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Headaches of Empire: Brexit and the United States

December 5, 2016 • GLOBAL ECONOMY, Americas, Europe

By Binoy Kampmark

The case for Britain’s exit from Europe has been treated as a dramatic blow against the imperium’s three main concerns on the continent: its own, fragile economic recovery, the broader trade agenda spearheaded with the EU, and matters of security.

 

President Barack Obama, like other leaders who were taking the gruel of Brexit for his breakfast serving, did not react well to Britain’s referendum result of June 23. Over time, he has been unduly chiding in his manner, reproachful about the affairs of another country in how it would vote on its relationship with the European Union.

In April, Obama warned British voters that a trade deal with the United States would be a rather tough thing to achieve from outside the European Union. This trend followed that of warnings to other countries, such as Greece, who had flirted with the idea of leaving the zone. The cudgel used on this occasion, as previously, was that of economic consequences. Leave, and observe… “It could be five years from now, 10 years from now before we’re actually able to get something done.”1

Whatever pretence the United States maintains about the equal order of states, sovereignty and its “special relationships”, traditional imperial values are powerful. Much of this has seeped sufficiently into the body politic of the US to make anything that seems like rebellious fracture in Europe seem dangerous.

The case for Britain’s exit from Europe has been treated as a dramatic blow against the imperium’s three main concerns on the continent: its own, fragile economic recovery, the broader trade agenda spearheaded with the EU, and matters of security.

 
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About the Author

Kampmark_Picture[1]Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

 

References
1. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/24/leave-campaign-obama-trade-warning-eu-referendum
2. Remarks available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20160621a.htm
3. http://www.euronews.com/2016/06/25/obama-stands-by-back-of-queue-warning-on-post-brexit-uk-trade-deal/
4. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-usa-biden-idUSKCN0ZA24G
5. https://twitter.com/@MosSobyanin
6. https://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Power-America-Europe-World/dp/1400034183
7. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/news/article/russia-reacts-to-brexit-referendum/573389.html

 

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