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Le Brexit et l’équilibre des puissances

CAMBRIDGE – La Grande-Bretagne a rejoint ce qui allait devenir l’Union européenne en 1973. Cette année, le 23 juin, elle tient un référendum qui décidera si elle doit en partir. La quittera-t-elle ?

Les derniers sondages montrent un électorat très partagé. Le Premier ministre David Cameron assure que les concessions obtenues auprès de ses partenaires européens devraient calmer les inquiétudes soulevées dans la population par la perte de souveraineté en faveur de Bruxelles et par l’afflux de travailleurs étrangers venus d’Europe de l’Est. Mais le parti conservateur du même Cameron et jusqu’à son propre cabinet sont profondément divisés, tandis que le maire populiste de Londres, Boris Johnson, a rejoint le camp des partisans d’une sortie de la Grande-Bretagne.

La question des coûts et des bénéfices de l’appartenance à l’UE divise aussi la presse britannique. Beaucoup de publications à grand tirage soutiennent le « Brexit », tandis que la presse financière plaide pour le maintien dans l’Union. The Economist, par exemple, rappelle que quelque 45% des exportations britanniques sont destinées aux autres pays de l’UE, et souligne que l’atmosphère, lorsqu’il s’agira de négocier, le cas échéant, un traité commercial post-Brexit, pourrait s’être sérieusement refroidie.

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