“Since there is no future, the wanderings of the past are back in Europe”. On this topic, our team finds interesting to identify some sort of an echo of the Continental Blockade within the Brexit affair. There will be of course no strict parallel, but this parallel might show that Brexit is at least as much the result of a rejection of the UK by the continent as the other way around.
It is a fact that the glorious decade of the UK’s reign over the EU dates back to the 1990s. From the mid-2000s onwards, the entire continent mobilised in order to put the UK back in its place. Consequently, the latter lost its tactical advantage of being a connecting point between the United States and the EU. The process thus triggered (influencing UK’s initiative on the continent) logically extended to a complete exit, the Brexit. By taking a closer look, since the symbolic “departure” of the UK in June 2016, the EU is stepping up a process of reorganisation and of integration strengthening, mainly from a political point of view, whilst the UK is sinking into political chaos: divisions in the conservative camp; the impossibility of finding parliamentary majorities to negotiate this divorce; the inability to implement the hard Brexit which the Leave vote promoters had dreamed of; the failure of early elections to recover political legitimacy… Brexit is definitely not a good deal for the UK, nor for the camp who got it, and looks more and more like vengeance of a continent for the 30 year long blockage imposed by the UK to the political integration of the EU. And the next step our team is anticipating in the UK political crisis is May’s departure by the end of the year and a final turnaround in favour of a “soft” divorce, allowing the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Slowness, disagreements, division,… each negotiation round on the UK’s exit from the European Union looks like the next. In our June issue of the GEAB bulletin, we defended the position that there was “no exit from Europe, only shocks of a redefinition process“. The same day that the British decided to leave the EU, academics and politicians set on fire around the question: How can a European structure negotiate such issue, knowing this same structure has always reflected on its integration and not on its “disintegration”?
Our team suggests answering this question by analysing the process of the European negotiations and the British governmental context, in order to show that the current Europe is incapable of negotiating the Brexit otherwise than in a brutal way. Negotiations illustrate a European structural crisis in line with our research on the “systemic crisis”…