Three years after the Brexit referendum, after a dozen German talk shows on the topic this year alone, there is a black-on-white solution for the Brexit question - or at least that's what it says. More than 80 pages thick is the summary of the paper in which this solution stands, says Tory MP Greg Hands. Title: "Alternative Arrangements for the Irish Border". And then there is hardly time for it.
At least in the round with "Anne Will" this solution holds only one for a solution - and that is Hands itself, one of its inventors. The other guests do not believe it. Above all Norbert Röttgen (CDU), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag: "The EU plays with every ball that is leaked from London," he says. But: "The ball is not in the 80 pages": much "could", much "would have" - "an abstract description", but "no solution" for the backstop dissent.
"Greg, one of the mistakes is that you are trying to sell the people stupid," says @n_roettgen about the UK government's reason for sending Parliament into compulsory retirement. #AnneWill #Johnson #Brexit pic.twitter.com/uKv0mF6qPY- ANNE WILL Talk Show (@AnneWillTalk) September 8, 2019
One would like to know more about this paper at this point. And about what Röttgen's problem is exactly. That also asks Hands. But right there is Caren Miosga with the "Tagesthemen" in the starting blocks, and Anne Will says: "We can not clarify that now." Au revoir, alternative arrangements.
This is unsatisfactory, on the one hand - so a, two more stringent references to the content could have been there. On the other hand, a talk is not the place where texts can be worked on by the charm of a manual that has not really played a role in the political debate so far. It's about something else with "Anne Will": "Boris Johnson's method".
This approach could easily be criticized - because personnel questions are about content; typical talk and so on. However, one would not do justice to the Brexit theme either, as if it did not finally degenerate into a power play under Johnson.
For example, Britain-based German historian Tanja Bueltmann says Johnson has no plan and never had one.
"I would be illegal overnight, and at least two million more EU citizens," says @cliodiaspora about the impact of unregulated Brexit on EU citizens in the UK. #AnneWill #Brexit #Johnson pic.twitter.com/OFDcryyZhr- ANNE WILL Talk Show (@AnneWillTalk) September 8, 2019
"He wanted to become prime minister," that's all. The German-British Irina von Wiese, MEP of the Liberal Democrats, says that "the negotiations" between London and Brussels are "a myth" - there are none. What also Norbert Röttgen believes: "There is no negotiating item ever offered." Talks as a feint, to say that they have tried.
Greg Hands is the only one in the round who defends Johnson and claims to give him a surprise: "He's the elected British prime minister," he says. He did not vote for him, but "I would not underestimate him." Difficult role he has in this discussion, which cultivates rather a stunned view from the outside.
"I would not underestimate Boris Johnson," says @GregHands at #AnneWill. #Johnson #Brexit pic.twitter.com/bzBQZXRVDk- ANNE WILL Talk Show (@AnneWillTalk) September 8, 2019
Johnson, of course, does not want to underestimate anyone - everyone would "trust him", says Röttgen. But while Irina von Wiese, for example, even considers it possible that Johnson breaks the law against a no-deal Brexit that Parliament has just set before him, Hands says: "He trusts that the British Prime Minister will follow the law." Britain is a constitutional state. Which again threatened by Wiese however sees: The situation is "completely, completely dangerous".
Here is the round at the core. The Brexit is only the foil of a discussion about a "pure and high form of populism" (Röttgen). This is to be seen, if the prime minister sends the parliament in a compulsory break, in order to prevent it from intervening against its course.
Greg Hands, who emphasizes he did not vote in favor of Brexit - a majority of the British, though - is back in the defense role as well: such breaks happen again and again, especially when a new government takes over. Röttgen replies: "Now the future is decided." And historian Bueltmann says that after the migrants and the EU, the Brexit hardliners are now building the next enemy picture - and this time it is democracy itself.
Clear warning: people would "suffer bitterly"
And how next? Greg Hands is undeniably opposed to anyone who says a new deal with the EU will not happen. The former Brussels correspondent Rolf-Dieter Krause pleads for patience. One should not turn away annoyed - under a no-deal Brexit people would "suffer bitterly," he says.
Irina von Wiese is counting on a second referendum - after all, an unregulated Brexit has never been voted on. Röttgen can also win something. However, he also says that he is not sure that things would turn out differently: one can not assume that the British and German moods are identical. He believes, however, rather, to a "tactical calculus characterized new election" after 31 October. That would be in his eyes also "a capped referendum". Exit open.