Rethinking Europe

Brexit’s Real Purpose: Killing the EU?

From Murdoch to Mercer, there are deep-pocketed billionaires around the world that want to see the EU emasculated, if not abolished.

Credit: Ilikestudio - Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Was the Brexit issue deliberately orchestrated just in order to weaken Europe in the global arena?
  • There are vested political and economic interests around the world that would like to see Europe weakened.
  • Great Britain, once the largest global empire assembled, will have reduced itself to a historical footnote.

As the European Union and its members prepare for Brexit, it seems timely to reflect on who nudged the voters in the United Kingdom to vote by a slim majority in favor of exiting from the EU – and especially why they did so.

It has always been known that Rupert Murdoch has very strong negative views on Britain’s EU membership and has consistently used his media power to influence public opinion.

Merciless Mercer

We now know that the campaign had other deep-pocketed backers, too. The American billionaire Robert Mercer, a close friend of Nigel Farage, provided ample funds for the Brexit campaign.

With the help of “Cambridge Analytica,” Mercer had been instrumental in providing Donald Trump (who wished to see Nigel Farage as Britain’s Ambassador to Washington) with tools to fine-tune his campaign that go well beyond traditional campaigning.

Hijacking democracies for personal goals

What is driving certain hedge fund, media and real estate tycoons — who all see themselves as masters of the universe — to support Brexit is pretty straightforward. They want to secure their very personal vision of unvarnished capitalism.

No big surprise then that we have witnessed the Trump administration boycotting a G-20 declaration on multilateral trade and stalling – if not marching back — on climate change. Trump has announced that there is more of the same to come.

What is really driving Brexit?

It seems to me as if, so far at least, we have not even focused on the right lens or playing field.

Too many questions have been focused on the incongruities of the campaign inside the UK, such as why David Cameron’s government did not provide accurate and comprehensive information before the referendum.

The much more relevant set of questions concerns the wider lens of continental Europe, rather than just the group of islands off its shores:

  1. Could it be that the whole Brexit issue was deliberately orchestrated not so much with regard to Britain, but in order to weaken Europe in the global arena?
  2. If this is even remotely true, the British people should be seen as being mere pawns (or, as Russian revolutionaries might have said, useful idiots) in a power game that is way beyond their control.

Crass distortions by the Brexiteers, such as lying about certain facts (like the 350 million pounds sent to Brussels every week) would then represent the mere tip of a very much larger iceberg.

The attitude adopted by the May government — deriding the citizens of other countries, brushing aside Scottish and Irish sentiments, alienating Commonwealth countries, and attempting to dictate the timetable to the European Union – can easily be interpreted as supportive evidence.

Neutering Europe

If we look at the remaining 27 EU members post-Brexit, we can see that in the future the protectionist members of the EU will have a blocking minority.

Under the complicated EU voting regulations in the Council, the staunch advocates of free trade will no longer be able to override protectionist vetoing from France and Southern European member states.

There is as of yet no compelling evidence that Europe has become the victim of an orchestrated campaign that aims at destroying it.

But it is reasonable to assume there are vested political and economic interests around the world that would rather see Europe weakened than strengthened.

Certainly, this would explain a few things. U.S. conservatives and the billionaries that support them have long been irked by the existence of a Western “side” power.

They see the EU and the – in comparison to the United States often enlightened, if not progressive – interests it stands for as a real thorn in the side of the imperial nation.

It stands to reason that, with the help of the often clandestinely placed instruments at their disposal, they deliberately set forces in motion whose goal it is to strike a fatal blow against Europe. These forces may well have identified Brexit as an intelligent and feasible way to achieve their goal.

By stoking up existing popular sentiment, they have succeeded in nudging the British people towards actually voting for this option, while pressuring or even blackmailing the government into acting as they wish them to.

A master plan backfiring badly?

However, given the attitude adopted by the governments of all 27 remaining countries and, probably even more importantly, the steadily growing pro-European popular spirit with new civil society action groups starting up every week, this scenario now seems increasingly unlikely.

Messrs. Putin and Trump, with help from Mr. Erdogan and others, and indeed Brexit itself, seem to have brought Europeans closer to one another than they have been for a long time.

Determination to make it a success has grown rather than waned. The Dutch have been the first to show that anti-European feelings will not necessarily help win an election in a European member state. Chances that Marine Le Pen will be the next President of France are slimmer now than even a few months ago.

So, possibly, what we are seeing at the moment is a backlash. Of course, dissatisfaction with the European Union has not just gone away, although the Commission seems to be on its best behavior by cutting down on the number of rules and regulations it had got accustomed to issue.

Of course, we still need to tackle fundamental reforms. And of course, people with very different ideas are still around.

But it looks as if a growing number of citizens know very well what the real issues are and have woken up to the fact they have to do something about it.

If any of this is true and proves to be sustainable, the United Kingdom will end up a loser. Not only might the UK split up as such and might the government be landed with more problems on their hands than they can manage (with a price to be paid by the Tories in future elections).

England: Cutting off its arm

England in the end could find herself in a position exactly opposite to the one the Brexiteers said she would, and will not be better off for it.

It may well be that some of the Brexiteers really do hope they can take England into a glorious future of its very own in a global world, once the ties with Europe have been severed. But judging from the reactions to Brexit from all potential allies anywhere around the globe, this does not seem at all likely.

Lost in the oceans?

Foreseeably, not one of the global players who used the British people for their very own ends, will want to come to their rescue.

At the end of the day, England, by her insistence on being on her own, might be exactly that, struggling to live up to the responsibilities that come with a permament seat on the UN Security Council, a nuclear power (albeit minor), and sovereignty over a very mixed bunch of fourteen little territories, ranging from bits of Cyprus to the Falkland Islands, all costly remainders of what was once the British Empire.

World history will move on, but Great Britain, once the largest global empire ever assembled, will have reduced itself to an historical footnote, instead of extending its potentially considerable leverage through a Europe that has managed to reinvent itself.

Can the UK still come to its senses?

Can Britain still avert this fate? I believe it can. Over the next two years, the government can still revise its policy and withdraw its application to leave.

Or parliament can choose a new government. Or indeed the people can, by voting in a new parliament. It is just possible that one of these options might still be feasible. Let us hope somebody will draw one of them. Britain would certainly be greater for it.

Tags: , , ,

About Rupert Strachwitz

Rupert Strachwitz is a political scientist and historian.

Responses to “Brexit’s Real Purpose: Killing the EU?”