What Britain's potential departure means to the European Union
|The partisan division in Britain, as in this country, is almost evenly split. These schisms, reflected throughout the Western democracies, are no longer liberal/conservative, nor rich/poor although these traditional divisions are somewhat reflected. The new divisions are on identity perceptions. Immigration, globalization, ethnic and other characteristics are important causes.
At this point, this crisis is more imminent in Britain because the finality of Brexit is approaching with no agreed exit plan in sight. As I have believed for some time, a repeat referendum becomes more and more likely. Whether the referendum happens, and whether or not Britain withdraws from the European Union, the EU will suffer.
If Britain withdraws, not only will the Union members lose a valuable partner, but this will encourage similar movements across the continent.
The EU will fare better if Britain remains, but the already Brussels governance will be severely weakened. Whatever regulation is adopted, the EU Council can now demand less compliance. Members desiring stronger border controls will be encouraged as Britain's representatives would likely lean toward more "nationalist" rules. That probability would affect trade, finance, and almost any other issues before the EU Council or Parliament.
Similarly, the 2020 elections in the United States will very important to the perception and the policies of the EU. Not just the Presidential outcome, but even State and local elections will be evaluated around the world. International cooperation or international chaos is at stake.