After the Second World War, the victorious Britain considered itself to be the leading European power. As a result, a unified platform among the Europeans, under various treaties leading to the formation of the European Union (EU), was seen by Britain as an option to serve its purposes and, unlike Germany and France, not as a requirement for survival.
Now that Britain (precisely the UK) has voted to leave the long survived union among the European states, what would be Britain’s next regional stance once it ‘actually’ leaves the EU?
• The possible-most case would be the creation of a new European bloc with ‘not so pro-EU’ sentimental political forces in Europe. The potential member states of this bloc could be, perhaps, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Britain itself – most of which share the desire to restrict the power of the EU & the expansion of the EU and to divide the existing EU in order to serve their own geopolitical interests. This ‘to-be’ European bloc is often addressed as the ‘northern league’.
• After ‘actual’ leaving the EU, if Britain makes its move towards institutionalizing the so called ‘northern league’ (or whatever Britain would prefer to call it in future), a bipolar Europe would emerge — one led by France & Germany (the Franco-German duo) under the banner of the EU and the other led by Britain — creating scopes for further division, cold relations, conflicts and, perhaps, wars.
• There is every possibility that one of the two European blocs that might emerge out of Britain’s ‘actual’ exit from the EU may lean towards, or align with, the Sino-Russian side of the global polarity in confronting the other side that would avail the backing from the US.
• With such two opposite blocs in Europe, wars or proxy wars are the only possibilities. Having the precedents of proxy wars that emerged as a result of the US-Soviet conflict for world domination and current Saudi-Iran regional rivalry, it would not be unprecedented if the two spreadheads of the two future European regional blocs, one led by the Franco-German duo and the other led by Britain, fight between themselves through proxies.
• Britain’s ‘actual’ exit from the EU might bring about a serious power-imbalance in greater Europe. There is the likelihood that Europe will become bipolar, and thus, the Europeans will no longer remain important players with regard to global affairs.
• A fragmented Europe would become subjugated to other powerful state-players, all of which would use the fragmented pieces of Europe as objects of power rivalries among themselves.
• A chaotic Europe would neither be advantageous for Franco-German duo nor for Britain. Such Europe-wide chaos would destroy the social, economic and political institutions of each European state from the core.
• Russia would be mistaken if it thinks it may enjoy the chaos in Europe. A spill-over effect of European-chaos might hit Russia as was the case during the Second World War, where Russia, despite not having an active involvement in the war at the beginning, was attacked by the German Army.
• Although a direct war between these European spearheads is most unlikely, any direct conflict between these spearheads is likely to spread all over the world, similar to what had happened in the previous two worldwide wars that started as European conflicts only to turn into world wars.