On Thursday, Britons will vote on whether to remain in the European Union. Right now, pre-election polling makes the referendum’s outcome too close to call. It could go down to the wire.
Still, the “leave” campaign is increasingly optimistic: its supporters tend to be older and more likely to turn up and vote. And undecided Britons have been angered by what they see as a scaremongering strategy by the “remain” campaign.
While Opportunity Lives has explained what’s at stake for Britain, it’s worth considering what “Brexit” would mean for U.S. foreign and economic interests.
While the Anglo-American “special relationship” would survive a Brexit, it would also face new complications. In the field of national security cooperation, very little would change. The U.S.-U.K. intelligence relationship would remain exceptionally close, retaining its often-symbiotic operation: the national benefits of this relationship are too significant to be abandoned. In similar vein, longstanding cooperation between the U.S. and British armed forces would also remain unchanged. Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain’s Democratic Party equivalent is far more threatening to U.S.-U.K. relations than Brexit!
What would change is the measure of cooperation between the U.K. and U.S. over the challenges posed by China and Russia. The United States is already angered by Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to join China’s Asia Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB). Designed to support Chinese imperial dominion over the Pacific, the AIIB is anathema to democratic accountability and the rule of law. It weakens U.S. influence in a region that is critical to global trade. And were Britain to leave the EU, it would likely look to China as a mechanism to offset lost or deferred trading relationships with the Continent.
What would change is the measure of cooperation between the U.K. and U.S. over the challenges posed by China and Russia
Brexit could also encourage the British government to take a softer stance toward the Russian bear and its foreign aggression. After all, Russian billionaires already influence U.K. policy through their hefty investments in the British economy — especially in London real estate and financial markets. And absent the controls of EU trading sanction arrangements towards Russia, Britain may be tempted to move slightly closer into Vladimir Putin’s embrace. While this challenge should not be overestimated — the vast majority of British pro-Brexit Conservative politicians are avowedly pro-American — it is real.
One final point on U.S. foreign policy and Brexit: America’s influence over the EU going forward. For many years now, successive U.S. governments have used their special relationship with the British government to push the EU in a pro-American direction. Whether in strengthening market access and free trade, increased counterterrorism cooperation, imposing sanctions against Russia, or in fighting corruption, Britain affords the United States an invisible but tangible seat at the European decision table. This seat is highly valued by the U.S. government and — after security cooperation provides the U.K’s key diplomatic benefit to America.
But were Brexit to occur, the U.K’s ability to influence France and Germany in alignment with U.S. interests would evaporate. For a specific example as to where that would pose problems, consider the E.U.’s already weak commitment to “snap back” sanctions under the Iran nuclear deal. Influence matters greatly in international relations, and it requires physical presence and a stake in the game. Following Brexit, the U.K. would lose that stake.
Were Brexit to occur, the U.K’s ability to influence France and Germany in alignment with U.S. interests would evaporate
Brexit would also bring changes to the U.S.-U.K. trading relationship. In 2015, the U.K. imported more than $56 billion in U.S. goods and exported more than $57 billion in goods to the United States. That represents a major economic partnership. Nevertheless, absent the cross-continental market access that the U.K.’s E.U. membership affords U.S. investors, Brexit might pose serious challenges to U.S.-U.K. trade. While this would affect Britain disproportionately, it would also jeopardize the revenue margins of U.S. interests already established in the U.K. At least, that is, until the economic uncertainties born of Brexit settle.
Ultimately, Brexit would represent the triumph of national sovereignty over multilateral internationalism. It would marginalize those who seek an increasingly globalist order. And in the place of failing institutions like the United Nations, that might give space for more realism between value-sharing allies against agitators like Russia. That would be a good thing.
Overall here are two main areas of concern post UK’s vote on Brexit:
- Changes to be made to incorporate new trade arrangements between both the countries
- Changes in the British foreign policy and alteration in the western international arrangement will indirectly affect the foreign policies at America as well
So for now continue trading on the Crypto Robot 365 until matters settle.
Nevertheless, the story wouldn’t end there. Even without the U.K., the European Union will have an annual GDP of more than $16.5 trillion. As such, after the votes are counted Friday, the United States may well have far less impact over a major international actor. If nothing else, Brexit is a recipe for great uncertainty. We should all pay attention.
Tom Rogan is a Senior Contributor for Opportunity Lives and writes for National Review. He is a panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute. Follow him on Twitter @TomRtweets.