BREXIT: A VIEW FROM THE EAST
UK Residents following the views on Brexit portrayed by the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Express, could be forgiven for having their views coloured by the often irrational stance taken by these publications.
For those who now call the UK home, a vast number of the EU nationals in the UK are made up of Eastern Europeans. These group of individuals are also known to have come under a lot of attack by the Leave campaign for supposedly taking the jobs in the UK, spaces in schools and hospital beds.
An article has been recently written by the Conversation magazine on how Brexit is viewed by Eastern Europe and it also presented some revelations on how recent developments in the UK are viewed by other countries such as Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic
After a poll was conducted on the Czech Republic, the referendum showed that about 60% of them disagreed that the UK should leave the EU. The fact that the occurrence of Brexit could lead to a growth in unemployment and lead to a reduction in the UK's exports to Western Europe is the main concern of the Czech Republic. There is also the fear that Russia's position might strengthen if there is any weakening of the EU.
It was stated that after the UK voted to exit from the EU that Brexit would barely do any damage to the Romanian Economy and this was said by the Roman President, Klaus Iohannis. Though, there have been warnings that the strength of the Eurosceptic and nationalist groups within the country are being supported by the vote.
After Brexit, Andrzej Duda who is the Polish President has been under fire from certain quarters. A large number of the Poland nationals travel for better wages and opportunities to the UK because there has been a lot of accusations that the Poland government provide few opportunities, this route will soon be closed off by Brexit.
Ten possible disadvantages of Brexit was listed by the Polish newspaper, Rzeczpospolita after the referendum results were announced and these disadvantages include higher fees for Polish students, work permits, end of cheap flights between UK and Poland and Scotch whiskey becomes more expensive.
Another concern for Poland is the Russian Economy. Though Berlin and London have been strong supporters of a hard-line towards Moscow and the EU has been asked by Warsaw to maintain sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the Ukraine conflict but Chancellor Angela Merkel is under a lot of pressure to relent.
The Russian Threat
In recent reports, it has been stated that Russia and Ukraine once again are on the brink of war. However, it seems unlikely that Mr Putin would really want to risk fresh conflict and this was stated by the Financial Times. Although, due to recent events the wheel of fortune has been turned in Mr Putin's favour. Following Turkey's failed coup attempt, they are trying to develop closer relations with Moscow. The EU has also been affected by the Brexit vote and in the United States, Mr Putin has been praised by Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who suggested that Moscow should be allowed to keep Crimea.
Throughout history, Eastern Europe has always been subject to invasions and has been economically vulnerable and this has left the bloc wary of both Russia and Germany. This is why they do not want UK to exit from the EU because it could lead to not only lost economic opportunities for its individuals but it could also cause the population to be afraid of future political instability.
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