• Christian Armbruester

Empire


Could Brexit spell the end of the United Kingdom? At its peak, the British Empire ruled over a quarter of the Earth’s population. What is even more remarkable was the geographic dispersion of all the territories, from Ireland to South Africa, Australia, India, Hong Kong, India, the Falklands and of course America. England left its mark on the world, most of all through language, but also by instilling its rules of law and creating systems of bureaucracy wherever it governed, much of which carries on to this day. It’s easy to see why there still exists so much romanticism for a bygone era of such greatness, but the world today is ruled by super-powers. Foremost there is the US, with its dominant economy and unrivalled military might. Then there is China with more than a billion people and gross domestic output growing at exponential rates. Finally, often ignored and much maligned, you also have a political union of European sovereign states with an economy to rival that of the US or China. Where is Britain and the last remnants of the great empire in all of this? Neither here, nor there it seems. Situated in the middle of two superpowers, whilst being part of one, yet close to the other in language and culture, made the Kingdom a perfect gateway for trade between the US and the EU. Now, this bridge is evidently closed. Different routes, paths, and ways will need to be made. New standards, contracts, and treaties will need to be agreed, yet without a seat at either table. What remains to be seen is where Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales will end up in all of this. With a governance structure that was created to rule a global empire, the union of Great Britain would probably have broken up a long time ago. Rather ironically, with everyone being part of the EU, made staying together less of an issue. Now however, it is most likely that everyone will be looking out for themselves in the new world order. Providing a bridge across the Atlantic divide where England cannot, will be difficult to resist when the alternative is being part of something that no longer exists.

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