theresa may Matt Cardy/Getty Images

La stratégie de Brexit d’un gouvernement britannique affaibli

OXFORD – À l’heure où Theresa May cherche à former un nouveau gouvernement, à l’issue d’une élection qui a vu le Parti conservateur perdre sa majorité parlementaire, la Première ministre sait qu’il lui faudra également se pencher dans quelques jours sur les détails de la sortie du Royaume-Uni hors de l’Union européenne. Initiée depuis un certain temps déjà, la préparation des négociations sur le Brexit se trouve jusqu’à présent perturbée par trois erreurs typiques en matière de pourparlers, sachant par ailleurs qu’il va désormais falloir composer avec la réalité d’un mandat gouvernemental britannique sévèrement endommagé.

La première erreur commise a consisté pour le gouvernement britannique à considérer qu’il se lançait dans une bataille. Lorsque tel est l’état d’esprit, il incombe aux négociateurs de dissimuler leurs véritables projets ou intentions, l’objectif consistant à se positionner de manière dominante pour finalement vaincre l’ennemi. Ajoutez-y quelques manœuvres de tromperie, et c’est comme si nous préparions le débarquement en Normandie.

Or, le Brexit n’est pas le D-Day. Il ne s’agit pas pour le Royaume-Uni de vaincre un ennemi, mais d’œuvrer pour la préservation de relations mutuellement bénéfiques auprès de pays dont il ne peut se distancier géographiquement – et dont il ne peut d’ailleurs se permettre de se distancier de quelque autre manière que ce soit. Le pays ne doit pas tenir ses projets secrets, comme il le fait jusqu’à présent, et il lui faut absolument éviter de se lancer dans cette acrobatie politique que l’on retrouve dans le cri de ralliement de Theresa May selon lequel « aucun accord vaut mieux qu’un mauvais accord ».

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