Resignation of British Prime Minister Truss: the (dis) United Kingdom

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)
21/10/22

The Prime Minister, Liz Truss, leaves 10 Downing Street after only 45 days in office, she was to become there new Thatcher, on the other hand, it has been compared to past Italian presidents of the councils, with their “seaside” executives.

There is no doubt that the UK is experiencing a period of leadership crisis that has little precedent in its recent history. It would seem (let's use the conditional) that this weakness stemmed from the 2016 Brexit. It is also worth mentioning how Britain entered the European Union.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, London found itself without an empire, therefore in search of a strategic role that saw the country make a particular alliance with the United States and, at the same time, wink at a continental Europe not yet bound in the European Union. In this period the United Kingdom ensures that, thanks also to American assistance in the construction of a nuclear arsenal, the most efficient armed forces of the Old Continent and, above all, the will to use them in order to guarantee national strategic interests.

On the other hand, the “special” link between London and Washington has historical and linguistic roots, as indeed the one with the rest of Europe.

The accession to the EEC (European Economic Community) by the United Kingdom was strongly opposed by the France of General Charles de Gaulle, who aimed at a Community dominated by Paris and a British accession would certainly have complicated the French plans, as the general The president believed that once they joined the EEC, the British would continue their age-old policy (balance of power) aimed at creating alliances to counterbalance the French positions. In practice he did not want a nation that had completely different economic ideas from other European countries: English finance was dominated by high finance, with very little influence from the state, the French one was exactly the opposite.

Then there were the Americans, de Gaulle wanted to create a strong Union from a political point of view as well. The British presence could mean Washington's ability to influence collective decisions.

However, in 1973, the British joined the EEC, without however embracing the project with particular enthusiasm. In fact, the following years (up to 2016) were spent resisting any form of European integration, intensely opposing the Paris-Berlin axis, true deus ex machina of European Union. Let's say that this ambivalence has benefited the British, being able to count on economic stability without giving up their foreign policy (mainly pro-American).

The refusal to join the single currency, together with Sweden and Denmark, was aimed at maintaining economic autonomy, precisely the economic factor was the trigger for Brexit in 2016.

The 2008 crisis raised many questions about the validity of globalization. The United Kingdom began to see its well-being decrease and greater economic / political integration in the EU, to counter the economic crisis, appeared as an unacceptable limitation to national sovereignty. It must be said that a category of British workers, especially artisans, saw in immigration from other EU countries an unfair competition which they could not face.

Brexit passed (by measure) mainly due to the favorable vote of the working class, which saw its income threatened by the influx of Eastern European workers who were willing to accept lower wages.

After 2016, London became more closely linked to the United States, with considerably different motivations compared to the period of the Cold War. This time the American repositioning towards the Pacific is involved, in an anti-Chinese function. To maintain this bond, the British will have to support the great strategies of the superpower, including from a military point of view (the aircraft carriers of the class Queen Elisabeth they are functional to a possible deployment in the South Pacific).

We recall that the United Kingdom is part of the cd Five Eyes, or the intelligence network that also involves the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. This network allows to share a mass of information (military, political, economic, cyber, etc.) unknown to the rest of the developed countries.

At present, in military, economic and political terms, the UK retains its status medium power.

But what if, with next year's referendum, Scotland were to break away from the UK?

First of all from the point of view of the defense of the island it would be a serious problem, as in the Faslane base, 40 km west of Glasgow, there are SSBN submarines (class Vanguard - opening photo) which are equipped with UGM-133A ballistic missiles Trident II, the country's only nuclear deterrent capability. This is a strategic location, as nuclear vessels have quick access to the North Sea, a strategic region for the UK. Furthermore, it would not be easy to find another location for the Vanguard, without London's risk of losing its nuclear deterrent.

In summary, with Scotland independent, London would see its military capabilities significantly reduced, with the loss of over 30% of its territory. Furthermore, a successful Scottish referendum could act as a driving force for the independence upsurge in Northern Ireland and Wales.

In short, the now endemic weakness of London's governments and the disappearance of Queen Elizabeth II (her son Charles will hardly be able to exert the same influence on the British) could pave the way for the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

Photo: UK MoD

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