July 2016 \ Cover Story \ COVER STORY: BRITAIN’S EXIT FROM E.U.

By Malay Mishra
  • Ambassador Malay Mishra

“EU’s finished, EU’s dead”, boasted Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader soon after 72% of UK’s voting population cast their votes in the 3rd referendum of the country and the 2nd to decide on UK’s membership of the EU. This time, shocking the world, the verdict was ‘yes’ in favour of Brexit, abbreviated for Britain’s exit (from the EU). Weather had played spoilsport the day before, supposedly the ‘Independence Day’ for UKIP, otherwise 10% more could have voted in addition and in all probability tilted the referendum in the opposite direction.

That was not to be however. The clouds which had gathered over UK’s sky on June 23 were no ordinary clouds, they symbolised the dark forebodings of an impending crisis, or rather a series of crises which could jolt the European Union out of its collective amnesia. In the absence of Britain, the 2nd largest economy after Germany in the EU, Berlin would come under tremendous pressure to salvage the EU out of the hubris to which it had unwittingly pushed itself to. And in the jockeying to be a close second, Paris could try to fill the vacuum which London would leave behind. Having burnt its fingers with the sovereign debt crisis threatening Greece’s scalp, Chancellor Merkel would be extremely hard pressed to harness the EU’s combined resources while trying once again to keep the flock together.