Professor Dror Wahrman, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on Sunday discussed an interview with Arutz Sheva the vote by British citizens to leave the European Union (EU) and what implications, if any, it would have on Israel.
“I think a lot of the voters who voted in favor of Brexit voted from the gut. They were not clear on what they expected to get out of this, and now that they’re there, they’re suddenly uneasy,” he said.
“I think it’s very significant that Boris Johnson, who led the ‘leave’ campaign, was the first to say, ‘Let’s not hurry, let’s not be hasty here.’ In other words, ‘We wanted the symbolic victory. We don’t want implementation, we don’t know what it would lead to,’” added Wahrman.
“What will happen next? It’s very hard to say at this point. The EU is worried that someone will follow Britain. If someone else exits – that will be the end of the European Union. They can contain the damage of one major player leaving. Two major players – that would make it look like the rats are abandoning the ship.”
The EU, added Wahrman, is pressuring Britain to start the process of leaving right away so that it doesn’t appear as though Britain came out on top with the move.
“That’s why it’s hard to know what this two-year process will look like. It’s probably going to take longer than two years,” he predicted.
It’s premature to predict what the global economic implications of the move will be, said Wahrman, “because much depends on how these negotiations will go.”
“What we see now in the world markets I think is just hysteria. It will stabilize in the next few weeks. Anybody who’s trying to predict now what will happen in six months or a year is trying to sell you something. I don’t think there’s enough information on the ground to be able to say.”