1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Brexit se politieke en ekonomiese nagevolge en historiese realiteite

Volume 59 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
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Abstract

Brexit’s political and economic consequences and historical realities 

In an attempt to determine the significance of Brexit, I analyse both the internal (national) and international consequences of Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May’s ongoing attempts at negotiating the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

At the time of writing this article (May 2019), it has become clear that Brexit is a foreignpolicy issue for the rest of Europe. In London, however, it revolves primarily around a battle for domestic power and the survival of the UK as a political unit. Seldom before has the impact of domestic affairs on foreign affairs been so vividly demonstrated as in the case of political divisions in the UK driving foreign-policy positions on Brexit and, in particular, PM May’s hard line position with respect to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Because of this fixation on and preoccupation with the ECJ the UK views many of its position points through this ECJ-prism. The issue of the Irish border touches the soul of the UK. The continuation of its four united entities is at stake. As are peace arrangements that have lasted now for more than 30 years. Of all the remaining EU countries the Republic of Ireland (RI) will experience the consequences of Brexit the most – in whatever shape or form it materialises. The emergence of the Irish backstop border issue as a deal breaker during the parliamentary debates on Brexit in the latter part of 2018 caused havoc. In the final analysis Brexit is not just about tariffs or trade and their consequences: it is about history, and making sure it is not repeated. This is a real concern. The backstop was an attempt to avoid renewed instability in Northern Ireland (NI) and is an effort to avoid a hard border between the RI and NI. Opponents argue that it could keep the UK trapped in the EU’s customs union and keep the UK enmeshed in the EU.

Hierdie oorsigartikel is nie ’n kronologiese weergawe van alles wat rondom Brexit gebeur het nie. Dit gee eerder die hooftemas weer wat op hul beurt onvermydelik lei tot duplikasie van verwysings en gevolgtrekkings in sekere gevalle.

Waar Brexit vir die Europese Unie (EU) ’n ernstige buitelandse beleidsonderwerp is, gaan dit vir die Verenigde Koninkryk (VK) amper meer oor ’n oorlewingstryd om binnelandse politieke mag en die voortbestaan van die VK as ’n politieke eenheid. Die impak van binnelandse aangeleenthede op buitelandse beleid word gedemonstreer deur eerste minister May se onversetlike standpunt oor die Europese Geregshof (EG).1 Die VK ervaar die EG as ’n soewereiniteitsbedreiging. Daarom is die wekroep van die Brexit-veldtog vir die VK om “weer volle beheer terug te kry”. Om die VK van die EU se menige instellings en beleidsvoorskrifte los te maak en te organiseer, sou altyd ’n moeilke taak wees. Die aanvanklike pogings om volle betekenis aan Brexit te gee en ook ’n toekomstige verhouding met die EU te bewerkstellig – een sonder die EG se betrokkenheid – is kil deur die Europese gespreksgenote ontvang. Aangesien die eerste minister se ononderhandelbare voorwaardes en rooilyne dwaaslik en teenstrydig neergelê is, was dit onvermydelik dat hulle nie sou steekhou nie. Dat die EG in die proses sou verdwyn, was wensdenkery aan die kant van die VK. Daarenteen was die EU nou meer vasberade dat geen voorstel wat die EG se rol minimaliseer, nog minder die Hof se betrokkenheid uitsluit, oorweeg sou word nie. Om die VK se oordrewe fokus op die EG te verstaan, is dit belangrik om die gebeure voor en na die referendum in ag te neem.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-166b13536c
2019-06-01
2019-10-18

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