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Britain Rattles Postwar Order and Its Place as Pillar of Stability

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/world/europe/britain-rattles-postwar-order-and-its-place-as-pillar-of-stability.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=span-ab-top-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

This article from the New York Times (25 June 2016) illustrates the challenges that Brexit poses to the world. But it also sums up the contradictory issues that surrounded the vote. What is the EU? A political organisation that seeks to replace the sovereignty of nations on the Continent with its own ‘super-sovereignty’ based in Brussels – or an economic market place? The fact that one could defend (to a degree) economic standardisation and integration across the Continent, the same could not be so easily said for political centralisation, and this probably is what explains a European-wide unease with the EU experiment – what started as a free trade area became a regional political organisation, a bloc, that strategically competes with the U.S., Russia, China. And it is a bloc that has no political opposition at the centre. With no political opposition comes a lack of accountability to its constituents – the people of Europe – who are saddled with the privilege of paying for supranational, national, provincial and municipal governments with their taxes. At least at the lower levels of this morass of bureaucracy, there is some level of accountability.

 

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