Britain landmark

Kann das Vereinigte Königreich einen Brexit überstehen?

LONDON – Das geplante Referendum über den Verbleib Großbritanniens in der Europäischen Union, das aller Voraussicht nach in diesem Jahr stattfinden wird, könnte sich als ein weiterer schwerer Schlag für Europa erweisen. Falls sich die britischen Wähler für einen Austritt entscheiden, was zunehmend plausibel erscheint, würde dies zu einer schwerwiegenden Destabilisierung der EU – und einem Auseinanderbrechen des Vereinigtes Königreichs – führen.

Der Umstand, dass sich die EU anscheinend ununterbrochen in der Krise befindet, wirft das Problem auf, dass die Argumente für einen „Brexit“ eine große intellektuelle und emotionale Anziehungskraft ausüben. Noch bevor 2009-2010 die Schuldenprobleme der Eurozone offenbar wurden, schien vielen Briten klar zu sein, dass eine Währungsunion verstärkte Integration braucht, insbesondere eine Fiskalunion in irgendeiner Form, um widerstandsfähig gegenüber ökonomischen Schocks zu sein. Mit anderen Worten würde Europa eher wie ein Nationalstaat agieren müssen. Und Großbritannien war noch nie bereit, sich auf ein solches Arrangement einzulassen.

Und, auf emotionaler Ebene, hat die Angst vor Zuwanderung in großem Umfang, sowohl aus der EU als auch aus Ländern außerhalb ihrer Grenzen, eine populistische Gegenreaktion genährt, die sich durch die aktuelle Flüchtlingskrise zugespitzt hat. Die populistische Reaktion beruft sich auf das bizarre, aber offenbar auf Resonanz stoßende Argument, dass Europa – oder genauer gesagt Deutschland – den Zustrom von Flüchtlingen vorantreibt.

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