EU workers out for Thursday night drinks told us what negotiations look like from their end.
Photo: Flickr user missbossy via / CC By 2.0
Every Thursday evening in Brussels, EU staffers, wonks and eurocrats meet in Place du Luxembourg by the European Parliament to get peeshed.
The main feature of the square is a line of bars with terraces overspilling onto the pavement. On sunny summer days, the nearby roads are closed to traffic because of the amount of people gathering for a pint – or whatever unpatriotic measurement they use over there – and a gossip.
Plux, as it’s nicknamed, is the best place in town to find out who’s shagging who, which MEP is having a great time with their expenses and what the EU Commission might do next. But what about Brexit?
VICE spent an evening drinking in the Brussels bubble, talking to people in various states of intoxication about what they make of the whole British mess. This is what we learnt:
“They don’t know what they’re doing. It’s unprecedented, so no one knows what they’re doing, but Britain really don’t know what they’re doing.”
On our clueless negotiations.
“Do we refer to the last speech Theresa May was giving? Because that was ridiculous. I’m sorry for her, but that was a shame.”
The Florence speech went down a treat.
“I think they’re trying. They’re honestly trying. But the British government is dissolving itself due to other issues as well, which is not very helpful because we have a very strict deadline.”
God loves a trier.
“We talked about it a lot for about three months.”
Brexit is passé in Brussels apparently.
“I tried following British politics but it drove me nuts really quickly because there was so much happening, so I stopped.”
On keeping up with Westminster.
“Brexit did launch a small revolutionary movement, and since then we’ve had several countries who decided to start their own mess.”
Brexit's domino effect.
“The EU was founded so we could have peace, and it’s worked: we’re not having wars any more. What do you want? Do you want to go to war? Would you be happy going to war? See, you wouldn’t.”
Some intense guy.
“Not a lot. Ten to 15 minutes a day.”
On how much time is spent talking about Brexit.
“For now we don’t see anything happening. We just know that there are some rounds of negotiations, but that’s pretty much it and we do think, all of us, that it’s not going to be good for the UK.”
“Well, I’m not a fan.”
On Theresa May.
“We were chatting up these girls and they’ve left because you made us talk about Brexit. You ruined it!”
Two angry Belgian men.
“Even between colleagues, we never talk about Brexit – at the moment, we mostly talk about Catalonia.”
On whether Brexit is big in Brussels.
“It's not moving along. The odds that it will not happen at all are increasing, I think.”
Music to Remainer ears.
“FUCK THE BRITS!”
Some drunk French guy.
“I think people here like saying that they don’t care about Brexit, but when March 2019 comes it will be a shock for everyone.”