Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow




Brexit: Germany Gains Power From Merkel’s Disastrous Policy

As we predicted, Cameron resigns after the British have cast “a leave vote” but Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is to blame for the disastrous result of the referendum.

Last year she mishandled three problems:

 

  1. In 2015, under Angela Merkel’s leadership, the problems in Greece span out of control and Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, was able to jeopardize the whole euro project1)Greece talks of compromise as Merkel warns time is short Source Reuters 2015-06-08;

  2. When in 2015 millions of refugees were heading for Europe, it was Angela Merkel that single-handedly, without consulting her political counterparts in Warsaw, London or Rome, decided how Europe had to deal with it 2)Refugee quotas ‘unacceptable’ for Visegrad states Source EUobserver 2015-09-04;
  3. Chancellor Merkel held talks with Erdoğan: Turkey was being considered as a member-state of the European Union, which lacked any support in Europe whatsoever 3)Turkey joining the EU is ‘unthinkable’, Nicolas Sarkozy tells Angela Merkel Source Source Independent 2016-06-21.

No wonder the British voters came to doubt the democratic legitimacy of Brussels as they saw Berlin mishandle the European project.

The European Union without Great Britain is not going to be the same. The British, though outside the eurozone, were still a sort of counterbalance to German influence. Now, without the United Kingdom the European Union is reduced to a continental power, and so the geopolitical balance is shifting from the Atlantic into the heartland with Berlin at its center. The European Union has to proceed with France being in disarray, facing upheaval and internal chaos as it is not even able to regain control over its own highways 4)Another day, another lorry ambush in Calais: Migrants creating makeshift roadblocks to distract drivers in new tactic as they try to reach Britain Source Mail Online 2016-06-21.

Under such circumstances the EU’s fate i.e. whether the Union survives the crisis strengthened or weakened may depend on Poland, which is expected to take over some of the decision-making from the UK. Warsaw will be faced with a big dilemma whether to convert the national currency into the euro and so become the eastern pillar of the European Union or to remain outside the eurozone whose countries are aiming at an ever closer integration, and so leave the whole political entity to the broken relation that is held between France, Italy and Germany.

The British exit from the Union has by far a smaller economic significance than an exit of a eurozone country would have. Business on the British Isles will continue as usual, and so will London’s exports and imports; money will be transferred, and contracts executed. Even the famed City will manage to prevent banks from fleeing and eventually save the day.

The immediate geopolitical aftermath is of greater importance. Great Britain once joined the Union as the third big party apart from France and Germany. The United Kingdom counteracted German political influence and at the same time supported Berlin in economic matters thus opposing etatist France. The geo-political vacuum created by the UK may be partly filled by Poland, which, being one of the first democracies in Europe and having a population opting generally for free market economy, is close to Great Britain historically. Polish territory is of strategic importance and as such may become a barrier to the European Union’s eastern enlargement and Berlin’s ambitions. The European Union, as we have stated again and again, will integrate ever more tightly by means of the common currency and the consequential fiscal and political union.

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Since the Atlantic alliance (i.e. NATO and EU) strives for Europe’s unification that includes as many states as possible with an eye for warding off Russian and Chinese influence, the Western elites will take steps to avoid ending up with a small Union, which is openly opposed by Germany. With a weak France and without Great Britain, Berlin will be forced to look for a political base in the East. Southern countries due to their economic problems and geographic location (separated from the European ‘core’ by a mountain range) are less to be relied on. A cursory look at the map is enough to see that so long as Brussels dreams about a united Europe encompassing Ukraine, Poland must be one of the pillars of it. And since integration will be based on the euro, Poland will be faced with perhaps the most important decision in its history. Will it join the game with a hope of attracting Ukraine (once part of its territory) and resign from its own currency or will it stop European integration on the Oder?

References   [ + ]

1. Greece talks of compromise as Merkel warns time is short Source Reuters 2015-06-08
2. Refugee quotas ‘unacceptable’ for Visegrad states Source EUobserver 2015-09-04
3. Turkey joining the EU is ‘unthinkable’, Nicolas Sarkozy tells Angela Merkel Source Source Independent 2016-06-21
4. Another day, another lorry ambush in Calais: Migrants creating makeshift roadblocks to distract drivers in new tactic as they try to reach Britain Source Mail Online 2016-06-21

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