Quote (Thor123422 @ 24 Oct 2020 19:35)
I mean, they kind of have to. If they make a soft deal with the United Kingdom then it shows people that leaving is easy. And they also have such a huge upper hand in negotiations that they can strong-arm the UK. So there's really no downside to them softening to make a better deal.
I dont think they have a huge upper hand. Upper hand for sure, but not by that much. The dominant people in the British government have always favored a hard brexit, and covid gives them the perfect cover to go through with it, since they can now blame the economic hardship that might come from it on the pandemic.
In general, I'm not sure if this "we cannot make leaving the EU too easy" is a convincing argument. EU politicians are constantly emphasizing that the EU is more than just an economic union, that it is a community of shared values. Proponents of the EU want an "ever closer union", they see it as a project whose arc of history inevitably leads toward "United States of Europe". In this sense, is it really for the better of the EU when countries which dont share those values and do not stand behind the "project" are economically blackmailed into staying in the club although they dont identify with it, although their heart is not in it?