15th July, 2016
It looks like Brexit was Obama’s preferred option all along. In any case, both sides of the Atlantic have been suspiciously quick to catch on to the idea of a TTIP between the US and the UK after Britain has jumped from the back to the front of the cue. Obama has a new global role for us now that US-EU TTIP is dead in the water. It’s not exactly independence day but it’s not entirely bad news either.
Of course, a trade deal with the USA, between two de-industrialised debtor nations, offers little in itself. But there has to be more to it. Hopefully, it’s one step back in order to take several steps forward.
First of all, it’s about what we’re no longer doing. We are no longer America’s poodle in Europe pushing through a neo-liberal agenda, TTIP, a new cold war, NATO expansionism and aggression and acting as wrecker and saboteur of last resort in the process of European construction. Brexit is independence day for Europe. Rather than a domino effect as hoped by the neocons, now marginalized by Theresa May, we are seeing a wave of Euro- enthusiasm across Europe following Brexit and to follow there will be a swathe of Eurozone measures aimed at banking and fiscal union, control of borders and European security. We can also expect friendly overtures towards Russia, China and Iran.
Anglo-American diplomacy will also go into high gear with detente with Russia. The appearance of a sell-out will be countered by sabre-rattling in the South China Sea.
Ironically, Brexit, conceived by Little Englanders of the UKIP or IngSoc milieu, is the catalyst for global transformation. It pertains more to the wider world than to Britain itself.
Nevertheless, there must be something in it for us unless, amidst all the theatricality, we are to be given the role of real life proles in an Orwellian Oceania. One of most striking features of the new government is the ommission of Osborne not because he jumped the gun in his negotiations of a deal in Washington the other week, but because of his association with austerity. The government’s disavowal of austerity and declared intention of investing heavily in UK economy and infrastructure seems incompatible with the pound’s very vulnerable status. It only makes sense if some kind of global currency reset is imminent along with Chinese style real economy QE on a global scale. That appears to be a long shot but Brexit may have triggered a global transformation which astonish us all.
As for Britain’s relationship to all this: look for Brexit to be the mother of all mudge and fudge. At some point we can reintegrate ourselves into a Europe, or Eurasia, which will, in any case, no longer be the one we left.