UK Chancellor Philip Hammond thinks the rest of the EU will not force the UK out of the European Free Trade Area because it is “not in their economic interest to do so”.
Because here is the thing: as Mr Hammond well knows, leaving the EU in the first place is not in the UK’s “economic interest”.
Yet he is in a government proceeding to do so because it is being held hostage by British-nationalist populists.
Well you know what? The next French President will be held hostage by French-nationalist populists (if not one herself); the next Dutch government will be held hostage by Dutch-nationalist populists; the current Danish government already is held hostage by Danish-nationalist populists; the next Austrian President will be an Austrian-nationalist populist; the Hungarian government is a Hungarian-populist one; Bulgaria just elected a Russian-leaning President; and Italy is, well, Italy (cf. this coming Sunday).
Leaving the EU is not in the UK’s economic interest but it is in its government’s political interest (it judges, anyway).
Well you know what? Forcing the UK out of the Free Trade Area may or may not be in France’s, or the Netherlands’, or Denmark’s, or Austria’s, or Hungary’s, or Italy’s, or Bulgaria’s economic interests, but it definitely will be in their governments’ political interests.
See? Leaving the EU means it is 27 against 1.
Well you know what? That means the 27 will get what they want – politically.