Trying to predict the future is a fool’s game, the best that can be done is to raise issues that will likely become more prominent in the near future – whether they become reality or not is always going to be dependent on how the crucial players react.
A couple of weeks ago I raised the prospect of Theresa May becoming the next Tory leader and Prime Minister and now she is the bookies favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest. Last Friday, following David Cameron’s address to the nation I raised the possibility that there could be a second EU referendum, in the intervening period this has been a talking point in the country but I’m bound to say that the possibility of a second referendum is receding – that possibility was always dependent on the EU meeting the challenges of Brexit with reform and it appears clear that the EU plans to respond with even closer union. How the EU intends to persuade citizens in Europe to accept this is unclear – it looks like they won’t bother and will attempt to drive it through without consulting the people and, as a consequence, it is an ambition that is bound to fail; even if EU leaders feign confidence and it looks like a promising prospect in the short term – it will result in referenda rejecting this plan or if the people are not consulted, very dangerous civil disturbance across the continent. This could be met with tolerance, in which case there will be grinding instability over the short to medium term – or robustly, which could result in civil war in some countries.
I think two further potential consequences should be raised now.
The first is that if President Obama continues to sit on the sidelines it becomes increasingly likely that Donald Trump will become the next US President. It needs to be understood that if Trump were to make trade cooperation with the UK a priority for his new administration and central plank of his election campaign and Obama sticks to his “back of the queue” ultimatum then Hilary Clinton will be at a severe disadvantage in the run up to the Presidential elections in November.
This is not pie in the sky, this is a very real potential consequence of Brexit. It would be an extremely emotive and powerful tool in Trump’s bid to become President, and Trump knows which buttons to press, what will rally his potential constituency to turn out and elect him.
The second important point that I think should be raised is that NATO could disband – the EU has effectively declared economic war on the UK, talk of punishment is a threat Western leaders will hope is just talk and the immediate emotional reaction of EU officials but I suspect it is not; add to this the EU interfering in the internal politics of the UK, agitating for its break-up, and it is difficult to see how the UK can remain within a NATO, pledged to come to the aid of the EU in the event of Russian belligerence. The UK is very unlikely to be attacked itself, it would be militarily and strategically foolish for Russia to attack the UK directly but if the EU is intent on waging an economic war on the UK then why would the UK continue to share intelligence or sacrifice British lives in defence of the EU ?
This might seem extremely unlikely but I think it is now more likely than many people realise.
For Britons, we need to remember that Great Britain has stood alone before, that a great many Britons have sacrificed a great deal more for Democracy and Sovereignty than we are ever likely to have to, and that if the EU abandon the principles of democracy in pursuit of an ideology that sees bureaucrats and technocrats govern, and multi-national financial interests benefit, while the vast majority of Europeans become poorer – then it is creating an unstable and dangerous situation.
Great Britain need not do anything other than stand firm.