UK election ballot box vote Simon Chapman/ZumaPress

المعركة من أجل بريطانيا

بروكسل ــ إن نتائج الانتخابات العامة في المملكة المتحدة هذا الأسبوع سوف تحدد الاتجاه الذي سوف تسلكه البلاد في علاقاتها طويلة الأمد مع الاتحاد الأوروبي. ولكن مع الاستثناء المؤسف لحزب استقلال المملكة المتحدة، مرت هذه المسألة في الأغلب دون أن يتعرض لها أحد خلال الحملة الانتخابية. ولكن الناخبين يدركون أنها قد تنتقل قريباً إلى مركز السياسة البريطانية، سواء عاد المحافظون إلى السلطة أو حل محلهم العمال.

إن بريطانيا ليست على يقين بشأن دورها في أوروبا. فقد كان أملها أن يكون الاتحاد الأوروبي الأكبر أقل تكاملا. ولكن توسع الاتحاد الأوروبي في عام 2004 فشل في إيقاف الزخم نحو "اتحاد متزايد التقارب". ومن بين الدول العشر التي انضمت آنذاك التحقت سبع بعضوية منطقة اليورو.

أياً كانت المشاكل التي تواجهها المملكة المتحدة الآن فإنها تتضاءل بالمقارنة بتلك التي قد تنشأ إذا انسحبت من الاتحاد الأوروبي. والواقع أن الشعب البريطاني من المرجح أن يدرك بعد فوات الأوان أن المشاكل التي كان يعزوها إلى الاتحاد الأوروبي هي في واقع الأمر ناشئة في الداخل.

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