No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore – The New York Times

Britain — renowned for its pragmatism, its common sense, its political stability and its unabashed devotion to small business (“a nation of shopkeepers”) — has become nearly unrecognizable to its European allies.

“People need to look again at Britain,” said Daniel Brössler, a correspondent for the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It’s no longer the country they understood it to be their whole lives.”

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The divorce negotiations with the European Union start another round this week, but they are not going well, to say the least. The most visible fight is over the cost of the divorce. But other difficult and essentially political issues about the authority of the European Court of Justice and a customs border with Ireland must also be clarified before the other 27 member states agree to move on to the next stage, Britain’s future relationship with the bloc. That decision next month once seemed pro forma, but no longer, with some even predicting a breakdown in the talks.

No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore – The New York Times