There seems to be a softening in attitude in certain parts of the EU to Brexit. Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said he wants to secure easy access to the City of London, the UK’s financial centre by the 27 remaining EU countries after Brexit. “There will be a special/specific relationship. There will need to be work outside of the negotiation box… in order to avoid financial instability.”
This follows on from Mark Carney, the Bank of England Governor’s comments this week: “If you rely on a jurisdiction (the UK) for three-quarters of your hedging activities, three-quarters of your foreign exchange activity, half your lending and half your securities transactions, you should think very carefully about the transition from where you are today to where the new equilibrium will be.” Carney also said a hard Brexit would hurt the EU more than the UK. It’s tricky to establish exactly what the UK’s net contribution to the EU is since figures vary wildly depending on who is using them as rhetorical leverage. Possibly in the region of eight and a half billion pounds (having removed the rebate). Since many of the EU countries take rather than give to the EU coffers, it will have a sizeable impact.
Whether or not all the top EU bureaucrats will be on the same page as Barnier is questionable.
Der Spiegel this week described Martin Selmayr, head of cabinet for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, as the most powerful bureaucrat in Brussels, with some even going so far as to say that he is the true leader of the European Union. And he is determined to play a greater policymaking role in future. They described him variously as the Rasputin of Brussels and Juncker’s Doug Stamper á la “House of Cards.”
Born 5 Dec 1970, Bonn, Germany, he’s a Sun Sagittarius like Juncker, with a determined Saturn in Taurus opposition Jupiter in Scorpio which is square a devoted-to-a-cause North Node in Aquarius.
His Pluto is conjunct the EU Ascendant exactly so he’ll appreciate the prospect of controlling its image and identity; with his Venus in Scorpio tying into the EU Grand Cross, exactly opposition the EU Moon and square its’ Uranus. His Mars is conjunct the EU Jupiter Neptune, so tending to push for overly ambitious financial schemes that may end in Jup Nep bubbles bursting.
Tr Neptune will square his Sun this year until 2018 giving him a few sinking moments; with a highly strung and highly insecure tr Uranus opposition Mars and Solar Arc Uranus conjunct his Neptune in 2018. So not all going his way.
His relationship chart with the EU is under challenging pressures and sagging more than somewhat with tr Pluto sextile the composite Mars Neptune, and tr Neptune opposing Uranus in 2017 and Pluto in 2018/19. Plus a separating tr Saturn conjunct the composite Sun Venus Mercury in 2017 into 2018.
Mind you, Juncker and the EU are also not exactly singing off the same hymn sheet over the next two years (see previous post Jan 3); and Juncker’s relationship with Selmayr is also heading downhill.
Barnier and Juncker certainly don’t get on with a hostile composite Mars opposition Pluto, trine/sextile Saturn Neptune and a power-struggling Jupiter square Pluto. And the Barnier/Selmayr relationship chart is equally under argumentative, jolting and sinking influences in 2017/18.
The USA isn’t the only region in political disarray.