( A four-minute read: Dedicated to the Sacrificial youth of England.)
Neither the UK nor the continuing members of the EU can escape their geographical interdependencies. Both have a stake in economic and political stability in Europe. All of Europe, including Britain, will suffer from the loss of the common market and the loss of common values that the EU was designed to protect.
Whatever happens the process of Brexit is sure to be fraught with further uncertainty and political risk, because what is at stake was never only some real or imaginary advantage for Britain, but the very survival of the European project.
The lack of a written constitution in England could well be critical, because the very absence of a clear pathway means that much is possible.
A British exit – or Brexit – undoubtedly will change the future of the UK and the European Union.
It is impossible here to cover all the consequences that will rumble on and on for years and years to come.
No matter whether England now negotiates, a Soft or Hard Brexit it will continue to be a thorn. Ever since England joined the European Union it has been a thorn in its side. During its 43 years of European Adventure, London has often been seen as reluctant to any further deepening of the European Union and further integration. Voluntarily outside the euro area and Schenghen space, the country has regularly criticized the European institutions and undermined its contribution to the EU budget.
It’s hard to know what Britain wants and, more importantly, can plausibly expect from a new deal with its erstwhile EU partners.
Britain. I believe, had the best of all possible deals with the European Union, being a member of the common market without belonging to the euro and having secured a number of other opt-outs from EU rules. And yet that was not enough to stop the United Kingdom’s electorate from voting to leave.
Because the European migration crisis and the Brexit debate fed on each other.
Because the European authorities delayed important decisions on refugee policy in order to avoid a negative effect on the British referendum vote, thereby perpetuating scenes of chaos like the one in Calais and Greece.
Admittedly, the EU is a flawed construction but will Brexit be the catalyst for an unravelling of the European integration project, or, with the removal of a member that has long been the awkward partner, be an opportunity to move forwards.
I fear that the EU’s response to Brexit could well prove to be another pitfall.
European leaders, eager to deter other member states from following suit, may be in no mood to offer the UK terms – particularly concerning access to Europe’s single market.
After Brexit, all of us in the European Union who believe in the values and principles that the EU was designed to uphold must band together to save it by thoroughly reconstructing it.
The challenges can be framed in stark terms:
The European Union is headed for a disorderly disintegration, and can only be saved if it is reconstructed to satisfy citizens’ needs and aspirations.
In the increasingly unstable interim there is a third option.
A Clean EU Brexit or a rerun of the Referendum.
If England wants leave the European Union by March 2019. Leave means Leave.
So is it time to stop the “shadow boxing” and save billions.
Any other option will result in the collapse of the Union. Any cherry picking is bound to end up with Europe holding a pole.
At the moment paradoxes abound in the Brexit decision.
The UK economy has achieved something of a turnaround since joining in 1973, with the implication that membership has been good for the economy.
A further paradox is that areas which have benefitted from EU membership – including the parts of Wales and England in receipt of the highest flows from EU Cohesion Policy – have proved to be hostile.
Yet another paradox is the hostility to migrants.
Migrants crowd-out locals in accessing public services and are blamed for depressing wages at the bottom end of the wage distribution, yet public services will collapse without migrants, as for wages it was not the EU that introduces No hours contracts.
These phenomena are strong negatives for those who see themselves as losers from globalisation/economic integration. In an increasingly volatile world, neither the EU nor the UK have an interest in a divorce that diminishes their influence as the balance of economic power shifts away from the North-Atlantic world.
The unprecedentedly rapid anointment of Theresa May enforces only the uncertainty of the consequences of Brexit is certain.
Leaving the EU in its current form is unprecedented and EU law only outlines rough exit procedures. The conditions and results of the leaving agreement negotiations will depend on the judgements of the European Council as well as the European Parliament not the House of Commons.
There is no formula that can calculate the outcome of a Brexit on its security and most importantly, even if there was a formula, there would be too many unknown variables to resolve it.
The UK itself may not survive. Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, can be expected to make another attempt to gain its independence, and some officials in Northern Ireland, where voters also backed Remain, have already called for unification with the Republic of Ireland.
Having a major world economy disentangle itself from a powerful geopolitical trading bloc is unprecedented.
The UK will have to answer the question of whether it wants to continue to maintain close economic cooperation with the EU and whether it wants to maintain and potentially even strengthen its engagement in security and, conceivably, defence matters.
This is ultimately a political choice that must be spelled out unambiguously.
However, lower public revenues and higher demands on public spending, not just in Britain but also in the EU, suggesting a plausible lose-lose economic scenario, dominating the direct effects of EU budget changes.
In 2014, the UK exported a total of £515.2bn in goods and services. The share of the total UK exports sold to the listed trade partners or groups of trade partners are as follows: EU (44%); US (17%); China (including Hong Kong) (5%); Switzerland (4%); Japan (2%); Rest of the world (28%).
The UK now imports almost half its energy, more than at any time in history.
The UK is currently importing over 50% of its food and feed, whereas 70% and
64% of the associated cropland and greenhouse gas impacts, respectively, are
A quarter of their food from the EU, and that’s a problem.
In 2015, the UK£38.5 billion it spent to import food and drink.
Now, it will have to re-negotiate its trade and policy relationships with each EU member state. That’s going to be a critical process for the country, which sends 70% of its food and agricultural products to EU nations.
And that just the tip of the iceberg.
The London Stock Exchange is the entry point into Europe for American investors and many other countries. With Brexit, it may lose this status: the European Union may question the “financial passport” London and position the Paris Stock Exchange or the Frankfurt to be the new entry point for investors in Europe.
London is: 20% of country’s GDP.
There is no such thing as Sovereignty in a world that is operating more and more on Artificial Intelligence. The ‘federal Europe’ project was yesterday’s and it is more probable that the Union of the future will increasingly take the form of differentiated integration.
There are 3.6 million citizens of other countries in the EU currently living in the UK.
This may be the true legacy of Brexit.
Numerically, 17.4 million people have spoken for Brexit and 16.1 million to remain within the EU.
It is thought that more than 70% of young voters chose to remain in the EU.
The current price for a British passport on the black market at 2,800 pounds (3,100 euros) Europe’s trade in forged and stolen passports is so out of control it has doubled in five years. A whole travel package, including an EU passport, can cost up to €10,000.