Daily Outlook

Brexit: “Independence Day” from the “German Project”, which is in distress with 500 million people on board

Brexit: “Independence Day” from the “German Project”, which is in distress with 500 million people on board

The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on Friday for an uncertain Brexit future, its most significant geopolitical move since the loss of empire and a blow to 70 years of efforts to forge European unity from the ruins of two world wars.

The country will slip away an hour before midnight from the club it joined in 1973, moving into the no man’s land of a transition period that preserves membership in all but name until the end of this year. At a stroke, the EU will be deprived of 15% of its economy, its biggest military spender and the world’s international financial capital of London. The divorce will shape the fate of the United Kingdom — and determine its wealth — for generations to come.

Beyond the symbolism of turning its back on 47 years of membership, little will actually change until the end of 2020, by which time Johnson has promised to strike a broad free trade agreement with the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc. For proponents, Brexit is a dream “independence day” for a United Kingdom escaping what they cast as a doomed German-dominated project that is failing its 500 million population.

The June 2016 Brexit referendum showed a nation divided about more than Europe and triggered soul-searching about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and modern Britishness. Such was the severity of the meltdown over Brexit that allies and investors were left astonished by a country that was for decades touted as a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.

Brexit day: United Kingdom casts off from the European Union, Reuters, Jan 31
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