What impact will Brexit have on the future of regional integration? Is it possible to reach an agreement that can be beneficial both for the UK and Europe? What lessons can we learn from Brexit and other recent nationalist tendencies of the electorate?
These and other questions were addressed by Ed Miliband, British politician and former leader of the Labour Party and the Opposition from 2010 to 2015. The event took place on 14th of November, co-hosted by the Hertie School of Governance and the Dahrendorf Forum.
Miliband supports what he called an “amicable separation” as the outcome of the Brexit discussions rather than a “hard Brexit” divorce. He believes that, regardless of the future agreement, any outside-strategic partnership with the EU will lead to a diminished UK-influence in shaping the discussion of global matters.
Miliband criticized the illusion of sovereignty that the “Leave” campaign was based on. On the contrary, he believes that strategic objectives of the UK in climate change, human rights, democracy and the rule of law are easier achieved in partnership with the EU than alone.
In light of the US election results, Miliband addressed the importance of lessons learnt from both elections. He emphasized the anti-establishment consensus of both cases and acknowledges that they are responses to a specific type of globalization affecting a discontent working class of post-industrialized countries. Both the “Remain” campaign in the UK and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign were supported by established political actors, major trade unions and businesses. Hence, the outcome shows a rejection of the political and economic status quo by supporters of the Brexit and Trump camps.
Miliband´s key note was welcomed with enthusiasm by participants in the room, who debated the Brexit and US elections’ consequences during a lively Q&A session.