A course on BREXIT: how Britain can become a bridge between the powerful and what will it give to Ukraine

In early April at the next EU summit in Brussels, British Prime Minister Theresa may can officially announce the early release of the United Kingdom from the EU. The process will take two years and be completed in 2019. Initially, his decision may have planned to announce at an informal EU summit in Malta, which was held in early March. What would be symbolic, as in 1964, Malta gained independence from Britain, and there is still home to about 12 thousand British. But the British Parliament did not have time to coordinate all the legislative procedures for running the article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, therefore time-shifted more than a month. According to Theresa may, Britain intends to withdraw from the EU on the best terms. The top priority is immigration and the exit from the EU single market that, according to may, “to restore the role of the great global trading power.” For this, according to some European officials, Brussels, may require from London 57 billion euros of compensation – just as Britain had promised to invest in different EU projects up to 2020. Only then, according to European officials, they will start negotiations on the withdrawal of Britain from the free trade zone. For Ukraine BREXIT will bring only benefits. First, London will become more independent from Berlin in decision-making. Secondly, it was Britain, along with Poland recently called for the creation of an alternative “channel” the format of negotiations with Russia.

The British – not passengers – they are drivers. After 44 years of membership of the UK decides to withdraw from the European Union. In the referendum of June 23, 2016 51,9% of Britons voted to secede from the EU (against 48%). Largely, in the words of David Cameron, who resigned as Prime Minister immediately after BREXIT, the British voted against the EU’s migration policy, odnofanturnoy and strengthening of European integration. But, perhaps, one of the main reasons for this decision – Britain had never experienced the illusion of EU membership, being rather skeptical of the project of the European Union.

Once the 35th British Prime Minister Henry John temple said: “we Have no constant allies, we have no perpetual enemies. Only our interests are eternal and unchangeable, and it is our duty to follow them.” Britain, which constantly gravitated toward friendship with the United States, most wanted to be like the United States, rather than United the European Union with the main “führer” led by Germany. Therefore, in the rhetoric of David Cameron, despite his commitment to Britain’s membership of the EU was always an Imperial touch to the Prime Minister States: “I know the British. They’re not passengers. They – drivers. We have the character of an island nation: we are independent, straightforward and passionately defending our sovereignty. Our attitude to the European Union based on the practical interest, not emotion”.

Although ardent opponents of BREXIT, such as the 72nd Prime Minister, John major, called the referendum a historic mistake, and the European leaders whisper to remind London of the founding of the EU. Britain joined the then European economic Union in 1961, experiencing a severe economic crisis. And to join the EEC London succeeded at the second attempt: the first was blocked by French President Charles de Gaulle. And now it turns out that Britain, having all the benefits of membership, leaves the ranks of the European Union, migration and experiencing an acute crisis of confidence.

Without a doubt, the results of will of citizens of the United Kingdom was a real shock for the whole world. First, it undermined the credibility of the unity of the EU. In fact, according to the Norwegian economist Erik Reinert, “the next country to exit from the EU could be Holland”.

Secondly, no one has ever been brought into effect article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates the conditions and the timing of exit from the EU. In particular, article 50 refers to the fact that “a state which decides to secede from the EU, shall notify the Council of the EU”. Theresa may promised to officially inform the EU about the withdrawal of Britain until 31 March. This can be done orally at the EU summit or in writing, reiterating their intention to again at the summit.

Life after BREXIT: procedures, timing and consequences. In January, the newspaper The Times reported that at the informal EU summit in Malta, which is planned to be held March 9, Prime Minister of Britain Theresa may formally announce withdrawal from the EU. But the harmonization of the relevant legislative procedures in the United Kingdom has been much delayed. The Parliament of Britain in the third reading has approved the bill of the government on the country’s withdrawal from the EU, only 9 Feb. Now in the European Union waiting for an official request of Britain on the activation of article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which provides for a two-year exit procedure. Plus in Brussels strongly retard the start BREXIT, pushing London to the new requirements.

According to Sky News, in mid-February, Germany and France agreed on the amount of reparations for Britain. We are talking about 70 billion euros, although previously, according to the chief negotiator of the EU BREXIT Michel Barnier, it was about 57 billion euros. “We record accounts EU at the time of Britain will do the audit and agree on how to calculate the share of British accounts. If we agree on this, the final result of the audit: we will lay all the data in the formula which we all agree, and this formula will ultimately be given the final amount,” – leads Reuters words of one of the officials who attended closed to the press seminar, where they discussed the question of compensation.

This is money that London has pledged within the framework of the multi-billion dollar EU projects up to 2020, as well as retired officials. And, as they say informally in Brussels, any negotiations on Britain of a free trade zone can be conducted only after payment of the appropriate amount of reparations. And indeed the trade in the UK and EU in the framework of the free trade area affects 12.6 per cent of GDP. Governmental experts in its report noted that in the case of a successful exit of Britain from the EU, trade with the EU will be implemented according to the WTO rules, and this is billions of dollars in damages fees. For example, on alcohol and tobacco, and import duties in the EU exceeds 20%, and whisky England annually exports $6 billion.

