…will other nations follow?
By now you know that the United Kingdom is about to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union. Voters decided in the “Brexit” referendum last June that they wanted their country of the multi-nation bloc.
There’s been much written about whether other nations would make the same decision. The head of the European Commission offered a rather emphatic answer to that question in an interview with a German newspaper. In its summary of that newspaper story, Reuters notes
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is not worried about other EU countries leaving the bloc after Britain because Brexit will make them see it is not a good option
He almost certainly is right.
There is one large trouble spot: French voters opting for Marine LePen as its next president. The Irish Independent reminded its readers that although a LePen presidency is unlikely
we cannot bank on that. After the Tories overall election win in Britain in May 2015; the Brexit vote on June 23 last year; Donald Trump’s win in the USA; and the rise of radical far-right candidates across Europe; we know there is a strange mood of disenchantment with traditional politics.
A LePen victory would trigger a similar divorce referendum. If it were to pass, the EU would have seen two of its most economically powerful nations pulling out. Its demise could follow.
Setting that aside, losing the UK could mean getting Scotland.
It’s no secret that Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants her people to decide whether to separate from the UK, a move that would open the door for Scotland to request EU membership.
The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins believes it is hypocritical for British politicians to deny such a vote. One of them is former Prime Minister Gordon Brown,
Bollocks, according to Jenkins. Get on with the referendum question about leaving the UK, he says, arguing that
The issue is not whether a Scottish break with England makes money or sense, or is even comprehensible. The issue is whether the people of Scotland want it. Next week, the Edinburgh parliament is expected to articulate that want. In a democracy, if a dissident province wants partition from a dominant neighbour, that should be its decision, not the neighbour’s.
Indeed. That’s how democracy works.