It was always a fool’s dream to assume that Britain could get out of the EU unscathed.
When the citizens of the nation took this decision, to leave the EU, there was always going to be some pain. Many suggested there would be minimal disruption. But I always felt that Britain would discover just how much clout they had enjoyed as part of the EU.
When they voted to leave, a lot of that clout disappeared. And the news that Britain is losing a judge on the International Court of Justice is part of that story.
Britain and the ICJ
The International Court of Justice has fifteen judges, with five of them being elected every three years. They serve a nine year term.
Britain had a candidate who was up for reelection, Sir Christopher Greenwood. Only a few weeks ago, most had expected he would win his place back.
But now it appears he has lost his position, with the UK government scrambling to play down the loss as a non-event. As someone who has followed European politics for many years, I can tell you it is definitely a major issue.
What Does Greenwood’s Defeat Mean?
Solely blaming Brexit for the result would be a disservice. There are many other factors at play, as EU nations are not the only ones who vote for these judges.
Many nations are not happy with how Sir Christopher acted in previous instances, such as his advice that Britain should go ahead and participate in the Iraq War. But Brexit most definitely had some part to play in this result. And I will explain how.
Allies Abandon the UK
In the past, the United Kingdom could always rely on certain allies. The United States had their back and vice versa. And they had the support of all the major European nations, as they were a major part of the EU.
But the Brexit vote has put the latter in jeopardy. And Donald Trump’s election in the United States has meant the former is also a more rocky relationship.
The United States was expected to push for Sir Christopher to retain its spot. But they did not. And neither did the EU. Nations that would have gone to bat for the UK in the past are reluctant now.
Life will be more difficult for Britain in the international community post-Brexit. While I am not one of those who believe that it will lead to a devastating impact on the economy, I do believe the UK will struggle more with diplomacy.
The nation’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said they wanted to create a more “global Britain,” instead of one reliant on the EU. But the issue is that Britain always depended on the EU nations and the United States as its staunchest allies.
Without the full support of the EU and in the midst of a rocky relationship with the United States, Britain finds itself more alone than ever. We are all eager to see how it reacts.