To continue or not for the UK? - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

To continue or not for the UK?

The United Kingdom will vote for the future of its relations with the EU on June 23. According to the result of the Brexit made up of the words “Britain” and “Exit,” both the UK and the EU will draw up a road map.

This isn't the UK's first dilemma in terms of the EU. Only two years after they joined the EU in 1973 they went to a referendum to vote for whether they should stay in the Union or not. The vote was “yes, we should” but, it seems that history is repeating itself once again. They still have an irresolute and hesitant attitude today.

The UK's position or the position it perceives itself in is a little different. With its original status it perceives itself both in the EU and out of the EU. For example it does not use the Euro, the economic symbol of the Union, and instead continues to use its own currency, the Sterling.

This is not the only distinctness of course. The UK chooses to keep out of the Schengen agreement too. Portraying itself as distant from the EU, the UK has adopted a “half-sovereign” stance, which means it is half dependent and half independent.


The UK has always had a negative attitude toward the EU story. In recent years, the EU has turned into a less attractive and awkward structure, especially with its unsatisfying attitude on the refugee issue.

The issue of the UK being an EU member but refusing to use the Euro has only added to the problems.

The breaking point for the EU was the year 2008, which led to a crisis. EU-member countries could not make a decision to fix the crisis. EU countries thought that the crisis would only be hindered with further integration. Quite the opposite of the UK.

On the other hand, the EU countries not striving to overcome the crisis led to further problems. A union that could not find a solution to the crisis, that could not decrease the negative effects of the crisis, that could not grow was not very encouraging.

Besides then there was the Greece issue. Greece had come to the verge of bankruptcy and thus it had to give into the trio in order to survive. All of the above was reason for the UK to review its EU membership. The UK does not want to surrender its sovereignty to EU foundations. Moreover, it wants to take its Euro region authorities back.

Therefore, the UK is questioning its future including the future of the EU.


The UK leaving the EU will justify the doubts EU countries have in regards to the union. This is why they do not want Europe to break up into pieces and a country to leave the EU with a referendum. Because if “yes” is the answer that comes out of the referendum, then this will set an example for other countries.

Such fragmentation will shake the unity perception in the EU. Because despite knowing that the crisis in Greece was all their own fault, these countries gave very high loans to Greece.

Didn't they struggle to help Greece out of this dead-end to give the message that the EU was united?

However, it is evident that there is a leakage in the EU. Therefore countries will start to question EU membership and their corporate doubts in this sense.


It is hard to guess what the Brexit result will be. If the result indicates an exit, then this will affect many fields.

Most importantly, it might speed up the process of passing on the power balance from developed countries that are struggling and going through many economic troubles to developing countries.

Moreover, in the case the UK is not an EU member, it might lose its appeal as a historical finance center which holds the global finance markets. This means that there may be an alternative to London as a finance center.

In such a case, developing countries like Turkey should make the most of such an opportunity.


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