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I agree with you that the mishandling of the refugee issue is a big problem for the EU and for Italy's relations with the EU in particular. I expect it to reach a crisis any time soon.

Where I disagree with you is that this in any way helps May. The worse the "Italian crisis" becomes for the EU, the less the EU can afford to be generous with the UK given that the driving force for Brexit was immigration - a lot of which owned more to Britain's imperial legacy rather than its membership of the EU.

The UK has consistently refuse to take any serious ownership of the refugee crisis facing Mediterranean Europe even though its middle eastern policy were in part responsible for the refugee crisis in the first place.

How can the EU give the UK a free pass on Brexit while expecting Italy and Greece to bear the lions share of the burden of illegal immigration?  The longer this goes on the harder line the EU will have to take on Brexit.

If I were a UK negotiator I would be cutting a deal as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the dynamics of UK politics are precisely the reverse - no prospect of anything other than a last minute deal because the Tory cabinet cannot make up its mind as to how to proceed.

I wouldn't even exclude the possibility of the UK and Brussels agreeing a Brexit deal only for Italy and Eastern European countries to veto it on the grounds of how the refugee crisis is being mishandled, and how their immigrants to the UK are being treated by the UK.

Cue explosion of anger in the UK who think that Brexit is all about them and that the EU has no option but to give them what they want. There are two sides to any negotiation, and the complete incompetence on the UK side has hidden from view the growing possibility of a cock-up on the EU side.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 23rd, 2018 at 01:08:51 PM EST
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