Recently, there has been a major upheaval in the flow of international finance and economy as the trade war between the United States and China has intensified and the trade relationship between Korea and Japan has also intensified. This trade war continues these days, and the trade war between the two countries is affecting the world economy as well. In the midst of this global economic turbulence, the world is paying attention to Brexit as Britain announced its withdrawal from the European Union (EU), though the agreement was delayed continuously.
The Brexit is a combination word of Britain and its exit from the EU. The EU was founded on November 1, 1993, with the aim of establishing a single market in Europe to maximize their interests in Europe through the realization of a single currency such as the euro. The United Kingdom officially announced its withdrawal from the deal on March 29, 2017. Two years later, the negotiations should have been concluded on March 29, 2019, but three breakdowns of the agreement have extended the negotiation period until January 2020.
Since the EU is an economic union with a good purpose to maximize the interests of countries in Europe, it is ironic that Britain is trying to withdraw from the EU for economic reasons. The reasons can be largely divided into two. The first reason is that Britain, which has the fourth-largest share among EU members, has complained about the small benefits it receives from the EU. The second reason is British people think that the workers who moved to Britain from other European countries are taking away their jobs and increasing government spending on welfare for them.
Yoon Mi-gyeong, a professor of international studies at the Catholic University of Korea, said, “One of the reasons why Brexit occurred is that the negative views on immigrants have been reinforced following the massive refugee crisis, so Brexit can be understood as a context of its own nationalism.” However, she emphasized that the central feeling of Brexit has been the expression of self-protection against the damage from outside world, not the cry of Britain being the first to target the outside world. She also said, “It seems that the Britain did not make a good choice because, in fact, Brexit would have a bad effect on the Britain economy.”
Meanwhile, the opinions on the direction of Brexit are divided in Britain. Hard Brexit claims a complete separation from the EU in a way that outlines and disrupts all the alliance Britain has forged with the European Union in all areas, including trade, tariffs, labor and policy. In addition, they argue that Britain will grow further if it leaves the EU, where economic growth is sluggish. Soft Brexit, on the other hand, claims the way forward is for Britain to pay a certain share and maintain only the EU's access to a single market, saying a single market is vital for British economic growth and should give companies within the United Kingdom time to prepare for Brexit.
Yoon said that the phenomenon of nationalism is the result of growing feelings of unwillingness to share the country's economic performance with the immigrants and trading partners as economic growth in advanced countries falters: “However, people should consider and understand our self-priorities because they should not necessarily think that these nationalism policies are beneficial to our economy in the long run.”
Oh Kun-yeong, author of The Future of the Three-Year Economic War to Come, said, "No one can be free from the globalized economic system" in his book. Like this, some small decisions and changes made by each country can have a great impact on those living in a world where each country's interests are complicated. If the self-righteousness and selfishness such as Brexit and America First policies prevail in the world, it will eventually lead to the spread of isolationism and protectionism in each country, which will soon bring a huge impact on all countries in the world. Gradually, the world is taking the form of anti-globalization and it will lead all countries to inevitably put their own country first. For these reasons, it is time for Britain to make a good judgment on nationalism for the situation called anti-globalization.