The Center for Political and International Affairs (CPIA), in partnership with the Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika ng Ateneo (SAMAPULA), the Ateneo International Studies Students Organization (AISSO) and the Economic Society (ECOSOC) conducted an interdisciplinary forum entitled ‘Understanding Brexit with Fr. Patrick Riordan S.J.’ last July 13 at Finster Auditorium of the Ateneo de Davao University.
The forum highlighted the economic, international relations and political impacts of the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union (EU). The main discussant, Fr. Patrick Riordan S.J. has summarized his address to three main concepts, namely: globalization, nationalism and common good.
‘Burning bridges, roads’
Riordan stated that globalization was one of the primary reasons why the EU was formed.
“[Globalization] is increasing global mobility of capital, ideas, technology, people, crime, market, and etc. It then calls for the need to be together,” he said referring to the EU.
On this, Riordan stated that a new phenomenon dubbed as “English Nationalism”, referring to Britain’s stance, is ultimately one of the reasons why the said state chose to leave EU. He also added that the said “nationalism” was caused by pressure from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
“Nationalists are people who deny the reality of globalization, thinking that they can do it alone. It [the party] denies the need to work with neighbours. Instead, they believe in a more nationalistic element: confident of ability to stand alone, and manage the forces of globalization, expecting to be a power in the world,” he said.
Riordan also cited that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s actions regarding the UKIP were harmful for the EU.
“Cameron as Prime Minister called the referendum to solve party’s problem. But he had put the good of his party, its common good, ahead of the common good of the United Kingdom, and ahead the common good of the EU.
“A reckless gamble; Cameron believed he would win,” Riordan said.
‘Painful lessons ahead’
Riordan emphasized the impact of globalization.
“Globalization. Reality persists, will continue to make an impact, will require an action.
“The poverty of vision: nationalistic ‘ourselves alone’ will not provide the moral, intellectual and spiritual resources to deal with this. [Instead], we must recover perspective on common goods,” he said.
He further said that cooperation among nations in the EU is necessary for the welfare of all those affected.
“We need cooperation and [we need to] be together. But in being together we have to be attentive to the various levels of cooperation and recognize that we have many different roles which are incumbent for the common good of those members [of the union],” he concluded.
Economic, political, sociological impacts
Economics department OIC Ma. Ritchell Abordo said that the economic impact regarding ‘the exit’ is ambiguous and unpredictable.
Also, International Studies (IS) department chair John Harvey Gamas emphasized the call for integration rather than its opposite.
“Once you start integration, it will end up becoming more and more unified,’’ Gamas said.
On the sociological perspective, IS department professor Dr. Anderson Villa specifically stated the migration issue.
“The immigrants are viewed as threats to national identity and to the access of social services”, and to lower the immigration rate was the sole purpose of the ‘Brexit’,” he said.
“Who’s going to work for them?” Villa asked during the forum.
He said that this is one of the questions Britain has to answer because lowering the immigration rate could probably cause a backlash against them.
“In the end, [they are] desperately looking for migrants. They may have to come up with bilateral agreements with countries across the globe, which is supposedly much easier for them when they’re connected with the EU,” Villa added.