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The UK is at a Crossroads

The fundamental question, in light of the last election, is this: could the triumph of D.Cameron mark the beginning of the end of Britain? What is sure is that the shape of the UK is at stake. There seems to be an inexorably widening gap between the English and the Scots. We can see the emergence of a disunited country due to the rising tide of nationalism. The risk is that the Scottish nationalism will fuel the English nationalism which will fuel the Welsh nationalism and so on, until it reaches a point of no return. The next step, namely the referendum on Europe, is hazardous. Today, European countries account for almost half of foreign direct investments in the UK; it can be compared with the share of the US which fell from 45% to 28% during the past 15 years. A report from the Centre for European Policy Studies concluded that the UK economy has greatly benefited from its membership of the EU. The majority of British businesses want to remain in the EU. The majority of the British public supports the basic rules governing this Organization , and primarly the free movement of goods, services and capital. But there is a much weaker support for this other key principle which ensures the free movement of persons within the EU. And it is clearly this last issue that will be at the core of the referendum campaign. Moreover, if the result of this referendum is that UK will leave the EU it is beyound doubt that the Scots will, in turn, call for a referendum to rejoin the EU! In these circumstances, we have to admit that the UK's future is uncertain. Will we witness tomorrow a Federal Kingdom of Britain?

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