An interesting piece in The Telegraph today written by an academic, Dr. Patricia Hogwood, in which she draws attention to one particular factor likely to arise when the negotiations commence between 'us 'n' them'! Of course, money and power and prestige will loom large but beneath there will be a greater gulf, according to Dr. Hogwood - cultural differences. To 'them', we Brits appear "arrogant, insensitive and contrary", no, really, that's what the lady tells us. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!
Part of this stems, she suggests, from our 'winner takes all' political system in which, by and large, just one party wins and then that party rules - absolutely. Of course, 'just over there', election results are rarely that clear cut and various factions needs must cut deals with each other in order to keep the governmental machine running. Of course, to us straight-up, straightforward, British chaps, that smacks of slipperiness and corner-cutting! Dr. Hogwood puts it this way:
"For Europeans, a good outcome is one that combines as many common interests as possible. For the UK, it means getting our own way."
I have no expertise in the matter but for sure there is a latent, and sometimes blatant, dislike of Britain and the British by the Europeans. 'Quelle dommage' and all that sort of thing and one would hope for some sort of rationality in the forthcoming talks - but I ain't holding my breath! The experts tell us that the negotiations will go on and on for years. My guess is that they will end sooner rather than later when Mrs. May 'does a Maggie', picks up her handbag and departs. "A consummation devoutly to be desired"!