Speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Morteza Makki said that it is difficult to determine the winner or the loser of the Brexit agreement under the current situation and noted: Certainly, Britain’s targets from the Brexit are long-term goals that cannot be achieved in the short term; therefore we cannot say at this moment that whether Britain will be the winner or the loser of this agreement.
He pointed to Britain’s objective of promoting its economic, political and military position in Europe and in the international system, adding: There was this thinking among some currents in the Conservative Party and the extreme right that the EU with its rules and regulations which have been set up for its member states, has practically closed Britain’s hands in order to play a more serious and important role in Europe and in the world, and they can improve their position in the world by signing free trade agreements with many powers.
The expert on Europe affairs further remarked: On the other hand, the European Union will reduce its economic and especially political and military position in the world by losing Britain, because Britain is the sixth power in the world and the third power in Europe, and withdrawal of such a country from the European Union will definitely reduce Europe’s economic power.
Possibility of strengthening unity in Europe after Brexit
Reminding that Britain has always been considered as a ‘Trojan horse’ in the European Union, preventing the development of convergence in the EU led by France and Germany, he said: There was this belief that Britain would not allow cohesion and unity between European countries to grow stronger. In particular, countries that were hostile to Germany and France for historical, political and economic reasons would try to form that axis towards Germany and France with the help of Britain, making the two countries, as the driving force of Europe, unable to advance converge and the decision-making process easily and quickly.
Saying that perhaps Britain’s withdrawal will reduce this weak point of the European Union and in future strengthen unity among the EU countries with the centrality of France and Germany, he noted: Other East European countries do not have a strong partner to stand against the decisions of France and Germany. Of course, these assumptions are in the theoretical field and on paper, and we should see how France and Germany intend to use the situation as an opportunity to develop convergence in the European Union.
The expert on Europe affairs, commenting on some analysis over reduced global presence and influence of Britain and change in its capabilities in the military, political and economic fields, said: The world is in a period of transition, and it is impossible to say to what extent theories can match political realities of the world. We live in a world that is very fluid and many variables of many global and regional crises and phenomena are changing, and this has made it very difficult to predict the future.
Further elaborating, Makki said: There is no doubt that countries that are present in a union with a high degree of cohesion and unity can play an equally influential role in the regional and global arenas. Of course, this may be the case for moderate and weak powers, and big powers with colonial histories such as Britain are not included in this analysis. However, we need passage of time to see how Britain intends to seize the opportunity to promote its position.
Britain’s attempt to restore its power in the Persian Gulf
The analyst of European affairs said that Britain is already trying to return to the Persian Gulf region given its colonial history and its historical, political and cultural influence. Given that the United States intends to concentrate on East Asia and China, perhaps we may be witness to the return of Britain to the region.
At the same time, he stressed: It should be borne in mind that the situation in the Persian Gulf region is different from the situation four decades ago. Powers have taken shape in the region with the presence of which Britain cannot return to its previous position five decades ago without dialogue, negotiation and agreement.
Emphasizing that we are in a situation that all are trying to make maximum use of it to promote their position and strengthen their political, military and security power, he said: Britain’s colonial and political position, experience and background on the world stage help it move forward with a stronger will to advance its goals.
Trump was not an opportunity for Britain either
With regard to the perspectives of the relations between Britain and the United States after Brexit, the expert on Europe Affairs said: It was preferable for Britain to see a predictable Republican president coming to power in the US. Perhaps Trump made many promises to the British, but he was an unpredictable figure who could not be considered as an opportunity for the British to reach the Free Trade Agreement or the broader and transatlantic political and security cooperation, especially given Trump’s unilateralism, which was not in line with the British multilateral policy.
He added: So the British may not be so upset about Trump leaving power, but Biden is not their favourite president either. He also has a multilateral policy which differs from the British in various areas. In particular, they are dissatisfied with Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and preferred Britain to remain inside the EU.
Britain will not focus on the US for its future
Makki continued: Given the experience they had during the Trump presidency as well as Biden’s background, they would certainly not focus on the United States, and have started their talks with India, China, Australia and East Asian countries on a free trade agreement to find a substitute for Europe and even the United States.
He stressed: This policy, given the conditions of international transition, is a more logical and effective policy that enables Britain to advance its development and progress in the global and European arena.