“Britexit” who cares?
By Don Valentine
Pull your head out of the sand and absorb that we live in a global homogeneous society now. Every ripple throughout the third planet from the sun affects everyone on the planet to a degree. More compelling, if the U.K. votes to leave the European Union there will be significant world- wide repercussions. The Wall Street Journal recently commented that any political instability arising from a rupture within the Conservative party would likely be compounded by wider instability within the U.K. A Brexit vote would raise doubts about the long-term viability of the political union among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The economic issues of globalization have several causes. The emergence of East Asia as a major manufacturing hub since the 1950s – first Japan, then South Korea and South-East Asia, and then China – brought hundreds of millions of consumers and workers into global markets. Transport costs and tariffs have fallen steadily, reducing the cost of trade. Governments have also reduced ‘non-tariff barriers’ (NTBs) – the different national regulations, quotas and protections that make it difficult for exporters to penetrate foreign markets. Consumers in developed markets want choice – for instance, in the case of cars they want different designs and differing levels of quality. Only rich countries have the infrastructure, knowledge and capital to provide this variety.
Moreover, our current President re-cognizes that the western countries need to be cohesive in our vigilant battle against “I.S.I.L.” and terrorism. This is demonstrated by his unorthodox visit to England, a sovereign nation, to comment on the deleterious ramifications of the dilution of the E.U. Should the “Brits” separate from the E.U. it will dilute the unity of the West. This will lead to a precarious path of xenophobia among the countries in the West. Given the Syrian refugee situation this is not a path that will benefit our fight against terrorism. If the Brits choose to leave the E.U. it will have pernicious results for the United States and Western countries.