On the 23rd of june the population of Great – Britton will vote whether or not to turn back half a century of European Unification. My question is: can we stop them from becoming an enemy to the union?
It is very unfortunate that a Nobel-peace-prize winning project like the European Union should dissolve over the influx of, after-all, a minority of refugees. For it are the racism-laden bottom-feeding nationalist movements that are inflicting this Brexit sucker-punch onto the Western hemisphere. While a lot of ink has flown, and rightly so, about the immediate economic consequences of this move, it seems only a lonely blog has raised the alarm concerning the geo-political implications. In that respect it raises a lot of good points, but it misses the main one: Great-Britain is a historically natural enemy of a unified European continent.
Being just a small Island the U.K. was never capable of fielding the land armies that continental powers were mustering, coming out of the Middle Ages. Their main strategy therefore was to form a defended water-moat around themselves and to hold the greatest Navy so no-one else would be able to cross. It also had to prevent the continent from becoming a united block by maintaining a balance of power .
This strategy becomes clear when one sees that the Britons frequently changed allies between Spain, Prussia and France, to help tip the scales in favour of the weaker of the warring parties. They were also not too shabby to ally with the Ottoman Empire or to financially support disruptive political forces in order to prevent the powers on the continent coming too close together.
That Great-Brittain never abandoned it’s idea of ‘Nation in splendid isolation’ is clear from its refusal to join the Euro. It is obvious that leaving a monetary union is a lot harder than leaving an alliance, which the Britons have done many times before and likely anticipated from the very start. And while one would be justified to demand that history take a backseat to the present circumstances, geography and demographics are as consistent for the English as they are for the Russians who have once again occupied the Crimea and are again in dispute with Turkey as if it is 1816 instead of 2016.
It would not surprise anyone that the relations between the E.U. and Great-Britain would sour somewhat following a Brexit. By consequence economical treaties would be negotiated in bad faith, at the disadvantage of the smaller party. In the middle-long-term it would thus benefit the UK to steer a course to dissolve the remainder of the Union, to isolate other states and to try form alternative alliances. If the UK is not interested in forming part of the continental alliance it certainly has no interest in the continued existence of this alliance.
Make no mistake, for as strong as is the State of the European Union, even the union across the Atlantic, where they do all speak the same language, is internally heavily divided. At certain moments in its history the E.U. will again be confronted by dissent, by internal discord, and when that happens the U.K. will be there to crowbar elements out. Not to mention that the current balance of three powers with U.K., France and Germany lend itself to break political stalemates, which with only France and Germany would no longer be the case.
Then there is still the Cold War that is currently being contested between the E.U. and Russia. Without the U.K., Russia’s side stands a lot stronger. Already there is talks about lifting the sanctions that were put into place because of the unilateral ‘anschluss’ of Crimea and South-East Ukraine. We can only commend Putin on his geopolitical ability as his bombing campaign over Syria was for a large part intended to re-inflate the mass-migrations in order to put more strain on the internal relations of the E.U. If UKIP wins the poll on Thursday, that will mainly be a Russian victory.
You would think such an event wouldn’t be as ignored by the remainder of the countries, as it thus far has been. We can only conclude with utter contempt for the historians that predicted the “End-Of-History” after WWII had created the tense, but peaceful polarised world. It seems the European continent has seen the longest period of uninterrupted peace for a long time.
Please vote ‘Stay’! For all our sakes. Thank you.