Overall, according to the Institute, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) forecast economic growth of Britain over BREXIT has been reduced from 2.2% to 1.4%. Analysts also predict further devaluation of the pound and as a consequence of inflation and debt. And the 72nd Prime Minister John major believes that the exit of Britain from the EU would hit vulnerable people. At the same time, experts and analysts who advocate BREXIT, do not expect a strong economic downturn and the jump in inflation.

The consequences of BREXIT, there is also a very interesting geopolitical component. His first meeting with foreign leaders, U.S. President Donald trump held with British Prime Minister Theresa may. “Today,” mentioned long-standing warm relations between London and Washington. But the caveat is that, according to a senior researcher of the Center for security studies (Zurich) Daniel Keohane, trump repeatedly admired BREXIT and said not to worry, if the EU will disintegrate.

Earlier in January, in an interview, trump really said that EU exists mainly in favor of Germany. “You look at the EU and Germany. Mainly EU in favor of Germany. That’s why I think the British were smart when they voted for secession. I believe that the other will leave the EU. I think that keeping it all together is not as easy as many think”.

According to Daniel Keohane, some in London expect that the US will strengthen the UK’s position in the upcoming negotiations in the EU BREXIT. “But the support of the United States could split NATO aglo-sphere and the Euro-area. That is, with the UK on the one hand, and France, Germany, Italy and Spain, on the other. Alternative and more optimistic scenario envisages that the UK can become a bridge between Europe and the USA”, – considers Keohan.

Photo: AFP

“SCEXIT – Scotland EXIT” like a ticking time bomb. Moreover, according to analysts at Chatham House, Britain can be a bridge not only between the US and the EU, but also between the US and China. But in the United Kingdom the situation is not as rosy as on the foreign policy front. So, during the BREXIT 62% of Scottish voters voted that Britain remained in the EU, and on 7 February the Scottish Parliament voted against start BREXIT.

Plus, according to first Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, in the fall of 2018 will be “the most sensible time” to hold a new referendum on secession of Scotland from Britain. To this period, says Sturgeon, the British government determined the terms of the agreement with the EU that will give the arguments “for” or “against” for the Scots. The Minister does not name any concrete dates of carrying out of voting, because the referendum must be approved by the government of the state in London. However, Stargen expects that the Central government will compromise with Scotland. We will remind, in last year’s referendum against the independence of Scotland voted 55% of the citizens.

In turn, Theresa may promises to consider the position of Scotland in the implementation of BREXIT, however, will not be able to veto the process as a whole. “The government will listen to the concerns of Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom. But we will listen and take into account the special interests of Scotland and other parts of the UK, and we want the benefits we seek to achieve, was distributed all over the country,” said may.

Experts Chatham House think that to completely ignore the position of Scotland and, for example, Ireland to London is unlikely. That is why the government’s plan to negotiations on the country’s withdrawal from the EU, which in January introduced Theresa may, is dedicated to the most unity of the United Kingdom. “Exit from the European Union will mean that we will be guided by our laws in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The strengthening of Britain requires that we strengthen the precious Union between the four countries of the United Kingdom” – referred to in the plan negotiations.

Prospects for Ukraine. Theresa may has repeatedly stated that the official position of the European sanctions against Russia and against Ukraine will not change.

“The commitment of Britain to guarantee the security of Europe remains unshakable, as it was since the Second world war. So my message is simple: we are not going to forget about Ukraine. We support our friends, both in good and in difficult times,” said British defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

On the other hand, in Europe emerges another independent player. During the presidency of Barack Obama communicated and resolved all the issues are mainly with Germany. Now after the election Donald trump and BREXIT, Washington began to gravitate more towards London and away from Berlin. Ukraine should use this time to build relationships, and with the “new” Britain, and the United States Recalling that they are the guarantors of our sovereignty under the Budapest Memorandum. It is no wonder that during a joint briefing with Ukrainian foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin and British Boris Johnson, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski hinted at the existence of alternatives to the “channel format”.

“We discussed and tried to assess the “channel format” and the “Minsk format”. We came to the conclusion that both of these format brought some positive changes. “Minsk” and “Norman” format stopped a full-scale war and full-scale conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but both of these did not solve the problem, did not bring peace between the two countries. We are ready, that Europe must provide extended format to help Ukraine to get out of the problems created by Russian aggression. We hope that the discussions about the new format and new solutions, but, of course, the solution of (relative new format) will be made by Paul (Klimkin) and President Poroshenko,” – said Waszczykowski.

The parties did not specify that it will be for the format of the talks, and which countries it will include. But Britain and Poland at the time, initiated the launch of the Eastern partnership programme. Another thing is that to launch a new format of negotiations on the Donbas and Crimea need with confidence that Russia will participate in it. Indeed, as already I wrote “Today” in March 2014, the U.S. Embassy in France, Ukraine, America and Britain convened a consultation on the implementation of the Budapest Memorandum. “And there was an empty chair – the Russian side in the person of the Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov did not want to participate in the consultations. But the US and Britain are trying and will continue to attempt to run the Budapest Memorandum,” – explained the British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough.