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  • Writer's pictureMartini Seltzermayr

EU’s sordid Turkey deal shows humiliated bloc realises its Brexit errors

Ursula von der Leyen’s shenanigans in Turkey have revealed once again the EU floundering as it mourns the loss of its biggest, most important and — dare I say? — noblest of members.

German car manufacturers and Italian prosecco people-who-make-prosecco have been left fuming that their desperate pleas to submit to the UK’s will, audible only to people educated at Eton, fell on deaf ears in Brussels. Like a jealous ex pointedly returning to Tinder, their humiliation is now driving them elsewhere.

A pledge by von der Leyen to revitalise its Customs Union with Turkey can only be read as the death throes of a bitterly regretful would-be empress consumed by her failure to make a deal with its greatest ally. The supposedly infallible Brussels powerhouse is realising too late that its arrangements with the UK are not ambitious enough, except in certain specific other areas where they are too ambitious and would you mind not.

If you doubt me, ask yourself why it was Europeans, and not normal people, who came up with words for complex but ultimately negative emotions like chagrin, Weltschmerz and traduction pas disponible, veuillez réessayer plus tard SVP.

The ravages left by Covid-19 on the trade bloc’s education, healthcare and transport systems which, without doing too much checking, I suppose to be infinitely inferior to the UK’s, leaves the would-be conqueror searching for something, anything to replace the gaping chasm left in the European psyche by the departure of the oldest and, let’s be honest, best country in the world.

To understand why one must descend into the depths of history. Like von der Leyen, Otto von Bismarck was a German, who frequently and unashamedly spoke German, and dreamt of unifying multiple states into one horrific uber-entity. He also liked to travel [citation needed] and was, at one stage, 63 years old. Sound like anyone we know?

Once this evident parallel is realised, everything else falls into place.

My close contacts in Brussels report that they have closed their eyes and envisioned this modern day Bismarck repeatedly sitting alone in her office, spinning angrily on her chair muttering ‘verdammte Englischen!’, very much like the last film I watched that featured somebody speaking German.

All we Brits now have to do is sit back, assume we have enough vaccines, and wait for the complex network of countries who, I would imagine, have nothing else on their plate to come back begging for a better deal.

I also went on a school trip to Hamburg once. It was wild.

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