Leaders from the world’s largest economies are gathering in Cannes, France for the second round of G-20 talks this year. The most pressing issue on the agenda is the ongoing sovereign debt crisis that is still looming despite a plan to help stabilize the fiscal free fall in Greece. The call from all quarters is for leaders to hammer out an action plan that spurs global growth, promotes investment and facilitates trade. Nonresident Senior Fellow Colin Bradford says dealing with the eurozone debt crisis presents an opportunity for leaders to make a serious commitment to a serious problem.
I question whether the U.K. and EU will become political and economic rivals, as geography, history, financial interests, security concerns, and shared values will necessitate continued close cooperation in some form for the foreseeable future. My bigger concern is the all-consuming nature of Brexit, which could prevent the U.K. especially and the EU from engaging effectively against international rivals. Brexit already dominates debates in London, with a divided Cabinet and parliament having limited bandwidth to engage on global challenges. Even if the U.K. parliament ratifies a Brexit deal, the two sides must then embark on equally complicated and domestically contentious negotiations about their future relationship. In some form, Brexit will afflict Europe for years and risks detracting attention from emerging threats.