This image of German chancellor Angela Merkel sums up the Brexit sentiment precisely.

Merkel watershed2

The above image appears in the Financial Times article Brexit: Angela Merkel pushes back on EU pressure for quick divorce.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has attempted to rein in pressure from within Europe to force Britain quickly to trigger divorce proceedings with the EU, saying that while “it shouldn’t take forever”, rushing into an exit was unwarranted.

Ms Merkel’s cautious words, coming during a day-long gathering of her CDU/CSU bloc, came in stark contrast to those from other EU leaders, including European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and even some within her own government, pushing for immediate Brexit.

Mr Juncker told German media that he would like Brexit proceedings “to get started immediately”.

“Britons decided . . . that they want to leave the European Union, so it doesn’t make any sense to wait until October to try to negotiate the terms of their departure,” Mr Juncker said.

Similarly, foreign ministers of the founding six EU states, who held a hastily arranged meeting in Berlin on Saturday, also urged quick action. Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, said it should only take “a few days” for a new UK leader to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which begins two-year exit proceedings.

Mr Schulz and Sigmar Gabriel, Ms Merkel’s deputy chancellor — acting as German social democrats — have put forward a 10-point EU reform plan proposing more power for national parliaments and the EU parliament. They criticise the union for taking decisions at closed-door gatherings of the 28 leaders — an approach favoured by Ms Merkel.

Ms Merkel, who has resisted any moves that would separate the core six founding EU members from the rest of the bloc, emphasised that any decision on a way forward with Britain should be taken with all member states. At an EU summit next week, the leaders of the 27 remaining members are expected to meet without Mr Cameron in the room.

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German social democrats may also see chances to make common cause with the centre-left governments in France and Italy against Ms Merkel’s tough economic rules for the eurozone — and to work for more fiscal flexibility for vulnerable economies.

Meanwhile, both Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Poland’s ruling PiS party, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, have called for treaty changes.

However, Ms Merkel is dead against such drastic moves. Her close political ally, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger, warned that treaty change plans would “be a model for rightwing populists to take apart the European project”.

It’s easy to sympathize with Merkel. But why sympathize with anything that delays the inevitable?

EU rules and regulations are nonsensical, and so is EU protection of French agricultural.

It would be best to scrap the whole damn thing and start all over. Unfortunately, that is not how nannycrats like Merkel think.

Curiously, Merkel is correct on one count. Punishing the UK will backfire wildly.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock