Future of the EU in Trump's hands?

Two sides will take part in Brexit talks, so a parochial focus on things this side of the Channel risks missing key issues. For example, the current Greek bailout (of €86bn) is due to end next year and euro finance ministers are reviewing the deal. High on the list of concerns are doubts about whether the US-based International Monetary Fund will support another bailout – doubts compounded by President Trump’s belief that the eurozone is failing anyway and another package would be throwing good money after bad. Without the IMF, Germany would have to foot more of the bill, which makes for a pretty unattractive pitch in an election year. At the same time, the ECB has put the frighteners on other countries (like Italy) that might be considering a euro-exit, only confirming they see it as a realistic prospect. The UK may end up feeling it got out of the EU just in time, but big problems on the continent are in no one’s interest – and our negotiating partners will be looking for help in avoiding them.

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