A perfect storm is brewing which could soon hit Europe hard.
By Shaun Riordan and cross-posted from The Corner
Many of us are already enjoying our summer holidays. Others are packing now, looking forward to relaxing on the beach, or in the mountains. Wherever we are taking our holidays we should make the most of them. A perfect storm is brewing which could hit Europe hard in the autumn, with devasting economic and political consequences.
Europe on the edge
Europe is not exactly in the best of conditions for weathering a crisis. The European Union is in the midst of changing the guard. A new, and untested, Commission will take up its post in November. A new President of the European Central Bank, lacking banking experience, takes over at the end of the year.
At a national level, German chancellor Merkel is coming to the end of her reign, with questions about her health. German manufacturing teeters on the verge of recession. The Italian, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian governments are enmeshed in various conflicts with the Commission. Spain has no government, and may not have one until the New Year. Even if Pedro Sanchez can secure is re-election, the government will remain weak and unstable.
No Deal Brexit
And then there is Brexit. The first part of the storm. Some form of agreement may be hashed out by the end of October. But the attitude adopted by Boris Johnson and his hard-line cabinet makes a no-deal Brexit ever more likely. This will no doubt damage Britain. But it will also be bad news for Europe, as tariffs impact on, for example, the German car industry and the collapsing pound decimates the number of British tourists able or willing to visit the continent…