Within days, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to fire the starting pistol for withdrawing from the European Union, hence putting an end to almost two years of complex negotiations. Apart from a host of international and domestic challenges Britain is facing over the Brexit process, the government has now to deal with Scotland’s new bid for an independence referendum. Press TV has spoken to Paolo Raffone, the secretary general of CIPI Foundation, and Shabbir Razvi, an economic scientist, about the challenges Britain and other EU member states may face as a result of Brexit.
Paolo Raffone maintains that the failure of Britain and the European Union to work out a clear path to Brexit has raised concerns about an uncertain future and caused dissatisfaction among Europeans, Scottish people in particular.
The expert warned that this confusion could trigger more demands for withdrawal from the EU.
“The negotiations with the EU in Brussels have not advanced in a reasonable way to the point that the Scottish people and the first minister are quite worried,” he pointed out, noting that Dutch people will probably show their dissatisfaction with the European Union in Wednesday’s general elections, after which it will be the French people’s turn and later the Germans.
The Scots are very worried about finding themselves in a situation wherein all decisions are made by the majority English people and are thus trying to exploit this opportunity to be more considered within the United Kingdom, he analyzed.
“So, it's a double issue. There is an internal issue within the United Kingdom ... and then a European quagmire situation where the European states cannot agree among themselves and especially didn’t find the right way to deal with the Brexit proposal,” the analyst noted.
Meanwhile, Shabbir Razvi, the other panelist on the show, reiterated that the Brexit process needs to be planned in a way that would secure the interests of all EU member states, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland; otherwise, it could trigger more exits and independence bids.
According to Razvi, Brexit is a decision made by the British people and the government has no other choice but to eventually implement it. But at this point, the government needs to reach an agreement with the European Union that would guarantee the benefits of both Britain and the wider Europe.
“The reality of the situation is that the referendum in Britain has triggered off a similar movement in other European countries,” he said, pointing out to role of eurosceptic movements in the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany.
Razvi also urged the British government to respect Scotland’s democratic right to hold another independence referendum.
“The reality is that we have to exit from the European Union because that's what the public wants. But that will leave open for Scotland the option of cessation from the United Kingdom. Because as Ms. Sturgeon has quite rightly pointed out, Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union. Therefore it is their democratic right to have a second referendum to decide whether [or not] they do want to continue to be part of the United Kingdom,” he concluded.