Britain leaving the European Union has meant for a rescheduling of the priorities of European leaders, as markets have reacted violently to the decision and the intense news coverage has led to a wave of political uncertainty.

German chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the most outspoken leaders that were against Britain leaving the EU. But the results of the referendum did not shake her out of balance, as Germany will become one of the most powerful nations in the EU after Britain’s departure. Germany has a population of 81 million and it is among the richest and most developed countries on earth.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking at a news conference in Berlin. Image courtesy of REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Analysts agree that Germany will play a crucial role in the upcoming years of the EU. This was clearly displayed on Monday, as the heads of state of France, Italy and the soon-to-be President of the European Council visited Berlin to reunite with Merkel.

Immigration as one of the key factors

It is easy to guess that the largest problem faced by the European Union is immigration. Curiously, Britain was pretty much exempt from the ongoing immigrant crisis and of many of its economic implications due to the existence of the pound sterling and their geographical location. Merkel took the decision to allow refugees to enter the country, which created a distinctive cause of concern for the other countries in the EU.

There is still no clear course of action to be taken by the remaining members, and that’s what seems to be keeping the heads of state up at night. There is a need to reaffirm the validity of the European Union as an efficient aggregate of sovereign countries, because even if the Brexit passed with a very small margin, it is still a fact that one of its major members has democratically chosen to leave the group.

But Merkel’s suggestion is to remain calm and not to rush by dealing with Britain’s choice. In the future, there will be negotiations in order to establish new diplomatic and economic relations with the European Union. Some even suggest that Ireland and Scotland may opt to leave the United Kingdom. Merkel’s stance is to not precipitate, as there are many factors to consider, and world powers should not rush and press over these matters, regardless of each party’s interests.

“We should not allow it to become a deadlocked situation because that would not be good for the economy,” Angela Merkel stated in a news conference in Berlin, before meeting with the aforementioned heads of state.

She stressed the necessity of refraining from even incurring in casual chat about Britain’s leave with other world leaders regarding negotiations until the official procedure to leave the Union took place. It is worth noting that this is the first time that a country chooses to leave the European Union.

Reaffirming the EU’s leadership on different areas

Some suggest that Monday’s meeting was divisive, as only 3 out of the 27 members states assisted to the reunion. But it can be viewed as a statement in leadership and power, as one of Europe’s key players has chosen to leave the field. One of the main objectives of the meeting was to discuss cooperation procedures in “defense, growth or jobs, and competitiveness.” There is a large necessity for European countries to develop these areas, as there is a global security threat in the form of terrorism and immigration.

Currently, it is basically impossible to know whether if an immigrant has a political agenda or not. It is the task of heads of state to act fast and evolve their security needs before allowing millions of immigrants to freely enter some of the world’s most developed countries. Germany, for instance, allowed the entrance of 1.1 million people seeking asylum in 2015.

Even if it can be viewed as a humanitarian measure to save lives and allow families to have a second chance, many assure that it is a political move to ensure grateful and skillful workforce in order to allow Germany’s economy to develop. But there are always right-wing sectors that protest the allowance of immigrants within Germany, and the same is true for most European countries such as Italy, where thousands of immigrants try to enter every week by sea and land.

The truth is that there is a complex and large crisis in the Middle East, and until it has been solved, European countries (mostly those belonging to the EU) will have to find a way to accommodate the waves of refugees, something that occurred in a similar endeavor last century as World War I and II developed, as thousands of Europeans migrated to America to flee the violence. Not very different from what is going on today.

The absence of the British

On the other hand, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was glad Britain chose to leave the European Union, so it is easier to perform changes in the Union’s internal structure. Britain posed as an important economic blockade, mainly because it chose to retain its currency and not adopt the euro. Back in 1997, five tests were performed by the UK Treasury. It was determined that the economy of the United Kingdom was not able to easily merge to the rest of the European Union. Later, in 2009, studies took place and it turns out that Britain embracing the euro would’ve had a positive effect on the economy of the whole United Kingdom.

The repercussions of the Brexit referendum are just starting to surface. British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to resign in October this year, which will surely have a deep impact in the markets and on the whole political scenario in Europe.

Source: TIME