Please, it's funny! I just read that story to one of my kids two days ago.^ by the way, it's exactly these types of emotional and infantile appeals to remaining in the EU that some were using. As though there is something sacred about the European Union.
True. But:^ Why? As an American I don't see how it is my concern how the UK decides to govern itself. It may or may not be bad for Britain overall, but that's a matter for them to decide.
We will still do business with the UK and the EU. I honestly don't see how Scotland can manage on its own.
1. Without Scotland, the UK because just another smallish European country. In terms of geopolitics, it becomes nearly irrelevant. The US loses an ally that still has some heft.
2. Speaking of heft, Scotland is a big deal for UK/NATO defenses, if for no other reason than the nuclear submarine facilities there, which are nearly irreplaceable. I'm sure treaties can be worked out with the Scots, but again, the UK would find itself being much diminished in terms of its capabilities.
3. And this is true also even if the UK stays together but leaves the EU: A major reason why Europe has been as stable at it has been since the end of WWII is the fact that there's a three-way dynamic between the UK, F, and G. F is too small to match G and counter-balance it. F plus the United Kingdom can. This is why smaller EU countries like the Netherlands are unhappy about Brexit: Without the UK, Germany finally after nearly a century and two world wars gets its wish and becomes the giant of Europe. That's when stuff gets weird, especially with Russia gleefully watching and egging people on. The UK out of the EU is therefore already a problem, but it seems clear that the weaker the UK becomes in general, the greater the imbalance in Europe.
Now, why does this matter to the US? Well, think about the 1920s-and 1930s. The League of Nations and all that were in part an effort to tame Germany and create a system that balanced Germany by combining the power of F and the UK, with US backing. But what happened was that F and the UK were not at all on the same page, leaving F isolated, and the US just wandered off thinking that it could let Europe take care of itself, asking, "what does this have to do with me?"
Also, politically speaking, Angela Merkel is sane and moderate and isn't going to do anything crazy, but so were the German leaders in the 1920s. Then came the Depression and a bunch of other things. Then came Hitler. What happens if, maybe because of the refugee crisis, there's a far-right Chancellor in Germany? What if Marine Le Pen wins in France? What if Russia puts more pressure on the East? I could go on. These are all what-ifs, but the point is that the system rigged up in the late 1940s through the creation of NATO and the EU is to a large measure about creating a system that will be stable, will integrate Germany in a way that F, G, and the UK plus the rest of the world can live with, and will withstand shocks like the Great Depression or the election of some crazy populist. Things that weaken the system increase risk.
Some idiot on NPR was saying about Trump, "how much damage can he do?" The answer is a lot, if he does things like Harding did, when he abandoned the US security commitments to Europe, or messes with NATO, or pivots toward Putin, or does any number of things that take us and the rest of the West outside of the established security arrangements. Maybe he won't. I don't know. He hasn't said he would. Be he has said he might. Even just talking like that is, to me, a compelling argument that we really don't want to take a chance with him.
The bottom line for Americans is that a strong UK is in our national interest. A weak UK is contrary to our interests.
Well, if you want to call three times as much "slightly bigger". In 2014 Germany made net contributions of EUR 15.5B to the EU, compared to EUR 4.9B by Britain, which comes in third among net payer countries behind France (EUR 7.2B).Germany, in fact is a slightly bigger contributor than the UK to the EU budget, I was mistaken in my earlier post. It will have to pay over a further £2 bn a year when we leave.