Britain's voters have rejected political union with Europe although they would like to retain free trade with the continent.
This is a sensible position to take, and we of all people should understand this. America has free trade with Mexico and Canada without political union, after all.
Interesting enough, Germany could live with this sort of arrangement:
Germany will do anything to retain the free trade zone. It would give up the euro, which was meant to create a level playing field in the free trade zone and wound up maximizing German interests. It would give up regulations from Brussels that make entrepreneurial activity in Europe too risky to undertake. IBM was staggered by Microsoft. Google redefined the behavior of the largest corporations in the world. But Siemens has not had to face a European Google or Microsoft. It’s tough to start a business in your garage in Europe.
All of these things benefited Germany. The euro gave it an advantage on a seemingly level playing field. The regulations protected Germany’s 1950s-style corporations from 21st century challenges. And European anti-trust regulations put Google and Microsoft on the defensive. All of these were outstanding.
But with the European Union tearing itself apart over Brussels’ regulations on all things important, including immigration and Central Europe’s media and judiciary, all things become vulnerable.
As I've said, Britain exiting the European Union won't wreck Europe to the advantage of foreign foes like Russia or ISIL. What will wreck Europe is a vindictive EU or member states of the EU individually seeking to punish Britain for the nerve of leaving their ever closer union and future EUtopia, which will damage Europe, too;perhaps driving more people on the continent to want to escape as they see an EU version of the Brezhnev Doctrine put in play to punish Britain as an example to those who remain, however reluctantly.
Will Germany fight a new Battle of Britain or will Germany avoid a two-front war to solidify the continent for their benefit?
The British have not voted to retreat from international trade or mutually beneficial trade with Europe. Britain has voted to escape political control by the Brussels-based proto-empire. If all sides act like adults and seek to forge a path forward that benefits and independent Great Britain as well as Germany and the EU (in whatever form it ends up).
Although I still want the EU to die, I admit.