Monday, May 29, 2023
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Ferran Brunet. Member of the Board of the Catalonian Civil Society.

A black swan: the unexpected happened. We believed that "Remain" would win the referendum. And the chaos in the wake of Brexit has been so great that even now there are those that want to change their minds.

The Brexit debate should have been simple. But if something is now becoming clear, it is the cost of Brexit. Income from United Kingdom (UK) will decrease appreciably, whichever way you look at all the analyzes. However, this imposing reason has not prevented that 52% of Britons voted "no" to Europe. What has prevailed is feeling, rejection of the elite, globalization, immigrants, those who do not speak very good English, and Brussels ... that robs us!

However, albeit by a margin of 4%, the unexpected victory of Brexiters highlights the depth of the political and social despair in the UK. In the cradle of modern democracy and liberalism, of the welfare state and of competitive capitalism, populism has won a referendum. Combining the extreme right and the extreme left the protest vote has prevailed. The UK paradigm of rule of law the rule of law and the open society of Karl Popper, crumbles before the big brother of George Orwell. Between Brexit and a hypothetical Catalexit, although there is some similarity in the questions, there are many differences in the answers.

Now everyone will try to minimize the ravages of Brexit, so that it is not such a big deal. The European Union (EU) will be greatly affected by Brexit, especially in relation to its policies, which seek to integrate nationalism. However, more than those on the Continent, those who will suffer most from Brexit is Britain itself. They will suffer in terms of trade, investment, employment and the economy and society in general. But they will suffer also by cleaving into British politics and, even more thoughtlessly, the territorial and social integration of the UK will suffer. Integration is beginning to suffer significant damage, as seen in the rise of xenophobic incidents, or the Scottish government demanding a second independence referendum, with the excuse of staying in the EU.

"Between Brexit and a hypothetical Catalexit, although there is some similarity in the questions, there are many differences in the answers".

Brexit can cause tsunamis in other States

The Brexit earthquake could generate tsunamis in other EU Member States. Eurosceptics, populists, extremists and radicals on different sides from France, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Italy have jumped for joy. We will see, then, that for the rest of the integration project -let's think about this properly- it is the last utopia of Europe. In Spain, especially in Catalonia, the result of the referendum Brexit has overwhelmed us. Despite this, everyone seems satisfied, both constitutionalists and separatists. It is obvious that Brexit and a hypothetical secession of Catalonia from the rest of Spain (let's call it Catalexit) are very different issues. The United Kingdom is a state with its own sovereignty. Catalonia is a region and does not have any sovereignty.



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