Brexit not well calculated outcome: Turkish diplomat

‘Brexit is 'victim of populism and miscommunication of the EU to British citizens,’ says Turkish deputy foreign minister

Büşra Nur Çakmak   | 19.10.2021
Brexit not well calculated outcome: Turkish diplomat


Brexit is not a well-calculated outcome and is “a victim of populism and miscommunication of the EU to British citizens,” Turkey’s deputy foreign minister said Tuesday.

Speaking at a TRT World Forum 2021 panel, Europe’s Grand Strategy after Brexit: Old Challenges and New Realities, Faruk Kaymakci said the EU did not do much to explain itself to British citizens.

But the decision has been made by the British people and it must be respected, he added.

Tough decisions that had to be made in Brussels were “sold to the British citizens as bad decisions were made in Brussels by a bunch of bureaucrats,” said Kaymakci, adding those decisions were with the contribution of the UK.

“Actually, the UK as a big member of the EU had been more influential in those decisions, than it will be now after Brexit,” he said.

"The EU wants to be a global actor but faces challenges such as unanimity; we do not see a common foreign security policy. We no longer see a grand EU or grand strategy," he said.

Pointing to the problem of populism, Kaymakci emphasized that whether referendums are an important tool in meeting the needs of democracies should be considered in the next referendum.

Kaymakci said in “digital democracy” that we are going through right now, everyone can become a politician or a journalist without accountability and this is a lesson that should be taken in terms of Brexit.

The diplomat said the EU lost a heavyweight, influence and expertise with Brexit.

“We were afraid that Brexit would further lead to some more exits. But now we see that it doesn't happen. But still, I think Brexit unified the rest of the EU. So, we have, maybe a more unified EU. And I think we lost a little bit of power and influence in our transatlantic relations,” he added.

‘Turkey is committed to EU membership’

Kaymakci said Brexit created a vacuum within the EU and this can be fulfilled by Turkey as a full member.

“Some people say that is OK. The Brexit maybe is a model for Turkey because you can have different relations with the EU and now we can watch the relations that the UK will have with the US or this can be a model for Turkey, but we are not interested in this, we are interested in full membership,” he said.

“We are committed to the process. But, of course, it is a complicated issue after Britain now because we believe that we lost an enlargement friendly member state in the EU,” he added.

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