Brexit: Implications for Russia, Europe and the world


Brexit: Implications for Russia, Europe and the world

Эксперты МГИМО: Троицкий Михаил Алексеевич, к.полит.н., доцент

Debates: In the aftermath of Britain’s surprising vote to exit from the European Union, Russia Direct interviewed top experts, diplomats and officials in Europe and Russia to get their views on the possible implications.

On June 23, Great Britain surprised — or rather shocked — Europe and the world by voting to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum. Long before the actual vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Minister Philip Hammond were urging Britons to vote for the UK’s continued membership in the EU, while simultaneously arguing that only Russia would benefit from Brexit.

However, the British people seem to think otherwise. Even the prospect of the resignation of Cameron — who threatened to quit in the event of Brexit — didn’t prevent Britons from voting for the UK leaving the European Union. The British Prime Minister announced his resignation shortly after the results of the referendum. With 72 percent voter turnout, the Leave campaign secured 52 percent of the votes, while the Remain campaign received 48 percent of the votes.

These events are indeed extraordinary for Europe and, moreover, they put at the risk the whole European integration process and the very concept of the EU. What are the implications of Brexit for the UK, Europe and Russia? Russia Direct interviewed a number of top experts and diplomats to find out.

Mikhail Troitskiy, political and international affairs analyst in Moscow

The UK is in for a tumultuous and uncertain time, at least until the end of negotiations with Brussels on the UK’s actual departure from the EU. I would not rule out the possibility that the British government will be forced to hold a new referendum on EU membership amid the mounting economic challenges, social tensions, and secessionist pressures.

The UK corporate sector will lobby hard for repackaging the outcome of the referendum in a way to avoid pulling out of the EU until the extent of the damage becomes clear and trickles down to the broad social strata. Social tensions may arise from the large numbers of immigrant workers from the EU being forced to leave the UK.

The rest of the EU might be inoculated against further exit referenda. Even in the Netherlands, where the anti-EU sentiment is almost equally strong as Britain’s, it will not be difficult to make the case for postponing any such referendum until the consequences of Brexit for the UK are fully clear.

In the meantime, Britain will likely try to reiterate and reinforce its commitment to common defense with much of the rest of Europe through NATO. The coming NATO summit can be expected to stress Euro-Atlantic solidarity and unity in maintaining common security to compensate for the weakening of Europe’s economic clout. Overall, a mobilizing effect of Brexit for both the EU and NATO looks possible and even likely.

In case Brexit triggers a full-fledged recession in the UK and Europe, Russia might have to face a new source of downward pressure on the price of oil. Should a risk avoidance mood set in among major international investors, Russia will be sure to experience increased capital flight and pressure on the ruble. That said, Moscow can hope for weakened solidarity among the EU nations in their policymaking vis-à-vis Russia. However, there is no immediate prospect of the economic sanctions on Russia being eased or lifted, as long as Britain will remain in the EU for at least another year.

In addition, Russian businesses and private individuals who have invested in the British economy and/or the pound sterling will suffer losses. Real estate owned by Russians in the UK, and especially in London, is likely to lose a certain part of its value depending on the extent of the overall negative effect of Brexit on the British economy.

Overall, there will be no winners from the UK leaving the EU — an act that imperils economic ties between the globalized world’s largest economic bloc and its second largest national economy. Brexit will generate ripple effects across the world economy. As usual, developing and mid-income economies will be the least shielded from Brexit’s adverse effects.


Точка зрения авторов, комментарии которых публикуются в рубрике
«Говорят эксперты МГИМО», может не совпадать с мнением редакции портала.

Источник: Russia Direct
Распечатать страницу