Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
On Saturday, the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries, gathered for a crisis meeting at the “Borsig” villa near Lake Tegel located close to Berlin. At the meeting Germany and France discussed options for a more flexible Union, with less integration, a more functioning institutions and more freedom for the member states. Overturning the trend for the full surrender of national sovereignty to Brussels was also discussed. After the meeting a statement was given that the authorities in Britain should as quickly as possible realize the accepted referendum decision to leave the EU. Incidentally, the communique says the following: “The decision of the British people became a watershed moment in the history of Europe. The EU loses not just a member state of the Union, but also history, tradition and experience.”
For David Cameron the outcome of the referendum has become a personal “day of mourning”. While for Nigel Farage, it is a day of independence of the United Kingdom and a victory of ordinary people, the true and decent English. The discussion at “Borsig” appears more as a precaution against the looming avalanche of referendums in EU, than of an actual political will to change the Community for the better.
According to forecasts of the newspaper “Washington Post” after the British referendum, Greece, France, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and the Netherlands are also beginning to think about leaving the Union. It is known that Sweden and Britain are very close political partners. On a vote at the European level, in 90% of the cases the positions of both sides coincide. Eurosceptics in Denmark won in December 2015 at a national referendum by voting against the closer alignment with the EU in the legal field, and the integration of police structures. In the Netherlands, the movement of Eurosceptics is also powerful enough. In the spring of this year, when the Netherlands held a vote on the association of Ukraine in the EU, two thirds of Dutch people voted against this proposal. Greece in recent years is also seen as one of the main candidates to leave the EU. Hungary also disapproves of European bureaucracy, especially after Jean-Claude Juncker, called Prime Minister Viktor Orban a dictator. And Brussels is trying to bully the energy contracts of Hungary with the Russian Federation. Not to mention that in the case of refugees, Hungary is one of the most categorical countries: it does not need refugees and its policy will be directed against the attempts of Brussels to “circulate” them in different countries. The German edition of “Die Welt” also puts Austria and Finland in the list of countries that could leave the EU. In France, the leader of the party “National Front” Marine Le Pen also called for a referendum similar to the British. According to an opinion poll, 61% of the French are skeptical about keeping France in the European Union. In Slovakia, the far-right party also launched a petition for a referendum on leaving the EU. These movements, called populism by European, are the engine of the emergency meeting in Berlin, and not any real intentions of changes in the functioning of the Union.
In Europe, there is a saying: “Britain is always ready for war, but always for the last one.” After the patriotic Brexit victory, the island nation has to decide whether to permanently part with European project. This may lead to economic success, but only after the inevitable sacrifices it will have to bear because of the stunning blow to the economy, caused by leaving the EU. Or maybe they will choose the softer option which does not cut the umbilical cord with the European Union. The EU is the largest trading partner of the United Kingdom. About 45% of British exports go to EU markets, while only 6% of European exports go to Britain. This turnover employs around 3.3 million Britons. The UK gets more than 50% of total imported raw materials from the EU. While in 2014 the EU imported from Britain only 4 percent raw materials. It is clear that the economic consequences for Britain after Brexit will be very serious, if Britain does not prepare a new economic model to account for the current economic realities.
What lies ahead, after the divorce proceedings start? There are two options. Either the outcome will occur after negotiations with the European Council, or it will occur automatically in two years if the parties cannot come to an agreement. European leaders also hope for a third option, which is that the British government is not obliged to comply with the results of the referendum. Regardless of future developments, there will not be a catastrophe in Britain. There is also the examples of Switzerland and Norway, which are outside the EU, but enjoy the benefits of the EU in the form of the singular European market with its 500 million people. They are a good example that you can benefit from the fruits of independence, not to be weighted down with heavy European bureaucracy and the dictates of Eurocrats, and still have benefits. The mechanism attached on both sides is very simple – they unilaterally liberalized trade as they took down all tariff barriers. This contributes to economic development, and it eliminates interference from Brussels and the need to make contributions to the European budget.
Perhaps this is not the only scenario that Britain could use, but this would give an opportunity for economic growth in the long term, exceeding the forecast for Britain within the EU. Another big plus for London are cross-border financial services. If you take into account that the share of financial services in the UK economy is around 80%, this sector is unlikely to see any changes. The newly free UK, with zones of free and preferential trade in its pockets, will probably lose several billion pounds at the beginning, to confirm its status. But such a sacrifice is justified in view of future prospects, taking into account the fact that Britain now exports 8.5 billion euros to the EU budget without any tangible benefit from it. Another very important point is also relevant for British economic stability. Outside of intergovernmental negotiations and political decisions, behind the scenes there are already started negotiations between British, German and French companies. And they will ask for a “friendly divorce” to benefit business. Brussels can hardly afford to ignore their decisions and to deprive British companies from their European “passport” for doing business in the EU.
Perhaps most affected by the referendum is the United States. On the one hand, they will lose their Trojan horse in the EU, which was the island nation’s previous role. Besides negotiations with the EU, particularly important is the question of the future role of Britain in NATO. This question will inevitably have to be placed at the meeting of the organization in Warsaw, to be held on 8-9 July. It is known that NATO was planning to create a “Schengen zone” for the movement of troops and equipment. Brexit could put a brake on the military integration in the continent, and not only the military, as it calls into question one of the fundamental principles of the EU, about the meaning of the Schengen zone.
After Cameron resigned there will be changes not only in the economy but also in politics. The chances of Labour winning the next election are increasing. Att the helm, holding a hammer and sickle, could rise Jeremy Corbyn. No less of a chance has Boris Johnson, who is a favorite of Donald Trump. To model all the economic and political consequences of Brexit, is very difficult and the forecasts are unlikely to be made with much confidence.
Today in the world, everything is in some kind of interdependence. So we would have to be incorrigible optimists to say that the conclusions of the Eurosceptics are completely true. But here we need to see and what are the driving forces, located on both sides of the dividing line. Even without making an in-depth analysis, we see that the largest group of supporters of the EU is made up of the so-called globalists. The financial elites and the media stand behind them. They are “creative, educated and rich.” They are the people “best able to lead.” This false rhetoric, typical of the American model was applied at the British referendum. Proponents of staying in the EU, see themselves as “those who choose love.” And everyone else who wants independence for Britain, are “those who choose hatred and resentment.” By default, this means that all those who chose Brexit, are stupid, old, poor and uneducated. In other words, the English “scum.” Within the rhetoric of advocates of globalization, there are no surprises. They are completely predictable in their thinking and reactions. Throughout the world, these people are formatted by Anglo-Saxon propaganda to have brain squares, able to think only between the correct four walls. Most of them are young men, because propaganda has limited their view of the world to the clichés of globalist ideology. Among them are a large group of people with a good education. Education nowadays is built on the clichés of propaganda. At the same time, people who do not believe fully in newspapers and television, and who have a more independent thinking are labeled as “losers” in all countries.
Once it has emerged, the animosity between these two groups will not disappear. Britain will also become a victim of this mental civil war, which now takes place worldwide. In some places, it is not just mental. At the British referendum the “losers” won. But throughout history, Britain has demonstrated its ability to find a way out of any situation, thanks to its ingenuity and entrepreneurship. We wish it success now. Certainly Great Britain has this time also chosen the right path. And that path is to firmly declared their willingness for change.