Regional Integration is the coming together of two or more countries usually within the same geographic region to cooperate in one or more areas of common interest. While economic cooperation is often targeted, what actually underpins regional economic arrangements is peace and security. Capitalism is always actually a means to the end of ending armed conflict between States. In fact, it is the ancient rivalry between France and Germany that explains their leadership role in the European Union (EU). However, Regional Integration has its own drawbacks one of which seems to be the infringement on democratic rights, the rights of people to exercise sovereignty.
Political unions may roll back democratic rights and create regional bullies
Several models of regional integration argue that the finality is a political union. This means that after putting major economic policies in common and adopting a common currency, States should end up creating a common political authority. The use of regional parliaments and commissions show how regional blocks gradually tend towards the implementation of such a political union. However, such a wider political union necessarily means that people in the different Member-States sacrifice some of their rights to make certain decisions for themselves, surrendering same to the union. Also, the regional block, as it grows in size and strength, may tend to act as a bully. This was seen recently in the saga around what has become known as Brexit, the British vote to leave the EU.
Brexit: a simple instruction too difficult to implement
In a simple instruction, on June 23, 2016, 51.9 per cent of Brits, told Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland “get us out of the EU”. However, the UK Government under Conservative Prime Minister (PM), Mrs Theresa May, was unable to implement this simple instruction over the Irish border backstop issue. Beyond projecting Britain to the world as a weak State, one unable to implement policy and allowing itself to be controlled from Brussels, the backstop issue may very well demonstrate how a regional block, in this case the EU, might become a tyrant, using the scare of trade deals to impose its will on people.
Boris Johnson: “doubters, doomsters, and gloomsters” wait to see you deliver
Failing to pass her Brexit deal in parliament thrice, Mrs May resigned on May 24, 2019. She was replaced by another conservative Member of Parliament (MP), Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson of Turkish origin in July 2019. “He took office with a resounding pledge to defy the “doubters and the doomsters” by taking the country out of the European Union by the end of October ”. The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the object of the backstop, remains where Boris Johnson will be tested. Whatever, the case the decision of the British people to leave the EU is a democratic right and should be respected. The Brits must be allowed to find ways to trade with the rest of Europe and not be imposed one.