La traversée du désert de la Grande-Bretagne

LONDRES – Une fois de plus, l’Europe est divisée entre l’Est et l’Ouest – mais cette fois-ci, la ligne de démarcation traverse l’Union européenne. Les membres de l’Est, principalement la Pologne et les États baltes, s’accrochent fermement à l’UE face à une Russie agressive. A l’autre extrême géographique et politique, le Royaume-Uni menace de quitter l’Europe pour de bon. Les décisions prises aujourd’hui dans les périphéries orientale et occidentale de l’Union forgeront un nouvel équilibre des pouvoirs.

Il n’est pas difficile d’imaginer l’Europe après le retrait de la Grande-Bretagne : un axe franco-allemand aux commandes, la Russie en position de force, les Etats-Unis court-circuitant une Grande-Bretagne affaiblie, l’Écosse pro-européenne menaçant à nouveau de quitter le Royaume-Uni et l’Angleterre se repliant sur elle-même avec les eurosceptiques persuadés que la Grande-Bretagne s’en tire toujours mieux quand elle fait cavalier seul.

Et compte tenu des effets de l’euroscepticisme jusqu’à présent, nul besoin d’être devin pour prédire les répercussions d’une sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’UE. Comme l’a dit l’ancien président de la Commission européenne José Manuel Barroso en décembre dernier : «  Pendant toutes mes années de présence au Conseil européen, je n’ai jamais vu… un grand pays aussi isolé que la Grande-Bretagne ».

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