No one in either the Brexit camp or the Remain camp really knows what the UK economy will look like after Britain leaves the European Union, such is the immense uncertainty of the consequences surrounding the decision of the British electorate to vote to leave Europe’s trade bloc. After March 2019, the UK will be well and truly in unchartered waters.
However, that said, Brexit is no revolution in any way whatsoever. Britain will continue to share the same economic and political philosophy that the EU has and London will remain a key guardian of Western global hegemony.
Now, turning to British Foreign Policy, this is another area that will not be affected by Brexit. London’s criminal and dangerous behaviour on the international stage will continue unabated in a post-Brexit world.
Britain will remain the US’ closest and most ardent friend and ally in the international arena and will continue to passionately lobby for American objectives. Indeed, I believe that the Special Relationship between London and Washington will become even more enhanced after the UK leaves the EU, given the uncertainties of Brexit. Perhaps the Brexit camp can explain why they never call for Britain to stop being a vassal state of the US, given that a core argument of theirs for the UK to leave the EU is to “regain” British independence?
The UK will remain a steadfast advocate of NATO and will continue to make the case for the Western military alliance to intervene in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, in order to help safeguard American global hegemony. And Britain will continue to call upon other NATO members to meet the NATO guideline of spending a minimum of two percent of Gross Domestic Product on defence.
Britain will maintain its suspicious and antagonistic position on Russia (we must remember that ever since relations were first established between London and Moscow in the 1500s, relations between the two have been marked by mutual hostility). Once out of the EU, Britain will place its own sanctions on Russia and will increase these as and when America says or does so itself (it was the UK who, in 2014,lobbied hard and extensively within the EU for the bloc to impose sanctions on Russia). The British will support the continuing NATO build-up on the western borders of the Russian Federation and will support the applications of countries wanting to join NATO, such as Ukraine. And regarding Ukraine, the British will maintain, and probably increase, their political and military assistance to the Ukrainian Government, whom London regards as a victim of “Russian aggression”. Furthermore, Britain will continue to refuse to recognise the Crimea as a part of Russia and will continue to demand that Russia “returns” the peninsula to Ukraine, while, at the same time, continuing to regard the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija as being an “independent country”.
Turning to the Middle East, Britain will remain a strong friend and ally to Israel and will continue to allow Israeli aggression in the region, such as against Lebanon and Syria. And London will persist in turning a blind eye to the atrocious manner in which Israel treats the Palestinians and the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, offering, only occasionally, the most insincere criticism that a country is capable of.
Saudi Arabia need have no fear of Brexit, as London will continue to regard the Saudis as one of their most important strategic partners in the world. BAE Systems will continue to sell billions of pounds worth of arms to the Saudis and British petroleum companies will continue buying Saudi oil to the tune of billions of dollars each year. Further to that, London will allow the Saudis to keep on exporting their perverted ideology of Wahhabism – one of the most malignant cancers in the world today – and will remain silent on how most mosques in Britain are under the control of the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood, something that constitutes a terrible threat to the safety and well-being of British citizens, as the hideous terrorist attacks on British soil last year demonstrated.
London’s duplicitous position towards Iran will remain in place. On the one hand, the UK has diplomatic relations with the Iranians and supports the Iran nuclear deal, which is to be applauded. But, on the other hand, the British will maintain their links with subversive groups within Iran and would gleefully embrace an opportunity to help overthrow the Iranian Government and return Iran to how it was in the days of the Shah, a client state of the West, bereft of national dignity.
Finally, Whitehall will continue to prize its strategic relationship with Turkey, remaining indifferent to Ankara’s appalling treatment of its Kurdish population and allowing the Turks to continue violating international law, as they are currently doing in northern Syria and in northern Iraq. And also, Britain will carry on in allowing Turkey to illegally occupy a third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and destroy Greek heritage in the north of the island, including the desecration of cemeteries and churches together with the pillaging and selling on the black market of Cyprus’ antiquities. Britain will continue to resist the 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees – whom the Turks ethnically cleansed during their invasion of Cyprus in 1974 -returning to their ancestral homes in the occupied part of Cyprus. Overall, the UK will, unashamedly, continue to be in breach of its obligations as a guarantor of the Republic of Cyprus’ independence and territorial integrity, all so that British-Turkish relations remain unaffected.
The UK, in a post-Brexit world, will continue with its current foreign policy objectives – it will be business as usual! Alas, Britain will remain the same old Britain.
I could discuss how Britain does not actually have an independent foreign policy; that its foreign policy is determined in Washington. But that will have to wait for another time.
This article was translated from Farsi.
Dr Marcus Papadopoulos specialises in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.