THE UK-EU SPLIT

Natalie Nougayrède, The Guardian, May 8, 2015

T

he prospect of Brexit –Britain’s exit from the European Union– rests largely upon the shoulders of recently elected British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron, now in his second-term, has always favored remaining in the EU. However, that doesn’t mean that Europe’s leaders will be any more generous in handing out the type of reforms Cameron has long been seeking in exchange for loyalty. There has already been too much frustration over the way the British Prime Minister has shown himself willing to blackmail the rest of Europe for short-term political gains back home. Besides, no politician wants to head down the painful process of changing EU Treaties. Indeed, many European allies are still waiting to see how the UK will emerge from one of its most inwardly-looking general election campaigns ever.

Can Britain move on and refocus upon being part of a larger endeavour? Likely not until the promised in-out referendum in 2017. Its own internal strife (i.e. Ukip, the “Scottish question”, Euroskeptics, etc.) will take precedence in the meantime. However, both Europe and the UK should take note: If the EU loses Britain, it runs the risk of self-destruction; but if Britain drops out of the EU, it risks becoming isolated and insignificant in an increasingly globalized world. The best thing for the UK currently is for its politicians to work to ensure that domestic debate concerning Brexit is informed, clear and constructive — “not one that plays only on unfounded fears and cheap jingoistic slogans.”

Get in deeper:
Watch: What could happen if Britain left the EU? Five key issues 

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THE UK-EU SPLIT

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