UK SHAKES OFF EU
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
The voters of the United Kingdom referendum voted 52 to 48 to part company with the European Union. This is the first time in the history of the EU that a member company has opted to say good bye. So far the trend among the European countries has been to join the EU as benefits of member nations were many. The business was booming. The trade and commerce was flourishing. The European Parliament existed on ground but interfered very little with decisions of parliaments of member nations. The German economy was the most robust and the British economy was not in doldrums. The French had to reason to use harsh language against the EU managers.
What went wrong and where? Did it happen suddenly? Was the protest against the financial and political set up simmering for some time but the leaders in ivory towers failed to take note of it? Why did UK take the lead in opting out of the EU? Of course, there have been protesting waves of discontent with the political management leading to chaos at the open borders and the sudden flood of immigration from the Middle-East of a different type of people added fuel to fire.
Believe it or not but it is true that Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, failed to appreciate that she was biting more than what she could chew. Conceding the fact that she is a leading personality in boosting the economy of Germany and making it the strongest in Europe, it must be pointed out that she could not appreciate that her open door policy to welcoming the Arabs, especially the Syrians created havoc with the lawfully running governments of many countries. The immigrants caused law and order problems and even the German women did not feel safe in their own land. The crime rate went up and the immigrants did damage to the way of life of Europeans in general and Germans in particular. Angela Merkel’s critic did not have to look around to find the door where blame could be laid.
The number of Arab immigrants was so large that even the flourishing economy of EU found it difficult to bear the burden. Although some steps were taken to close the floodgates to stop the immigrants with the help of Turkey by giving it some lollipops but it was a proverbial case of too little and too late. The Arab immigrants kept on pouring in and when the French found it hard to put a brake on their forward march from Calais in France to Dover in the UK, the Englishmen said to each other: Enough is Enough.
Islam is the religion of immigrants. Christianity is the religion of most Europeans. The clash between Islam and Christianity has been going on for many centuries. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the beginning of Renaissance sounded the bugle of clash of ideas followed by Crusades and Christendom stonewalling Islam’s entry into Europe. When the joint efforts of Isabella and Duke Ferdinand succeeded in rolling back the Islamic Arabs from Spain after their almost seven century rule, the resurgent Christianity knew that the Sun was now rising and setting on Christian Europe. They did not have to look back thereafter.
Receiving the Muslim Arabs into Christian Europe with open arms, thanks to the misguided policies of Angela Merkel and her like- minded friends across Europe including UK was not appreciated by the devout Christians, the lower middle class men and women and the educated youth who knew what havoc Islamists had caused in America and Europe.
Donald Trump, the Presidential aspirant of the United States of America, is indeed a product of history. When he announces from house tops that he would ban the entry of Muslims in the United States, he is just giving voice to what thousands are thinking and musing over.
The referendum in the United Kingdom calling on its country to sever connections with the European Union was primarily to undo the wrong steps resulting in the huge influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe. The economists of high caliber have taken pains to find economic reasons for the decision but the historical-cum-political reasons cannot be overlooked.
Where does Europe go from here? Will some more countries hear the clarion call given by the British people and ask for a similar counting of heads in their countries to say good bye to the European Union? Well, it is too early to say either way. Nevertheless, many thinkers are mulling over the matter. Italy may take the same path as was taken by the United Kingdom. Germany is still stable under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Angela Merkel has advised all concerned to take a deep breath and think. No decision should be made in a hurry. Allow the dust to settle down so that the tired swimmers find their feet on shifting sands and pause for a solution. She does not plan to reverse the present policy on Arab immigrants. However, their arrival in torrents is a matter of history now. The President of France Francois Hollande, however, opined that connections with UK may be severed economically to dissuade other member countries from deserting the European Union. David Cameron has expressed his opinion that he and his political party would bow to the wish of the people and work for a Great Britain outside the European Union. He has expressed his desire to step down and let his successor handle the nitty-gritty of severing ties of over half a century with EU.
Where does India stand in the present European turmoil? Well, the opinion of the Indians in Europe is divided on the issue. Some Indian residents of England with their business spread over Europe feel that life would not be the same hereafter. Carrying on the business across Europe from UK will mean more expenditure in maintaining more than one establishment across the English Channel. On the other hand some Indians feel that prices of goods would come down. Indians in India think that fuel would be cheaper. The Reserve Bank of India is keeping its powder dry to meet all eventualities.
Well, the considered opinion of consummate politico-economists is that we should let more water flow down the Ganges before we firm up our opinion this way or that way. Let us be wiser with the marching time.