LONDON - It almost seems like a conditioned reflex: every time a slap comes from Europe, Giorgia Meloni looks west. Does Brussels remind Palazzo Chigi of the delays in ratifying the Mes and hit hard for the errors of the Pnrr? The premier addresses London and Washington, faithful to the approach of the sovereign right which imagines Italy as the "Poland of the West", describes the Anglo-Saxon bloc as a geopolitical refuge and strategic investment (not always reciprocated). A bank - at least so the leader hopes - that will allow her to escape continental isolation, while also reaching out to the nationalists of the East: in this key, work is currently underway on a mission to Prague - the other conservative executive in the EU - before the G7 meeting in mid-May.
In this spirit, the prime minister will present herself in London today. Waiting for her at 10 Downing Street is the young Conservative leader Rishi Sunak. The ultimate goal is to finally close the post-Brexit bilateral agreement, which Rome intends to push to the extreme limit of cooperation allowed by European rules. It is not certain that the signature will be reached, however: on the eve, everything is still shrouded in a nebula. And the same goes for the agenda: the one made public yesterday evening reads only 'London, official visit'.
It is as if something had jammed at Palazzo Chigi, they said. And international travel doesn't seem capable of reversing a trend either. The latest SWG survey credits the Brothers of Italy with 28.6%, but confirms the constant decline that has been going on for weeks: in the last seven days, the leader has lost another 0.4%. And here comes London providentially, a trip that was even supposed to be the first after taking office, to proclaim a political line and a precise strategy. In the end Meloni chose Brussels. But the spirit with which he approaches face-to-face with Sunak does not change: he also interprets the relationship with the British as a lever to strengthen the dialogue with Washington, which goes on between ups and downs. The White House, for example, has not yet made public an official date for the premier's visit to the Oval Office.
Meloni will stay in the British capital for two days. In addition to the meeting scheduled for this afternoon with Sunak, the Prime Minister should meet professionals, investors and the Italian community (very numerous in the United Kingdom, with 500,000 compatriots registered with Aire). You too will deliver a message of stability and trust to them, given that the City remains decisive in the perception of the markets. And given above all that the day before yesterday the Moody's rating agency promised to demote Italian bonds to the level prior to the "junk" level: the final choice will be made on May 19, Palazzo Chigi still hopes to avoid the setback, but the The risk is that such an eventuality would produce an immediate jump in the yield on Italian government bonds, with a negative effect also on the public finances.
But that's not enough. Meloni intends to push on industrial, technological and military cooperation. It is the philosophy behind the post-Brexit bilateral memorandum, which the former prime minister himself Boris Johnson hastily announced to Republic two years ago at the G7 press conference in Cornwall, but which has never really materialized so far. Hopefully this time it will be the right time, because it would be a single platform - precisely a "memorandum of under standing" - on Defence, Foreign Affairs, Economy, Trade, as London has already done with other major European countries such as France and Germany.
The Global Combat Air Program which will build the "fighter of the future", the Tempest, a sixth generation supersonic jet, should also be considered in this vein. Rome, London and Japan work there. And again, Eni participates for 20% in the UK Dogger Bank C project, the third phase of the largest offshore wind farm in the world (190 turbines off the British coast).
An objective - that of cooperation on the hottest dossiers - at the center of the 2+2 talks held at Villa Madama in February, involving the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries. And that also brought the Minister of Commerce to Rome Kemi Badenochthan with the counterpart Adolfo Urso and with Antonio Tajani had signed a "Memorandum of Intent on the Strategic Dialogue for the promotion of exports and bilateral investments in the post-Brexit context" between Italy and Great Britain.
Certainly, Meloni will try to exploit the common conservative vision that binds her to Sunak. And that you can only please the British premier in a post-Brexit key, both from a commercial and political point of view. So cooperation. Also on migrants, where however some details remain to be filed. Both leaders had promised an iron fist to limit the flows and presented legislative proposals to impose a squeeze (in Italy the Cutro decree). Both countries are grappling with an increase in arrivals. The dossier will therefore be on the bilateral table, imagining cooperation - also in terms of intelligence - to counter the phenomenon of illegal immigrants. But it is not easy to find common ground, also considering that London promotes the forced movement to Rwanda of migrants who arrive on British soil without having the right to do so: an attitude that Italy cannot support without exposing itself to Brussels.
And of course without neglecting Ukraine. An Atlanticist positioning that binds the two leaders, among the most exposed in favor of Kiev. Even in this case, however, Meloni is more at ease across the border: in fact, he governs in Rome with Matthew Salvini And Silvio Berlusconi, the Western Hemisphere's leaders perhaps most tender with Putin. It is said that the question will not be raised by the press during the two days in London. Assuming reporters have the opportunity to ask: at the moment, a press conference has not been confirmed.