A recent survey by Friends of Europe said 64 percent of Europeans aren’t convinced life would be worse without the EU. Coming in the wake of Brexit, it’s interesting to wonder if more and more countries will leave the EU. Will Sweden become SweDONE? Will France be saying AdiEU? Apologies, and I think not.
The UK is a special case in the EU. It’s separate to the other European nations, both in a literal “we’re an island” sense, but also with a greater ideological gulf. I don’t think the UK ever took the idea of the European Union and ran with it. It’s kind of been like the toddler who was given a plate of Brussels sprouts, peas, and broccoli and told they must eat them before getting dessert. So the UK has been agreeing to all these regulations, laws, agreements, with the promise of getting the economic benefit dessert, but one day realised they might as well try and bake their own cake. Now I’m not going to insult Her Majesty’s Government, but generally toddlers are bad bakers.
The issue is that we never wanted to be part of this homogenous state, with a shared currency, shared politics, and shared laws. The fact is that Britain signed up for an economic partnership. Whether or not that was an accurate reflection of what was offered, it certainly isn’t what the founders of the EU were imagining. When the EU was mandating things beyond agreeing on fair and reasonable trade, it was almost inevitable we were going to crash out.
So the question is, are there any other countries like us? The UK is one of a few countries who give more money to the EU than they receive back, with a loss of about £7bn to £8bn. That forgets about the economic boosts the EU provides, but disregarding those, the UK makes a loss in terms of direct money in to money out. Another country in that situation is Denmark. Just as the UK infamously does not use the Euro (something I’m personally in agreement with), Denmark is exempt too. Finally, the second largest party in Denmark is the right wing, nationalistic ‘Danish People’s Party’, who thrive on Euroscepticism. Denmark seems pretty close to the perfect storm that led to Brexit.
So if the question were what is the next Brexit, my guess would be Denmark. I don’t know if it will happen, and I certainly hope it doesn’t. But with the increasing possibility of major economic turmoil, and the rise of nationalism and far-right politics, you have to be doubtful about the future of what could’ve been one of humanity’s greatest successes.