Brexit and prospects for Britain’s governance: An explorative approach

The Britons’ vote in favor of leaving the European Union (EU) through a referendum held on June 23, 2016, which surpassed negative votes by a margin of over three percent, has been attributed to income inequality as a result of globalization and free trade, which have given birth to a sweeping wave of nationalistic sentiments in favor of Britain’s exit from the EU.

At any rate, in view of the rise of Donald Trump in the United States’ 2016 presidential election, and given the emergence of a modern and ambitious China in international arena, an important question is “can Brexit depict a promising outlook for the UK’s foreign policy and the Middle East, which is unchanging central nervous system of the world’s politics and culture?” Let’s assume that the future China is not expected – as proposed by some Western analysts – to be an isolated China bound to its frontiers, but will be an internationalist China.

It goes without saying that some people believe that hasty voting on Britain’s exit from the EU was based on this simple presumption that – like unsuccessful case of Scotland’s secession referendum from the UK – Britain would remain in the EU and would have more reasons to bargain with other members to obtain more trade concessions. Now that the vote has been in favor of getting out of the EU, some analysts maintain that in view of the mosaic fabric of the UK, the country will not be able to get totally separated from the EU and leave its alliance with the United States as well. Another group still believes that the future of the UK would not be necessarily dependent on its remaining within legal boundaries of the EU.

This was clear in recent remarks by the UK’s foreign secretary who said it was necessary for Britain to free its hands. If this is true, then one of the future approaches of the UK and other European powers can be related to rebuilding regional order in the Middle East. Therefore, compared to the United States, Britain and the rest of European countries can create more economic and social opportunities for themselves through working with countries in the Middle East, especially with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It seems that Iran is a gateway to a stable and economically well-off Middle East and such a stable Middle East can help establish stability in the South China Sea region as well and maintain rapid economic growth in East Asia and in doing so, bring more balance to the United States’ already balanced foreign policy toward East Asia.

The reason for this potential possibility is that Britons are not only intelligent and opportunist people, and enjoy great financial, legal and business skills while having long experience in internationalism and building a dynamic empire, but have also been slapped in the face several times during past years. They have the failed experience of social instigations during Iran’s 2009 presidential election, the experience of getting China into the World Trade Organization, and the experience of triggering the faked crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. It seems that the final outcome of all three experiences has been the current crisis in the world two major manifestations of which include the rise of Trump phenomenon in the United States and Britons’ Brexit vote.

Therefore, if once the Sun did not set in the British empire and a Londoner disillusioned with his life had no choice but to wish for death, today, the same happy society of the 19th century has reached a stage in which it sees its successor challenged because it withholds its ‘generosity’ from others. Therefore, for a long time now, it has made showing its ‘generosity’ toward other nations conditional on those nations being “friends” as a result of which such a peaceful nation as Iran is considered as “other.”

Now, if the Britons correctly understand this dynamic law of wealth generation by nations, which says all countries must be useful to others regardless of whether they are friend or not, and if they add it to the lesson they have learned from Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations,” then there would be new space for such a big soft power to play along with other top global powers under the new atmosphere of globalization and in the presence of such a new and attractive rival as China.

If this happens, then the Islamic Republic of Iran would need to forget about past bitter memories of interaction with the wicked UK and look at a new UK which is ready to be a means for the promotion of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s soft power in the world through a win-win game. At that time, a new period of happiness would begin for the UK and to the degree that it gets closer to Iran, all four corners of the world from China and Russia to Europe and the United States would take pride in getting close to the UK and expand relations with such an attractive power as a fair agent of international diplomacy.

It is evident that such an assumption would be interesting and fantastic, on the one hand, while on the other hand, it would be challenging and problematic and only passage of time can determine the fate of such an Iranian fantasy. The important point is that we must note that a post-Brexit UK can turn into a hub of economic and spiritual happiness in the world, if British elites want this and think more profoundly, but realization of this goal would depend on specific conditions. Without a doubt, a Middle East depending on Iran would be one of those conditions.

As said before, an alternative route for the UK – which is now free from the EU bounds – is either to take the reverse course or brace for a string of political and economic hardships with undetermined consequences. This is true because the historical sense of need to alliance with the United States and absence of spiritual and efficient leadership has been plaguing top Western powers such as the UK for many years. The bitter irony is that while an old British woman, who talked to me on the side of the Hyde Park pond in London was aware of this point some 15 years ago, some British politicians are still either unaware of it, or are not ready to recognize it.

By Iran Review