A lot of people, including the publishers of the influential German newsmagazine Der Spiegel are worried about a Brexit. The equally influential Financial Times reports that “Volatility in currency markets intensified and the pound came under renewed selling pressure late on Friday after a survey showed the British campaign to Leave the EU had opened a 10-point lead over the Remain camp … [and] … A sell-off in the pound accelerated minutes after an ORB survey commissioned by The Independent newspaper showed 55 per cent of likely voters would cast their ballot to exit the EU. The Remain camp was expected to capture 45 per cent of the vote, according to the online poll of 2,052 respondents.“
I have explained that I believe that Brexit will be dangerous for both Britain, a traditional and reliable ally, and Europe because it will encourage Russia’s taste for opportunistic military adventurism.
But the debate is fuelled by emotion, not reason … and that’s the fault of a system that is trying to impose a ‘United States of Europe‘ on some people who don’t want to be quite that European. If Britain goes then I suspect that there will be an upsurge of anti-EU sentiment amongst the Scandinavians ~ who are worried that they will be required to pay for the long holidays of the (in their mythology) idle Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and French and, indeed, amongst the French and Italians who chafe under the austere thumb of the frugal Germans and Finns. A Brexit could start a chain reaction which could result in an unstable Europe in which old enmities are allowed to surface again.
The EU project, in my opinion, went too far too fast. A free trade area ~ a very good idea ~ grew in size to embrace disparate peoples and then asked them to erase their borders (the Schengen Agreement) and to surrender their currencies (the Eurozone). Neither Schengen nor the Eurozone are bad ideas, per se, but neither works well enough. The problems with Schengen are now being amplified by the migrant crisis and the Eurozone partners were never honest with one another. The simple fact is that Finland and Greece are too different to be bund as closely as they are.
I will not repeat my layer-cake prescription … but I do repeat, today, in another post, my warnings about Russian aggression and the cost it, even before a Brexit, might impose on Canada.