Britain left the European Union on January 31 2020. However that was not the end of the story. Britain has now entered a transition period, lasting until December 31. During this 11-month period nothing much will change, at least in terms of trade, customs and the freedom of movement. However, there will be frantic negotiations between Britain and the EU, to patch together a trade deal by the December 31 deadline. Otherwise Britain will crash out of the bloc without a deal. This could have major economic consequences on both sides of the English Channel.
The man charged with leading Europe’s trade negotiations is Michel Barnier. He works for the EU, and his official title is Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom. It is going to be a tough job. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has got a large parliamentary majority, and unlike his predecessor, he appears unwilling to compromise his core position. Barnier has the delicate task of representing 27 different countries, and he also has to be mindful of the EU’s political and economic interests. If Britain’s gets too good a deal, and makes a success of Brexit, this could undermine the European project. On the other hand, if Britain walks away with no deal, hundreds of thousands of European workers could be adversely affected. This is partly because EU countries export more to Britain than Britain exports to the EU. If, for example, Britain puts tariffs on German cars, then the already struggling German car industry could be seriously damaged.
Michel Barnier was born on January 9 1951, at 4.40 pm, in La Tronche, France. Here is his horoscope:
The first thing to notice about his horoscope is that he is a Saturnine character, with five personal planets in Saturn-ruled signs. He has the Moon, Venus and Mars in Aquarius, and the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn. Barnier therefore has a calculating and intelligent approach, and he understands the importance of patience. And with the Aquarius planets in the Eighth House, he is not afraid of getting involved in legal and financial details.
The fact that Barnier has the Sun in the Seventh House means that he is a good negotatior. From an intellectual perspective he understands the other person’s point of view, even if he doesn’t fully grap the emotional undercurrents. It also seems that Barnier is capable of being secretive, and he is probably in his element when he is involved in behind the scenes discussions and planning. Afther all, he has a strong Eighth House, and his Sun is making a stressful aspect to Neptune. This means that those negotiating with him shouldn’t necessarily take what he says at face value. They should also ask who else he is talking to.
Two other aspects of note are an opposition aspect between Mars and Pluto, and a square aspect between Mercury and Saturn. The Mars-Pluto aspect is the quest for power, and perhaps even domination. The Mercury-Saturn square is certainly deep-thinking, but it can also be caustic – I suspect that Barnier can be very cutting if you’re having an argument with him. Yet Mercury-Saturn can also be pessimistic, and it is capable of seeing the worst in a situation.
Possibly the strongest planet in Barnier’s chart is his Jupiter in Pisces in the Ninth House. The Ninth House represents foreign contacts, so by living and working on the international stage he is fulfilling the potential of this placement. However, we shouldn’t forget that Jupiter is a planet that can be doctrinaire. It has a belief and a philosophy about the world, which it is not prepared to compromise. In Barnier’s case, the idea of Europe is important, and he has the arguments to prove it.
Right now, Barnier is gearing up for formal negotiations with the UK, which begin on March 2. On this day, Jupiter will be at around 19 degrees 45 minutes Capricorn. This means Jupiter is just past his natal Sun, which is at 18 35 Capricorn. It is also transitting his Seventh House. On the surface this bodes well. Barnier is the negotiator, and with transitting Jupiter moving through his Seventh House his many talents will move into top gear.
Yet I am not convinced that he’ll have much fun. On March 22 Saturn moves into Aquarius, and on May 11 it goes retrograde, just short of Barnier’s Venus at 2 13 Aquarius. I think the negotiation process will become tedious, even soul-destroying. And I also think that by the early Summer Barnier’s Gallic civility will be starting to fray. Matters won’t be helped by an appulse lunar eclipse on July 5, bang on his ascendant-descendant axis. The whole process will take its toll.
Looking at Barnier’s horoscope from a Vedic perspective, and we notice that his Moon, Venus and Mars go back into sidereal Capricorn. At the end of January Saturn went into sidereal Capricorn, and therefore made the sign-to-sign opposition to these three planets. This will last for a couple of years, and it is the peak of his sade sati period, when Saturn is in the Moon’s sign. In a previous article I mentioned that Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon is also in a sade sati period. Barnier’s horoscope is nothing like as afflicted as her’s, but the sade sati issues are still going to be difficult to deal with.
Overall, I don’t think Michel Barnier is going to enjoy the Brexit negotiations. They won’t be as fun as they were when Theresa May was British Prime Minister, and he may find it difficult to move things the way he’d like to. Perhaps he should just spare himself the aggravation, and hand things over to someone else.