Why Brexit is Making the European Union Look Good?
About two years ago, the people of Britain voted in a referendum to opt out of the European Union. As soon as the results of that referendum were declared, there was nothing but horror and silence in the international community. The European Union is considered to be one of the last bastions of the western economy. Individual member countries like Italy and Greece seem to be failing economically. Hence, the need for a supra-national body like the European Union was felt.
When Britain, which is one of the key members of the European Union decided to leave the European Union, doomsday predictions became common. It was assumed that the European Union will continue to become poorer as Brexit will lead to a wave of other countries like France, Germany, Italy, etc. all opting out of the Union.
However, with the passage of time, it does not seem that Brexit has done much harm to the European Union. Instead, it feels like the Brexit is instead making the European Union look good as an attractive proposition to the rest of the countries.
In this article, we will have a closer look at the reasons why Brexit is making the EU look good. Some of them have been listed below.
Political Mess in Britain
Proponents of Brexit were of the opinion that Brexit would be the solution to most of the problems which were being faced by Britain. However, the past two years have been anything but peaceful. The British government has found itself constantly mired in political turmoil. A wide variety of mechanisms to exit the European Union have been discussed. However, none have been finalized as of now. Therefore, instead of solving its economic problems, Britain has ended up creating further disarray. Businesses which are operating on British soil live under the constant uncertainty about what sort of Brexit deal will finally be reached and how it will impact their business. Businesses are holding back their investments, and economic growth is suffering because of the constant uncertainty.
Why did Other Members also Want to Leave Britain?
Britain is not the only country which has been clamoring for an exit in the recent past. Other countries such as France, Italy, and Hungary have all been looking to exit the Eurozone for different reasons.
Politicians in countries like Hungary and Poland have been using the European Union as a convenient punching bag. This is the reason that they constantly talk about leaving the Eurozone. However, it is unlikely that they actually take a decision to that effect. This is because both Poland and Hungary are beneficiaries who receive a good amount of money from the European Union.
Italy has also been threatening to leave the Eurozone. This is because Italy has racked up a lot of debt. Normally countries monetize their debt if they find themselves in a precarious position. However, Italy is unable to do so because of the debt issuance, and the currency devaluation is in the hands of the European Union. This is the reason why Italy finds itself in a prison of sorts and may want to leave the Eurozone since it would be able to handle the debt situation better.
Example for Other Countries
The British have inadvertently become an example for other countries seeking to exit the European Union. It is true that the European Union still has a host of problems which it is facing. Some of them are very grave and threaten the very existence of the European Union. For instance immigration, debt, the rise of right-wing parties and populism are serious problems that the European Union needs to solve. However, it is unable to do so. One of the reasons behind this inability is the inability of member states to reach a common solution that needs to be implemented.
As a result, there were separatist movements which were brewing across Europe. For instance, politicians in the Netherlands were repeatedly pressurizing the government to conduct a referendum on whether the Netherlands should stay in the European Union. However, now since they have seen the mess in Britain, the Netherlands has decided to stay in the European Union without any referendum. The Netherlands is not the only country to have dropped the idea. Far right politicians in Italy, Hungary as well as Poland also have now become averse to the idea of leaving the European Union. The economic chaos that Britain has descended into is favouring the European Union as other member states are simply dropping the idea of an exit.
Other Countries are Frightened
Brexit has now become the reason that Frexit or even Italexit is now off the cards. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, the economy of Britain was not as integrated with the economy of the European Union as other countries are. For instance, all the other countries use the Euro as their only currency. On the other hand, Britain continued to use the British pound. Also, the economy of Britain is much stronger, well connected and of strategic importance than the economies of other nations. Hence, other member nations are of the opinion that if Britain could not pull off a smooth exit, they do not stand much of a chance.
The bottom line is that the Brexit has not been as smooth and as successful as the Britons thought it would be. It has exposed the weaknesses of the British government while making the European Union look like an attractive alternative.
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