mandag 1. april 2019

EU’s Brexit and China problems are intertwined

EU leaders had planned to spend a summit dinner talking about an aggressive, potentially hostile, rival with aspirations of global economic and military power. The surprise was it ended up being about Britain and not China.

This summit was not supposed to focus on Brexit at all, but rather the EU's future in a tumultuous world. As it turned out the two issues are very much intertwined. Thursday's dinner ended up being all about Brexit, rather than Beijing as planned. But many of the concerns about competition from China, expressed by EU leaders when the postponed session finally took place Friday, echoed their worries about future competition with a newly sovereign U.K. It is these fears that have framed the bloc's negotiating positions on Brexit.

Late Thursday night, Council President Donald Tusk steered leaders to a decisionto postpone the Brexit deadline that achieved his own top goal — to keep open the possibility of a longer-term delay that just might lead to Britain staying in the EU.