With or without Britain, integration is the response to be resilient and face effectively current crises. However, after Brexit results the frustrating conclusion that we get is how easy it is to convince masses of people about the “benefits” of cut with the rest of the world and go back to old models of international relations.
A mix of ignorance, manipulation of media, lack of ethics -at the service of private interests- and opportunistic politicians with no vision, are making the world map an intricate accumulation of countries that behave politically as “islands”. Eventually this fact would not be harmful if it is not that we are currently living under global standards. It doesn´t matter if integration means immediate benefits or not, is our reality and a political strategy with a no global vision lacks of long-term positive results. Extremist nationalist ideologies lacks of a clear plan, although with a determinate political agenda. Immediate after Brexit´s results we have been witnessed of the lack of leadership and focus for the future shaping with uncertainty what should be an accurate and analyzed political-economic-financial strategy.
Unfortunately crises are a good excuse to insert extremist ideologies based on xenophobia and nationalism as a way to achieve goals trough fear and isolationism. It is also a good opportunity to avoid responsibility of failures at national policies. Unemployment (particularly youth), fiscal policies, tax evasion (recent Panama papers scandal is a good example), high rates of public debt and corruption are showing the need to make reforms at national level as a first step. Taking responsibility without the involvement and influence of international or regional integration. Indeed, anti-global political sectors tend to assign responsibility to international institutions about there own failures and failed strategies on national crisis in those aspects that has little to do with integration but more to a weak leadership and a strong absence of political vision.
Brexit supporters have won with a clear political agenda but without strong argumentation against the European Union and what is worse without a strategy for the future. The campaign has been a tricky manoeuvre against immigration, surprisingly not about the real debate: the failure of European leadership and institutions under Germany´s financial “dictatorship”.
If we go back to the moments in which UK started negotiating a status of not “even closer union” British population was not concerned about the European Union at all. In fact integration was seeing as supportive to face the real national conflicts and concerns of the population: poverty or unemployment. This facts were not associated with European integration but to a global financial crisis that started in U.S. and contaminated the rest of the world. However, and in a few months, all national economic-financial obstacles become a “citizenship concern” that need to be addressed by a referendum because of “European Union responsibility”. Promises come of any kind: e.g. Leave claim there´d be £350M a week for NHS, point that has been explained by Nigel Farage as a “mistake”. How many mistakes this campaign has? How many wrong argumentations have been done? Which is the alternative plan for UK outside the European Union? There are no answers yet because Leave campaign has been based on emotional elements of fear, discontent and frustration against the institutional failure of a no updated Union. In addition to a political agenda based on xenophobia, hate, anti-Muslim and an anti-global focus. Instead of searching for solutions they search for the achievement of a far-right agenda without a smart and achievable strategy for the future.
Nothing is black or white in a world full of uncertainty and unfocused institutions and leaders, that is the reason to work on building what is already IN: a global world that need to be reshaped towards a system based on transparency, accountability and a visionary leadership.
Be united towards a resilient world, without isolationist agendas that do not fit in current global world. In conjunction with strong leaders with tangible proposals lacking of emotional elements -like fear or hate- that could really bring strength and boldness to a weakened world calling for changes.
INTEGRATION: black or white!
*Picture: Eikoh Hosoe