The Economist noted that the European Union (EU) member states fall into three categories. This is based on reportage on the EU27 and Brexit negotiations.
Of those opinions categorised for the EU member states, these fall into three categories: “hard-core, hard and soft.” The main thrust of the EU negotiation and the results of the new index reported by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the variables in discussion.
It gauges the views of EU states on the four core negotiating issues: the amount of money Britain will have to pay to leave; the four EU freedoms (movement of goods, services, workers and capital); trade arrangements and tariff barriers; and defence ties.
Based on the examination of EIU analysts, the ranks given to member states of the EU were out of 40. At the top of the rank, France earned the top spot. It is at 32.5 out of 40. Different nations have different concerns.
“This cluster mixes the traditional Anglophobes, Belgium and France, with the poorest member states, Bulgaria and Romania, who are concerned about both free movement and the budget. It also includes Germany, which sees itself as the custodian of the EU’s future cohesion.”
For the hard slot, 12 EU member states fall into it, which is significant if only 27 in the “EU27” and 3 categories. Hard-core scores were about 30 out of 40. Hard scores were 25-30. Soft scores were below 25.
“The final eight EU members, with scores below 25, make up the “soft” category. They include some which share Britain’s liberal position on trade and EU regulation—such as Sweden and Denmark. It also includes Ireland, with whom Britain has close historical and trade ties.”
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland placed a “premium” on Britain’s contributions. Contributions of defence and security for the continent.
“Nonetheless, even the countries most sympathetic to Britain have limits on how generous they will allow the terms of Brexit to be. If nothing else, the importance of maintaining warm relations with the remaining EU members will dissuade them from undermining the group’s overall negotiating position.”
The full report by the EIU can be read here.