Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brexit - Consequences

(Source - Wikipedia)
I think British voters were fully aware about the economic danger of Brexit, but still sufficient number of them opted to get out of EU for Immigration reasons; all expressed as a threat to British identity. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the bad call of not understanding the deep damage of uncontrolled Muslim immigration to Europe. It basically sapped people's remaining trust in EU, and convinced a large number of those - Britishers and Europeans included - to feel like bureaucrats in Brussels are up to a wicked trick of overwhelming their lands.

On the day when US Supreme Court failed to support the Immigration cause, we are essentially hearing a 'war cry' by anti-immigration forces in Western countries. Not only UKIP will try to build on this success; National Front in France, AfD in Germany and Donald Trump in USA, all will be emboldened to ratchet up the pressure further. The only potent force to take on this wave of anti-immigration will be a Democratic nominee in USA November 2016 election. In either case, it will be a long, long road before this fever of 'anti-immigration politics' will cool down. Western Societies, with their 'winner take all' Capitalism, have become incapable of solving existential problems in places like Syria, Iraq and Africa which all result in waves of immigration. There is no political will in Western Societies to help address problems outside their border - either by 'boots on ground' or by 'currency'. These societies are becoming 'inward', wanting to play 'mercantile games' rather than open, global trade promoting societies. 

EU itself did not help here by being heavy-handed and ignoring what common Europeans needed in their day to day life. Brexit empowers 'centrifugal forces' in EU which will have harder time to stay together. Persistent doubts about EU's ability to solve problems of common Europeans will be raised from time to time. Unless Germany learns from the viseceral reaction of Brexit; there is much less chance of EU remaining intact in coming years.

Whether EU remains strong or not, meanwhile Scottish sentiments of independence are going to be inflamed and quite possibly we will see the demise of UK as well. Brexit was thought to be unthinkable, but it happened. Similarly, UK as a single entity may seem like an immutable country; but who knows Scotland could unbind itself making it harder and harder for UK to retain it's global stature. Chances of London Financial Sector scattering to continental Europe and other places are high. With weaker political muscle, it would even hardly justify UK's position in UNSC too. Dominoes are going to fall, in the process making Uncle Sam loosing it's trusted ally, making Vladimir Putin happy and in general making things harder globally for any kind of 'united action'. 

When 'institutions fail' to live up to people's expectations consistently; in the end people throw those institutions and try to gamble on something new. That is what we are witnessing in Brexit; just compounding misery all over the world for those who wanted to 'build upon' the current global governance foundation. 


Rick Ehrhart said...

I think that immigrants are different now that in the past. I think that enough of today's immigrants want to bring all of their values, language, and customs to the host country. This brings conflict. In attempting to solve the problem, I think that host countries have lenient on immigrants by supporting local languages and not trying more to integrate immigrants.

I also feel that people are not willing to wait for 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants get integrated into the host country. The host countries need to focus on the 2nd and 3rd generations and get them integrated.

- Rick -

Umesh Patil said...

Yes, assimilation is always a long process and that is why mature leaders need to be aware of 'what will pass / acceptable and what will create problems'. Chancellor Merkel is the most towering politician of her generation and the only one with ability and power to 'see through' what difficulties uncontrolled immigration would bring. The world needed her judgement to be perfect - she seems like missed it unfortunately. I am not discounting culpability of UK leaders; but I still believe sudden and un-governed immigration led to all these problems.

David Frum says: