The results of the referendum in Britain were just recently released, and the outcome is shocking: 72.16% of UK citizens have voted, and 51.9% of them have chosen to leave the EU. Within two years, the UK will now leave the EU, and the political leaders of Europe have to meet and put in place actions to reply to this decision.
What Will Mario Draghi Do?
The ECB President, Mario Draghi, will keep in touch with Brussels from the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, ready to step in front of excessive instability in the financial markets with impact on the single currency and on government bonds of the Eurozone. The immediate collapse of the pound in non-European markets open during the night raised fears speculation of unpredictable dimensions. Among the capitals, for days the possible repercussions policies will be discussed, given the Council of Heads of State and Government meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday next. The EU summit was scheduled this week. It was moved to next week just to be able to face the outcome of the consultation in the UK. They must also consider the result of the elections in Spain next Sunday, where a leftist victory of the movement Podemos, which is very critical for EU’s current management, could lead to significant changes in the European system.
The Changes In The Parliament
Frankly, the Council of 28 governments must drop to 27 members. The British EU commissioner Jonathan Hill, head of financial markets, must be replaced, and shown the door. In the European Parliament, 73 British MEPs should be deprived of the right to vote, waiting to leave the polling station. About 1,500 British Eurocrats of the Community institutions will lose their job and the attached ‘golden salaries’, which are higher than those dished out in the public service of Queen Elizabeth. An extraordinary meeting of the European Commission will be called for next Monday. Over the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and other European leaders should intensify consultations to help achieve a common position on how to proceed in Europe, to be ready to face a possible trauma which could extend to other member countries.
The Influence Of Brexit On Other Anti-EU Leaders
There are a plethora of political leaders against the EU, like Dutch Gert Wilders and Italian Mario Salvini, who both have already called for an anti-EU referendum in their countries. Last Thursday, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called a Summit of Heads of Government, regardless of the outcome of the referendum on Brexit, to address the apparent distrust of the European Union demonstrated by large groups of European citizens. Michel has evoked the growing Euro-skepticism, which may consolidate, after counting the votes in the United Kingdom and Spain, if reconciliatory actions towards these citizens are not implemented.
“The European leadership must take charge of social inclusion and fight against inequality”
-Pier Carlo Padoan, Economic Minister of Italy
Nevertheless, whatever choice the EU will make toward the UK, it should recognise the force of rising anti-EU sentiment in many remaining countries and act to stem it. Europe’s leaders have long preferred to ignore such discontent rather than acknowledge it, much less accommodate it. Britain’s vote for exit shows the enormous cost of such complacency. To minimise the harm to its interest, and to stop the next such vote before it happens, Europe needs to change.