It has been an emotional week for many Brits, Europeans and residents of the U.K. during the Referendum last week on June 23rd. The dialogue by the Brexit- Leave the E.U. camp had been to consistently distort truth into rhetoric to outright lies and falsehoods that follow in the tradition of the worst American reality television series. That dialogue soon devolved into racism, bigotry and slander in the anti-immigration debate; hate-speech started popping up in discussion groups and comments under all the major news circulations in alliance with the Brexit camp; an extreme kind of nationalism, something that was eerily reminiscent of the Hitler era.
However, despite that all the dialogue had been about British sovereignty, criticisms about the E.U., funding for the NHS, and numerous other social issues, what politicians failed to tell the public was that Great Britain was next in line to potentially hold a pivotal position as one of the largest economies in the world.
Despite being an island roughly 4x the size of South Korea, the U.K. has always been considered the financial capital of Europe, a position that attracted the 2nd largest economy in the world: China.
It has been debated that the 21st century will belong to China, and that the 2nd largest economy in the world will soon eclipse the United States. President Clinton saw the opportunity in China, and repaired much of the U.S.-China foreign policy during his Presidency and welcomed China with open arms in the 1990s. As the number 2 holder of U.S. debt, China's influence into the United States started becoming more ubiquitous. On the other side of the Atlantic, Margaret Thatcher repaired much of the row between Britain and the United States as Prime Minister in the 1980s, it wasn't until David Cameron became Prime Minister that he too, saw that Britain's secured position into the next century would be to embrace the East; and with China, under his leadership, lead plans to internationalise the yuan (RMB) and in October, plans to launch the China International Payment Service (CIPS) in London, the gateway to the European market and the financial capital of Europe.
Just as Britain has been looking beyond Europe for its future GDP, the east too, had been eyeing the European market and with China's ambitions to internationalise the yuan, it has been said by many economists that it could topple the US dollar from its dominant position as reserve currency, a global safe haven.
Many U.S. tech companies, including Google and Apple have made numerous mistakes in handling their relationship with Chinese authorities and attempting to enter their market. Recently, China has banned the Apple's iBook store and iTunes store, effectively shutting down one of their largest growing revenues and the Beijing patent office accused Apple of copying another Chinese company's patents, effectively stopping the sale of their products. All this despite Apple having just recently invested $1 billion into China's Didi Chuxing as a peace offering. Since Apple's CEO Tim Cook had announced that in the near future, more than half of its revenue will come from China, it has given the latter the upper hand in a bargaining style that most Americans are not familiar nor have the patience to deal with. Thus far, U.S tech companies have made too many mistakes in their dealings with China to possibly successfully enter the market, potentially threatening their place on the global economic stage. These are mistakes that David Cameron set out not to make, and he and George Osborne began a rigorous campaign to woo China into the U.K., and thus reciprocation of extending the reach of British companies into the much coveted China market.
However, despite China's growing presence both on the economic and technological fronts, China is not without its long history of problems and its history of human rights abuses, animal cruelty, human trafficking, illegal organ harvesting and tyrannical political regime could cause great ethical concern in the New World Order. But who better than to guide and influence China into the next century than Great Britain? Although the British have been criticised for its long history of imperialism at the turn of the century, citizens of Hong Kong have thrived under British rule and many citizens have expressed widespread sentiment that they wished Hong Kong hadn't been handed back to China in 1997. The British set up a series of laws that protected them with a Bill of Rights in the Sino-British Joint Declaration that gave Hong Kong citizens civil liberties.
Whilst U.S. tech companies have found China a beast it cannot tame, the U.K. had every advantage as the financial capital of Europe. David Cameron and George Osborne's vision of Great Britain was to make it the centre of the global financial world and also, the technology start-up capital moving beyond the scope of Silicon Valley; in a new alliance with China; bringing more jobs to Britain, to replace the old generation of manufacturers with a new generation of technological innovators. However, now Brexit threatens to topple the U.K. into isolation towards relative obscurity; to remove its current position as a the European financial capital. Although much of the Brexit debate was about independence and not being pulled down by E.U. regulations and rules, in reality, the E.U. was the army Britain needed, and a break away has weakened Britain's position into entry in the Eastern markets. Now, as Brexit looms, Germany and France will begin the process of potentially taking Britain's position as the financial capital of Europe. It isn't the E.U. that is in threat of becoming dismantled, it is the U.K.
Member of Parliament (MP) Boris Johnson, a man possessing two citizenships, has, at the very last minute stabbed his oldest friend, David Cameron in the back. A man who was previously never for Brexit, he has now found himself as a possible successor to becoming the next Prime Minister. And together with MP Nigel Farage, a former commodities broker, they have betrayed the people of Great Britain to possibly deny them the pivotal position of becoming one of the greatest economies into the next century and the greatest ally and influencer of China as it marches on to dominate the 21st century. But not only that, they have also threatened to break apart the U.K., and with referendums of independence being raised by both Scotland and Northern Ireland, the U.K. is holding onto a tenuous brink.
The Great Britain I know is one that is unified; one of the pivotal nations that began the E.U., a unification of Europe to move away from decades of war, prejudice and hate. Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, a British political scientist, coined the term "League of Nations" in 1914 and drafted a scheme for its organisation to prevent future wars after WWI. After WWII, european integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent, and the European Union was borne. The very kind of extreme nationalism that MPs Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are now championing.
-Sir Winston Churchill
The pro-Brexit Leave camp have turned their back on decades of history. They have manipulated and lied to the British people about their intentions and preyed upon the fears and prejudices of every demographic.Their campaign was never about "British Independence"; it was about sabotaging Britain's place in history in the next century for a little bit of personal glory. The E.U. was never the tyrannical despot organisation that Great Britain needed to break away from; rather the E.U., although not without its problems, has been the supporter of democracy during times of chaos. But it was more than that, Brexit also signified the end of era of peace; one that the popular and influential MP Jo Cox died for as she was assassinated whilst campaigning for the Remain camp.
It has been said that people who forget history will soon repeat it. Thus far, 3.3 million people and growing have signed the petition for a 2nd EU Referendum.
By Sierra Choi