UK and EU – Rats and Sinking Ships

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In response to the Ex-Prime Minister of Belgian and now EU Parliament negotiator for Brexit talks, Guy Verhofstadt, likening the UK leaving the EU to “rats leaving a sinking ship”. Anthony Sargeant says that there are two interesting points about the comment; (1) the Belgian Europhile seems to think the EU is sinking (which it probably is) and (2) rats are an extremely successful species which thrives around the world (which may well turn out to be how the UK fares in terms of global trade post-Brexit). But as a Belgian you can imagine the dismay at the very thought of the collapse of the EU infrastructure and consequent redundancy of all of those vanity-project buildings in Brussels – what will Belgium do with them? And what will it do as an economy no longer propped up by the income generated by over 50,000 well paid EU civil servants in Brussels, plus ancillary staff. If you think that closure of the Port Talbot Steelworks would be bad for Wales then the collapse of EU would be a disaster for Belgium which is economically challenged, not least by the internal schisms of its society on language and religious grounds (this leads to duplication not just of language in government documentation but also of whole institutions. So in Brussels for example, you have the Universite Libre of Brussels but also the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels and so on down the educational system in towns and Villages across the country.

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