But, surprisingly enough, May has a chance of pulling this off. The Brexit negotiations really are coming at a moment of low morale for the Eurocrats. In Poland and Hungary, Brussels has to deal with member regimes it claims to hate. Within critical member states like France and Italy, it has to fight the political forces representing EU dissolution. Turkey is also turning up the pressure, threatening to cause turmoil in the hopes of boosting dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Rather than high-tailing it to Dublin and Frankfurt, the financial industry seems to be effectively lobbying for mercy for the U.K. Peripheral states in the EU, like Sweden and Ireland, benefit immensely from liberal trade policies with the United Kingdom. Do the French and German hardliners really believe that after EU-defender Emmanuel Macron raised such huge sums of money for his presidential campaign in London that his patrons will be pleased to be bidden home under punitive Brexit terms?
And Scotland may be sore about Brexit, but its prospects for independence really are materially worse than previously thought. Everyone now knows that the SNP used ludicrous projects based on oil wealth in the last IndyRef. And with the forces of nationalism stalking Europe, there are big EU member states like France and Italy that would rather discourage secessionist movements in their own countries. They’d be very hesitant to grant expedited membership to Scotland. That means Scotland would have to create its own currency and have some kind of defense policy on top of recreating the National Health Service without nearly as much money to fund it.