Withdrawal from the EU will be very painful for Britain

Britain’s annulment process with the European Union will be very painful and not very easy either. Other members of the EU have told the U.K. to exit immediately without waiting for two more months, but this separation will not take two months but rather years.

On June 23, the British people spoke in favor of popular sovereignty and self-government. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has shocked the world. Leaders sometimes gamble. In this case, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum to decide whether the UK would prefer to remain in or to leave the EU, but he thought that citizens would vote in favor of staying in the EU.

The people of Britain, however, voted 53.4% to 46.6% to exit, and his gamble cost his job. Cameron has paid a high price not only losing his job, but endangering the UK as well because he accepted the populist challenges of his rivals.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, also made the same kind of gamble, a very important attempt to revive the collapsing Soviet Union that was suffering from several social, political, and economical problems. When Gorbachev came to power in 1985, the Soviet Union was falling apart financially, and because it had focused on industry, construction, and transportation, the Soviet economy was unable to meet the needs of its people. As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world map significantly changed. Fifteen new countries achieved their independence from the Soviet Union. As a result of the UK’s leaving the EU, several new countries may likewise gain their independence from the UK.

Europe is already a weakened club, especially after letting all the poor former Soviet countries join the EU thereby making the EU even poorer but bigger. The UK’s ties to the EU added yet another layer of government that imposed its will upon the British people. Governments are always expensive and keen to expand. The EU is no different. Many European citizens feel they can no longer control their own government, and they have absolutely no way of controlling the EU. The economies of the EU countries are already suffering under too many rules and regulations from Brussels. The member nations cannot afford to let this continue.

The British voters, consequently, chose freedom. They decided to control their own destiny and their nation autonomously. Leaving the EU would mean England no longer had to contribute to the EU budget, according to campaigners who were pro-Brexit In the year 2015, Britain paid in 13 billion British pounds to the EU budget, but also received 4.5 billion pounds that the EU spent on the UK. So the UK’s net contribution was 8.5 billion, the underlying financial impetus of the movement. All those EU membership fees go to the other poor EU countries.

The question is whether the financial advantage of the EU membership, such as free trade and investment, outweigh the upfront costs. The EU is a single market in which no tariffs are imposed for imports and exports between member states. The EU is currently trying to establish the world’s biggest free trade with the US. Granted that in Britain’s leaving the EU, Britain loses some of its negotiating power, but now it will be free to establish its own trade rules and agreement. In belonging to the EU, Britain lost its sovereignty, security, and economy, so the British people voted to take back their country in order to regain their borders, laws, money, and security.

It is a clear that Russia would be a winner if the EU dissolved, because Russia wants a weak Europe and a weak trans-Atlantic relationship, and Moscow will help to undermine the US- sanctioned regimes because the United States and the EU have held Russia under economic sanctions in retaliation for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine’s war.

The other countries’ leaving Europe will depend on how painful the UK’s annulment process from the EU is because an expedient and beneficial one for Britain will make a separation more appealing to other countries. But one thing is for sure: the EU is a weak and poor club that is not able to meet the needs for security, economic, and social issues for its member countries.

Dr. Aland Mizell is President of the MCI and a regular contributor to Mindanao Times. You may email the author at:aland_mizell2@hotmail.com



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