Hard Brexit is a pain.
But weakness in the middle of a hurricane may be much worse for the EU.
Time for hope and last minute Brexit deals are nearly over in France, where businesses, politicians, administrations are getting more and more direct on the issue. Warning citizen is not easy, though: politicians only admit the game is over off the record.
Bad track record of British politics
That’s because there is still a tiny chance of a deal. But it is very small if you consider the Brexit fatigue of EU leaders, and the bad track record of British politicians.
Looking at the last six months, anyone rational would not bet much on the chances of British MPs to be able to work together, let alone agree on something when they vote again on 12 March. Every two weeks, the final vote on the Brexit deal is delayed. And the two main political parties fight more inside their own party than with their opponents.
UK is losing credibility on every front. “I have never seen something like that. Our counterparts are dreaming awake”, a French diplomatic source said, referring to numerous meetings with British representatives.
The UK is still trying to negotiate another deal than the one on the table, while France, as other countries, repeat there is no space to do so.
A new delay would reward chaos
As British Parliament or government do not seem reliable, the only other solution to avoid a hard Brexit would be to agree for a new delay.
That would mean keeping the UK into the EU, and having some new British MEPs elected, half of them as eurosceptic as ever.
That would be a very bad sign to other EU countries already sailing away from EU values. Italy, Poland, Hungary are already abusing the EU softness, disregarding the rule of law, accusing “Brussels” of every problem they may have, or playing poker with their debt.
It would mean the EU is weak. It would mean telling them: do whatever you want, the EU will do anything to please you anyway.