Is The Future of Europe All that Bleak?

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One of my most vivid memories of A-Level Economics was the discussion of how Brexit would affect not only the UK itself but also the rest of the European Union. The day of the final Economics exam seemed to ironically coincide with the referendum and I remember sitting in that exam thinking about how the future of Europe will evolve and change if Brexit is voted through.

Despite the fact that almost three years have passed since that fateful day, not much has changed and a couple of months since the originally planned Brexit day, the effects of the UK leaving the EU can still only be speculated. Nevertheless, despite a very negative outlook on the event, some argue that the EU as a whole may benefit from this occurrence.

First and foremost, Brexit will result in the strengthening of the Eurozone ideals within the EU. One of the biggest antagonists of the adoption of the euro has been the UK who despite the fact that they met all the criteria required to abolish the pound and enter the Economic and Monetary Union, adamantly refused. Not only this, but they pushed for the declaration of the EU as a “multi-currency union” in an effort to undermine the adoption of the euro in the remaining countries. While this minor act of sovereignty may have benefitted the British economy, it put a damper on further economic integration and with Brexit, the balance between the power of those in and out of the euro will shift.

Marine Le Pen / Credit: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons – cc-by-sa-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Furthermore, public opinion favours the EU. It shows support for the EU is at an all-time high, at least in accordance with the past 35 years. Surprisingly, not just within the EU but also within the UK where certain groups almost instantly regretted their referendum vote evidenced in a rise in EU-based support. Nevertheless, there has been a dichotomy within the social wave of support with the euroscepticism encompassing politics. A prime example of this can be seen in Marine Le Pen’s campaign during the French Presidential election in 2017.

Likewise, many other changes are likely to take place such as many agencies like the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency based in the UK moving their headquarters to cities such as Amsterdam and Paris and migration patterns rapidly shifting. One of the greatest effects will be felt in trade, even though it will have a greater impact on the UK in comparison to the rest of the EU.

Consequently, even though no-one can really predict the future there is a vast spectrum of possibilities for the EU in the following years. While there is much confusion within the British government at the moment, and the divisions amongst the citizens are vast, the EU will probably not be plagued by much resistance from member states. Only time will tell the true impact of Brexit on the EU.

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