Five Minutes of Common Sense: Whose Victory is Brexit?

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June 24, 2016 – 

Ruslan Ostashko, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

Something has happened which was believed to be impossible not only among political analysts, but also among famous British bookmakers. Great Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Today is one of those rare occasions on which I can completely agree with the opinion of the former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. McFaul wrote on his twitter: “Not always, but tonight is a giant victory for Putin’s foreign policy objectives. Give him credit.”

Amazingly enough, McFaul has behaved wiser than most Russian political analysts and journalists who raced to explain that there are no serious consequences to this referendum and that the political elite of Great Britain will just ignore the result, limiting everything to meaningless negotiations with Brussels. This is nonsense. But this nonsense is based on the strong belief that the referendum’s result does not suit the British elite and was possible only thanks to a nationwide mobilization of normal voters.

This theory is not tenable for several reasons:

First of all, any political strategist can tell you that a gap of 3% is an inkblot which can easily be fixed using the most primitive post-scripts and political techniques on election day. This means that at least part of the British elite was interested in Brexit going through. This is why the problem of the referendum was not allowed to be solved using the UK’s conventional methods of postscripts and rigging. 

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Secondly, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as some major British companies and even sponsors of the British conservatives, agitated for exiting the European Union. The media campaign in support of Brexit included influential British media, including the most popular British tabloids. Do you really think that they did this according to their heart and not on the order of their management and owners? And the owners of influential British media – are they not part of the British elite?

As it turns out, the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is a result of a split in the British political and economic establishment. The winners in this struggle are not necessarily the ordinary voters from the rural and industrial areas of the United Kingdom, but quite specific media magnates, politicians, and businessmen. One would have to be very naive to believe that these influential citizens who invested billions of pounds in the referendum’s victory would quietly be deprived of the results of this so expensive victory.

The British politicians and oligarchs who won the referendum are not interested in fighting with the German and French elites for control of the European Union for the sake of Washington’s interests. There is much more profit for them and they are much more interested in playing their own independent game while remaining above the geopolitical fray and playing the role of the geopolitical and economic “shift”, the intermediaries and puppeteers. 

It is no wonder that McFaul speaks of Putin’s victory in the referendum. Without Great Britain, the team of American “mongrels” within the EU has been left without a leader, and now the EU can become less controllable for Washington, while Berlin and Paris’ influence will only intensify. For us, this is great news. A Europe without the British means that we will have a much better chance to negotiate while the Germans will simply roll out the asphalt over the protesting Russophobes from Poland and the Baltic states.

I want to note that there is also good news for our southern neighbor in this situation. Ukraine now has a real chance to get into the European Union by 2020 – by then only Poland and Estonia will remain. This, of course, is a joke. But the parade of sovereignties which might begin in the near future in the EU is not a joke, but a harsh reality. Demands to hold referendums on leaving the EU have already been heard in France and Holland. And this is only the beginning. 

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