To Brexit or not to Brexit?

Peter Fieldman

So David Cameron was able to return to London brandishing a paper. “I have spoken to the Chancellor and bring a piece to gain time.” It saved his face allowing the referendum to go ahead as planned while the compromise agreed with his counterparts in Europe saved the European Union from disintegrating, if only temporarily.

Angela Merkel y David Cameron en Bruselas

 

Why? Because the crisis is not yet over. Europe still has to deal with the migrant issue. At a time when Europe’s political leaders are calling for more unity, why Angela Merkel chose to unilaterally invite the world’s poor and persecuted without consulting her European colleagues is a mystery. It has led to the most damaging situation the European Union has faced in its seventy year history and adds to the ongoing economic crisis with millions unemployed and huge national debts.

While many countries around the world suffer from massive inequality and conflicts, exacerbating the desire to migrate, nobody is able to agree on how to deal with millions of people from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are prepared to risk their lives to reach the promised land of Western Europe now that the German chancellor has opened the way. Schengen is virtually dead as several member states put up the shutters rejecting the idea for quotas, usually reserved for trade not for the distribution of people. They will never work as the goal of every migrant – refugees or economic – is to reach western or northern Europe adding to the current economic and social problems. Any talk of enlargement to include the Balkan States and Turkey must be shelved.

Whatever was agreed in Brussels does not answer the major question, which is should Great Britain remain a member of a club in which it does not wish to abide by the rules? France has made it clear that if Britain leaves the EU it will not be allowed to interfere in the Central European Bank or decisions regarding the Euro. It is inconceivable that without both Great Britain and the single currency the European Union can remain a serious world player economically or politically, competing with China and the USA in particular.

This requires every member state to ultimately embrace the Euro and agree some form of political, economic, social and fiscal harmony? Otherwise the European Union becomes pointless. In the global economy over one billion people use the RMB while the US dollar is traded around the world. Imagine the USA if California or New York State had their own currency and wanted to run their affairs outside the orbit of Washington?

With the growing bureaucracy and waste in Brussels, coupled with the vast inequality between eastern and western European member states, there have been suggestions that the leading western economies form a hard core with the Euro, while the others become “associates.”

The choice for Great Britain is either to remain a member state, adopt the Euro and maintain an influential role in world affairs, or revert to being an island off the north west coast of Europe with its own sterling currency and hope the City of London will still be able to operate as a major international financial centre. A scenario, which is by no means certain.

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