by Germany.

That is also the reason why the reporting on Brexit in Germany is so emotional and one-sided. You could experience that again in the last few days. Germany radio almost exclusively interviewed people in Great Britain who had almost become sick of the idea that they are no longer citizens of an EU state.

Boris Johnson was then compared to Hitler and some, like the activist of the group "Women for Europe", Juliet Logde, consoled themselves with the thought that the British could return to the EU. There is of course wishful thinking from the media and protagonists who have so much in common with the cause of the "German EU" that they cannot even imagine that British citizens can leave this bloc of their own free will.

It is then quite freely claimed that Brexit would above all be a right decision and that the reason for leaving the EU was racism and the rejection of labor migration from the EU.

Right Brexit - left Brexit

Now it is undeniable that these reasons existed.

Just like the other defeats of the EU's votes in France and the Netherlands, they were fed by votes from the right and left. But it is wrong to see the right reasons as the dominant or the only reasons for the decision of the Brexit supporters. This is how it is made particularly easy for oneself in Germany because one does not want to admit that there can be good and sensible reasons to turn your back on this EU dominated by Germany.

So, in simplified terms, one could speak of a right and a left Brexit. Only the latter hardly appeared in the coverage of the Brexit. After the Brexit decision, the Left Party also spoke very indifferently of "a black day for the European idea". Now one should ask what this European idea actually is and whether it is not a black day for the "German EU", which is being confused with the European idea.

The left then later also writes that the direction of the EU must fundamentally change. This raises the question of why the left does not put the Brexit vote in the context of the wrong direction for the EU. At least that was the reason for the "left Brexit". There the economically liberal DNA of the EU was placed at the center of the criticism, which cannot be overridden by a "left majority" in the EU Parliament.

This is what activists from the left wing of the Labor Party have argued, rightly pointing out that the party would not be able to implement its ambitious social democratic economic and social program within the EU, even if it had had an electoral mandate to do so.

The suspension of many of the democratic and social rights of the Greek people after the 2015 election of the Syriza party by the EU Troika is still a matter for them. Unlike many leftists in Germany, who at the time with verve the undemocratic practice of the EU Troika and theirs Mastermind Have denounced Wolfgang Schäuble. It is therefore all the more incomprehensible why these vehement critics saw no connection to the Brexit decision a year later.

After all, the left-wing Brexit supporters criticized the way the EU troika, including the responsible politicians in their own country, dealt with Greece. Isn't it very understandable that from a left-wing point of view one comes to the conclusion to leave such a club as quickly as possible?

Consequence of left failure

The failure of the left has consequences. She is now perceived as the defender of the real EU. The fact that most leftists always emphasize that they want to change the direction of the EU is no longer noticeable. Years of left-wing EU criticism is simply forgotten.

This then means that the AfD and other right-wing parties can celebrate Brexit and the left also appears as the force of the status quo when it comes to questions about the EU. In the long term, this has more fatal consequences than the changes in the party composition of the EU Parliament after Brexit. With the elimination of the British MPs, left, Liberals, Greens and Social Democrats are losing seats and the conservative and right-wing parties are growing slightly.

Have EU critics lost approval?

The question of how the left approaches the EU is also relevant because it is still relevant. This is not just about the lengthy negotiations between Great Britain and the EU, which still harbor many conflicts.

The EU has little interest in a UK outside the EU becoming a model for success. Because then the population in other countries could also think that they would live better without the "German EU".

Therefore, EU-friendly commentators repeat as a mantra that after Brexit, EU criticism in other countries has decreased. It would be up to the left to develop an alternative to the right-wing Brexit, which would make Great Britain an investor's paradise, and which would also be an alternative to the real "German EU".

(Peter Nowak)

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