El Brexit y el futuro de Europa

NUEVA YORK – En mi opinión, Gran Bretaña tenía con la Unión Europea el mejor de los arreglos posibles; era miembro del mercado común sin pertenecer al euro y había conseguido otras exenciones a las reglas de la UE. Pero eso no bastó para evitar que el electorado británico votara por la salida del bloque. ¿Por qué?

La respuesta puede hallarse en las encuestas de opinión realizadas los meses previos al referendo por el “Brexit”. La crisis migratoria europea y el debate por el Brexit se reforzaron mutuamente. La campaña por el “Leave” (la salida de la UE) explotó el empeoramiento de la situación de los refugiados (simbolizado por atemorizadoras imágenes de miles de solicitantes de asilo concentrados en Calais y desesperados por entrar a Gran Bretaña a cualquier costo) para atizar el temor a la inmigración “descontrolada” desde otros países de la UE. Y las autoridades europeas demoraron decisiones importantes sobre la política de refugiados para no incidir negativamente en el referendo británico, lo que perpetuó escenas de caos como la de Calais.

La decisión de la canciller alemana Angela Merkel de abrir las puertas de su país a los refugiados fue un gesto inspirador, pero sin la suficiente reflexión, ya que no se tuvo en cuenta el factor de atracción. Una súbita afluencia de solicitantes de asilo trastornó la vida cotidiana de la gente en toda la UE.

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