One of the last meetings Prime MinisterTheresa May of the UK had with EU leaders was very stale. She was treated with bare respect and largely ignored. The atmosphere from people like Chancellor Merkel of Germany was, you UK are going to feel very isolated with Brexit and we will make sure enough so no other member states will want to leave.
I would say by Prime Minister May’s recent speech in Philadelphia, the EU had better pray that she talks to them instead. Because it looks like of all the European leaders who might be able to soften President Trump on matters of NATO, restrictive immigration and excess nationalism, she will be the closest European leader to his ear.
On matters of helping the remnant EU in being more positively looked upon by the Trump administration, she could be an important friend and helpful go-between. She is not an ideologically hard anti-EU type while a number of key advisors and British friends to Trump are such as Nigel Farage.
May does not want to destroy the EU and that is important as she is in a unique position with the Trump administration in her country having the special relationship. She just wants free trade with the EU for the most part and would be content if the EU signed their own deal with the US, based on non-discriminatory principles to the UK.
But Merkel, doggedly in her Teutonic manner, if not careful, may stick to poisoning any help May can give by mauntaining her overly integrationist vision that Trump does not want to sign on to. Trump does not want to support a Germany-centric, heavily integrated EU. And May is on board with this message. This will not go down well with Merkel and her inner political group.
Yet May is the first national leader to visit Washington with Trump who has no solid plan for Merkel to come to the US. The UK prime minister is in a more enviable position. Because of Brexit she can be (soon) also on a more direct bilateral level with countries like Holland to likely France, particularly after its presidential election.
She can pick apart the web Merkel has woven to upset Brexit more than the Chancellor would like to admit. Thus, the UK and Germany and the US need to take care in this tripartite power play or the West could become further weakened.
For example, the more Merkel refuses Britain a reasonable Brexit deal, the more Germany could get more crowded out of the huge new free trade zone of the United States and the United Kingdom. And the more other EU members by association with Germany begin to feel uneasy about how they are being seen by the Trump administration by any possible hardball German politics against either the US or its big friend of the UK. This will be bad for atmospherics and may cause trade frictions between Europe and the Anglo-American “alliance”.
Then there is the need for security cooperation of intensity between the three. Merkel is fully aware of this. Germany is more dependent on the massive combined US and U.K. security and intelligence machine than the other way around.
Given how Merkel lavished praise on Obama and showed great sadness that he could not continue in office, these atmospherics have added to undermining Trump and Merkel’s relationship. The German ambassador to the US needs to be really busy correcting this if capable of doing so. It may be too big a job.
This is why I think Merkel should probably move in the direction of retirement along with her catastrophic EU external policies of driving England out and terrorism and unadapatable huge numbers of refuges in. She is too controversial a figure to generate solidarity with what should be her key strategic partners as well as much of the EU.
My candidate for the German chancellorship would be Axel Weber whose strict commitment for members to follow deficit and debt edicts from Brussels would fully show up the folly of EU integration. It would be the same result from his attitude to the ECB. His running in five years for the German chancellorship is probably a political fantasy idea.
Axel would either completely remake the EU patient by practically killing it with such hard love or as I said in my view, would make the EU truly realize it cannot even bear the German light standard on fiscality.
It would be ar least very interesting for this Swiss Bank chairman of UBS to be unleashed as one final effort to make an EU financially integrated and sound. Given his excellent American English, somewhat maverick style and awareness of US culture as a past Chicago professor and currently as a serious businessman, I think he would get along with Trump very well despite some serious policy differences.
Because, Axel knows German taxpayers can no longer stand that much more of bailing all these countries out. Whereas Merkel wants to keep on pushing forever and multiple mass surgeries to the periphery in particular or amputations like done to England no matter the pain and suffering and torment of it.
Webber is too serious to put up with such nonsense and would suitably catalyse reform of the EU in the end, leading to a more decentralized and flexible but self-sufficient European collective. That is my best guess.