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Luyendijk, Joris

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NRC next - Netherlands | 14/01/2016

Turn the tables and threaten London with Brexit

The European Union needs to radically change its strategy for dealing with the UK's push for EU reforms, writes journalist Joris Luyendijk in the liberal daily "Prime Minister Cameron is hoping for concessions from the EU. But such concessions would be a historic mistake. If the English are rewarded for this attempted blackmail we will end up with such referendums everywhere. That would paralyse Europe. It would be better to resort to threats. … Tell the English how much we will make them suffer if they leave. … The best way to prevent a Brexit is to act as if it had already happened. … It is the job of Europe's politicians and columnists to make it clear to England how powerless and insignificant it will be if it leaves. Even a child could see that the EU needs fundamental reform. But England doesn't want a better deal for all Europeans but only for itself. … 'The English are only in it for themselves'. Well then we should treat them in the same way."

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