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If Brexit happens, will Europe see resumption of clash of nationalisms?


London, June 23: The possible exit of the UK from the EU has raised questions over the country's security, particularly against terror threats. But apart from that, Brexit could also pose another challenging question: Will clashes between nationalisms in Europe resume once the idea of regional integration take a beating with the UK's exit? [What is Brexit and why is it important?]

Well, David Cameron, the prime minister of the country has raised the question in the run-up to the June 23 referendum. According to him, Britain could pay a high price if it leaves the EU. [Will India gain or lose from Brexit?]


Sir Winston Churchill had backed a United States of Europe

Late British premier Sir Winston Churchill, who had energised his country's morale during the Nazi attack in the early 1940s, was in favour of a United States of Europe for the sake of peace, safety and freedom. But if his own country now decides to reverse the trend and walk out of the EU, then all of those three crucial aims of the British State could be in jeopardy. [Will UK leave EU today?]

Britain has played role of a balancer in international relations

Great Britain has traditionally played the role of a balancer in international relations. Right from the days of the world wars to neutralising aggressive nationalist drives from the French or the Germans, the British had stood strong---aided by strong leaderships. There was always an urgency on its part to take the lead and not remain neutral at times of crisis. [June 23: A memorable date in Britain's history]

It was hence not without a reason that the former colonial masters who had ruled the entire world were badly affected by the Second Great War and lost its prominence as a worldwide power. The Americans and the former Soviets emerged as the new superpowers after the Second World War while the British were relegated to a secondary position.

What if Europe sees more battles like those in Trafalgar, Blenheim or Waterloo?

But that hasn't reduced its importance in international affairs, particularly in Europe. Though geographically isolated from mainland Europe, the Great Britain's strategic, economic and political importance never allowed it to detach itself from the European affairs. The two always had an influence on each other and that has left those the anti-Brexit camp worried.

What if the challenges that have evolved at Europe's borders like the war in Syria, the chaos in Libya and Russia's expansionist programmes make serious impact on European stability?

Irony of the security issue

The threats that have been posed by the refugee influx and terrorist activities have given birth to a demand for greater security and hence the call for going back to an isolated existence fearing the prospects of the EU leadership losing control of the situation. But there lies the irony. What if the UK now fails to defend its border and economy? What if other countries, too, begin to plan exits resulting in a weak EU? Does strength lies in unity or seclusion?

Had rethinking the EU's future not been a better option than a Brexit? Just like the post-Second World War era when an expansionist Soviet Union and other post-war ills had left Europe worried and hence the call for a united Europe had come up, this era also presents a similar situation featuring an ambitious Vladimir Putin, a destructive Islamic State and the unstable West Asia. Can the UK handle everything alone now?

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