Which is the best way to handle the Brexit debacle? The British — in the shape of prime minister Boris Johnson and his chief negotiator David Frost — like to play with the big boys and girls and are confining most of their
activities to Berlin and Paris, before heading for the G7 summit in Biarritz.
Closer to home, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney is travelling further afield, to Helsinki, Prague, Warsaw and Copenhagen, to reinforce the Irish message. The French are sick to death of the whole thing and can hardly wait for the British to leave, while the Germans are holding stoutly to the EU message that the backstop is not for changing.
The best way to handle it would be for the remaining 27 to exhibit solidarity beyond Brexit, but this would demand a unanimity of purpose that simply doesn’t exist. The EU is divided on many issues, most notably immigration.
On Tuesday, Spain ordered a naval ship to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where migrants were stranded on a rescue boat (some of them had jumped overboard after being refused permission to land in Italy). The Spanish will bring them to Mallorca.
While Brexit has unified the 27 temporarily, when it finally happens, other major issues will expose cracks in the remaining bloc, which could prove fatal to its future.
In the meantime, the Dutch have taken a more sanguine view of Brexit — they plan to throw a beach party.