Victor Klügel is a visiting intern from the Linnaeus University in Sweden. He offers us his perspective. What do you think ?
This February I got the opportunity to go the United Kingdom and do an internship. When my placement was accepted the only thing I needed to do was to book a flight and organise my accommodation. Because of this I got the opportunity not only to come and do my internship in another country but also the chance to practise my English and widen my perspective. Would this be possible and as easy when Brexit is implemented?
2016 was the year when two major votes left me in shock and would leave me with the feeling that the world is really changing, and not in a good way. I am referring to the Brexit poll and the election of Donald Trump. I was left with the feeling that once again the world had listen to right wing populist who blames everything on immigrants. From my understanding the Brexit referendum was, instead of being a referendum about what EU brings to the table such as trade agreements, improved economic stability and growth, a concert symbol of European identity, peace, common environmental laws and goals, consumer protection and workers right. It gave me the impression of being a referendum about immigration, yes or no.
No one knows how the United Kingdom’s connection with the EU will look when they leave. What is clear is that the UK still however, wants to be a part of EU’s inner market and all the perks that this brings. This is off course something that the leave side forgot to tell about before the referendum. If however, the UK get access to some of the perks that comes with the EU, they would have to follow the rules of EU without being able to control or influence it, is that really a way to gain more sovereignty?
But why should they? Why should the United Kingdom have the cake and still eat it? If you want to leave, leave and miss out on the good stuff because you disliked other stuff so much.
It is a tricky situation dealing with the departure of the UK. On one hand it would be devastating to lose one of our most important business partners and Europe’s second biggest economy. On the other hand however, a statement is needed to show that you cannot leave and still gain a lot of the perks that comes with the EU. This could trigger a Brexit in every country in Europe. The EU needs to share the responsibility and at the same time gain the benefits that comes with it.
Unfortunately, it would be hard to make this kind of statement towards the Brits from a Swedish point of view. The UK is one of our most, if not the most important, allie and partner dealing with import and export and therefore an agreement between Sweden, the rest of Europe and the UK is crucial.
In Sweden, Brexit is covered on the news almost every day. Once people get over the fact that the British parliament is so rowdy with jeers and yelling and why on earth do you not have seating for all the people in parliament. You are left with the feeling that this exit been really complicated and not as easy as some may thought. Was this a well thought decision or was it about something else? If this was a way to show dissatisfaction, it is not the way. Brexit is a proof of a more divided Europe and a more excluding world where right wing populist winds are blowing. It is not a very flattering sight and hopefully this will not cause a chain reaction were more countries wants to abandon the EU project. In times when environmental and military threats are increasing more cooperation is needed and most definitely not less.