Washington Fears Brexit Will Unravel its
29, 2016 "Information
Britain’s stunning referendum vote to leave the
European Union has thrown a cat among the
pigeons, not least in Washington, where it is
feared that the “Brexit” could scupper its
That tacit policy is a foundation of the postwar
international order whereby Washington – thanks
to its trusty British acolyte – has been able to
exert hegemony over Europe. Nearly seven decades
of American transatlantic domination are at risk
The unscheduled, hasty visit by
US Secretary of State John Kerry to Brussels
followed by London on Monday is a sure sign that
Washington is alarmed at the historic decision
by the British electorate to quit the EU – after
43-year membership of the bloc.
“Kerry urges Britain, EU to manage their
divorce responsibly,” was how American news
outlet ABC reported
the diplomat’s detour. The outlet went on to say
with a pretense of chivalry that Kerry’s concern
was “for the sake of global markets and
More to the point, Washington’s perplexity is
specific and self-serving. In particular, the
loss of British influence inside the EU will
impact on Washington’s carefully constructed
policy of trying to isolate Russia. American
objectives to isolate Russia go much further
back than the past two years over Ukraine.
Indeed, one can trace the anti-Russia policy to
immediately after the Second World War, a policy
that was intimately shared by the British
establishment, as expressed by Winston Churchill
in his famous 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech,
marking the onset of the Cold War against the
West’s erstwhile wartime Soviet ally.
Former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul,
gave full expression to these fears in an opinion
piece in the Washington Post at the weekend. The
headline read: “How Brexit is a win for Putin”.
The tone is almost panic-stricken. McFaul alludes
to Russia’s growing economic and political influence
with China and Eurasian integration:
now weakening as Russia, its allies and its
multilateral organizations are consolidating, even
adding new members. Putin, of course, did not cause
the Brexit vote, but he and his foreign policy
objectives stand to gain enormously from it.”
The former US envoy, who also served as national
security adviser to the Obama administration,
laments how Britain as Washington’s “closest
ally” will have less leverage for American
interests over the rest of Europe.
With regard to Russia, this means that the EU’s
economic sanctions against Moscow and the build-up
of NATO military forces are put into serious doubt.
Both aspects have been led by Washington, with
Britain as a strident advocate of sanctions and NATO
militarism. Now that London does not have a vote in
Brussels, America’s policy of hostility towards
Russia is blunted.
Britain’s exiting of the EU puts Washington’s in
a geopolitical dilemma. As the New York Times
headlined: “With ‘Brexit,’ Washington’s
direct line to the continent suddenly frays”.
The NY Times reports: “American officials
struggling to reimagine their strategy after
Britain’s decision to divorce the European Union say
the most urgent challenge will be to find a way to
replace their most reliable, sympathetic partner in
the hallways of European capitals. It will not be
easy.” When Britain first joined the early
European Economic Community in 1973, it was
following a policy directed by Washington. With its
“special relationship”, as coined by
Churchill, Britain would ensure that Washington’s
geopolitical interests prevailed on the continental
Europeans, in particular the Germans and French, who
were always suspected of being inclined towards
socialism and rapprochement with Russia.
It is arguable
that the EU was a political project engineered by
the American Central Intelligence Agency, for which
Britain served a crucial steering role.
Britain would thus bring a strong NATO
perspective to the emerging EU. The US-led military
alliance’s unofficial objective from its postwar
inception in 1949 was, according to British Lord
Ismay, the first secretary-general, to “keep the
Americans in, the Germans down and the Russians out”.
And Britain’s presence within the EU – as the second
biggest economy after Germany – ensured that this
anti-Russian ideology always remained a potent
force, even 25 years after the Cold War supposedly
Today, the 28-member EU bloc is barely
distinguishable from the 28-member NATO military
alliance in terms of adopting US-led policies, and
in particular its anti-Russia policy. The renewal of
European economic sanctions against Moscow has only
served to inflict huge damage on EU nations. It is
self-defeating and absurdly based on scant evidence
of “Russian aggression”. But the policy
prevails in large part due to Washington’s and
Britain’s “NATO-ization” of the EU.
This is why the loss of Britain from the EU is so
disconcerting to Washington and its Atlanticist
advocate in London. British Foreign Secretary Philip
Hammond has been most vocal since the referendum, warning
that “the Kremlin will be happy with the
Unlike Washington’s admonitions against a Brexit
in the run up to the referendum, Moscow refrained
from making any such pronouncements, saying that it
was an internal British political matter. Russian
President Vladimir Putin dismissed
comments by British and American politicians who
inferred “Kremlin rejoicing” over the
Brexit as “a manifestation of low political
The snide, anti-Russian invective is really a
reflection of the malign purpose with which
Washington and London have been working for decades
in order to impale a wedge between Europe and
has much to lose as a hegemonic world power if
Europe and Russia were to move closer together
politically, economically and in terms of mutual
security. The US and its transatlantic British
cipher – being closely aligned in global finance
capital – must do all in their power to make sure
that Europe and Russia do not converge as natural
Britain now reverting to “Little England” as
American media are
mocking, there are moves ahead for Washington to
recruit a new surrogate within the EU for its
hegemonic ambitions. Germany is top of the list as
the replacement for Britain. France is seen as too
unreliable, while Poland and the Baltic states are
too lightweight, from Washington’s viewpoint.
the Brexit has unleashed a Europe-wide public revolt
of anti-EU sentiment. Part of that antipathy stems
from the kind of oligarchic politics, financial
oppression and NATO militarism that people associate
with Washington’s influence on Europe.
will not find an automatic, easy substitute for its
British surrogate. No European state could ever
replace Britain as the most loyal and fervent
servant of American interests.
entitled to feel relief, if not rejoicing, over the
Brexit result. And not just Russia, but many other
countries and people who long for more peaceful
international relations, free from Washington’s and
NATO’s warmongering machinations.
diminished influence over European policies means
Washington is also curbed.
be taken for granted, but there is a fair chance
that Europe might be freer henceforth to develop
normal, more harmonious relations with Russia.
whose postwar reconciliation with Russia was once a
source of immense hope during the 1960s, 70s and 80s
under its “Ostpolitik”, might now be able to resume
wonder Washington is panicked.
Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on
international affairs, with articles published in
several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern
Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural
Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the
Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England,
before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism.
For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer
in major news media organizations, including The
Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance
journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear
on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and
It is unacceptable to slander, smear or engage in personal attacks on authors of articles posted on ICH.
Those engaging in that behavior will be banned from the comment section.
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)