The European Commission has finally realised that the long-term sexless relationship between the UK and the federalist project is over. We’re still meeting for coffee but not ordering cake anymore. We’re returning each other’s messages but there are no more smileys or winks in the texts. The endgame is in sight, and it may soon be time to put the bits and pieces we left in Brussels over the years into a cardboard box and prepare for the moment when the Prime Minister pops over to get his hoodie back and ask if we can still be friends. Friends (well, Der Spiegel) have begun to notice the cracks in the relationship.
The Todd Rundgren song, “Can we still be friends?” whose lyrics are ridiculously apropos for this moment in the UK’s relationship with the European Union, asks in this context a relatively important question – can the UK still be friendly with the countries it seems likely to divorce? And does the EU really care?
Today the European Commission told the UK that its council tax and housing system needs overhaul. Not perhaps the best timing for a ‘you need to make some changes’ message from the Commission, who might reasonably have seen May’s election as a bit of a kicking. The end of the affair is in sight, and it is beginning to look more mutual than ever.