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The diplomacy of chaos September 23, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

What on earth is the UK government up to? Tony Connelly reported earlier in the week that:

Ireland has been assured by the Netherlands there is no basis to reports that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte would intervene in the Northern Ireland Protocol dispute at the bidding of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to the Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne.

This was on foot of the following:

Yesterday in New York, Mr Johnson claimed that Mr Rutte had offered to “mediate” between Britain and the European Union during a meeting in Downing Street last week.

Dutch officials have reportedly denied such an offer was made.

Was it some sort of cack-handed effort to drive a wedge between EU member states? But if so to what purpose given it was rebuffed so rapidly? Or is it just that the UK government, rather like the Trump administration before it is addicted to stirring things up. Granted, reading a range of books on that administration, it appears that that was as much driven by the personality of the President as it was to fulfil any ideological agenda. But perhaps with Johnson’s government the outcome is the same – attempt to destabilise an opponent, or bluff, or throw something out there in the hope it might come to pass. Yet it is difficult not to think that after a while anyone engaging with this sort of behaviour will bake in the likelihood of such machinations and prepare plans to deal with them. 

And there’s a broader strategic problem for the UK. At some point they become not merely chaotic but undependable. That has implications far beyond the current EU/UK issues. Whether the current British government is exercised by this is another matter entirely. But rationally, they should be. 


1. benmadigan - September 23, 2021

“attempt to drive a wedge between EU member states?”

Probably just the old UK “divide and conquer” reflex automatically kicking in, once an EU PM was alone in Downing St.

God knows what he was promised – sunny uplands for the Netherlands?


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