It was always predicted that if Britain ever left the European Union, one of the principal consequences would be the disruption of all other internal relationships among the EU’s 27 remaining member states. For the previous 40 years, Britain had been a kind of leader of the opposition to the dominant bloc in Europe, namely France and Germany combined. The Franco-German steamroller would propose some new step to greater economic and political integration, usually with the support of Italy, Spain, the Benelux countries, and most of Central Europe; Britain would oppose it; and a shifting group of other countries, usually …
This article appears as “Europe’s Rubik Diplomacy” in the December 17, 2020, print edition of National Review.
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.