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No Choice and No Exit for the UK

15 9 4
18.03.2019

LONDON – The United Kingdom’s protracted attempt to leave the European Union has upended the two illusions by which the world has lived since the end of the Cold War: national sovereignty and economic integration, the twin end points of history, according to Francis Fukuyama’s celebrated 1989 essay.

Mar 4, 2019 Emmanuel Macron calls on EU citizens to focus on three goals ahead of the critical European Parliament election in May.

Feb 27, 2019 Raghuram G. Rajan argues that beggar-thy-neighbor policies cannot solve the problems facing declining communities.

Feb 11, 2019 George Soros argues that the EU cannot be saved without transforming its political party systems.

Juridically, the world consists of 191 sovereign states, which freely enter into treaties, agreements, and associations to order their relations with one another. The UK is one of them. Its failure to make a meaningful exit from the EU would be the first time in modern history that a major sovereign state was forced to remain in a voluntary union because, while legally free to leave, doing so would be too costly.

Coercion must be understood as a continuum of pressure, ranging from the use of force at one end to mild economic and cultural sanctions at the other, with a country’s sovereignty measured by its vulnerability to the various forms of compulsion to which it can be subjected.

On this criterion, very few of the world’s 191 states are truly sovereign, in the sense........

© Project Syndicate