The referendum that the U.K. will hold on whether the country will remain an EU member on June 23 is not a turning point for the U.K. alone, but also for the path that the EU will follow from now on. So, we cannot regard the recent EU leaders' summit in Brussels merely as a deal between the U.K. and the EU. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.K. government's official attitude is to remain within the EU, but the upcoming referendum will give the country a "special status" in the bloc.
Indeed, this is not a simple deal that will determine the relationship between the U.K. and the EU and the EU's future alone. This step can also be considered a paradigm shift, as it will push the EU to question whether it can reach ultimate legal and political integrity with its constitution. This will be the second referendum that the U.K. will hold on its EU membership. In accordance with the election manifesto it declared in 1974, the Labour Party had a referendum in 1975 where 67 percent of British people voted to remain in the union. Now, the Labour Party is inclined toward staying within the EU, while the Conservative Party seems to have turned back to 1957. As is known, the U.K. did not regard the EU process, which emerged as the European Economic Community (EEC) in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, as a formation that would challenge its power, and so, it did not lean toward joining the community at that time. It realized that it was no longer an empire in 1963 and wanted to be a member of the community, however, its request was vetoed by France. Charles de Gaulle, who was French president at that time, vetoed the U.K.'s membership application again in 1967 and reiterated on all occasions that the U.K. was against the idea of a fully integrated economic and political EU.
I think the argument that De Gaulle persistently upheld has been verified today. The Conservative Party made the U.K. Parliament pass laws that aggravate working and social security conditions for migrants and the citizens of Eastern European countries in the U.K and insistently said that the U.K. will never join the euro currency system. All this has a single meaning that the U.K. has postponed the EU's objective of being a fully integrated political union to an uncertain date. Therefore, the EU's expansion process and its relations with Turkey will pursue a different course from now on. The U.K.'s deal brings a de facto special status for the countries that are too large to be included in the union. This is a step that will have an impact on the euro as a reserve currency. It is likely that Turkey's full membership of the EU will fall outside the currency union - which will be a preferable option for Turkey in the beginning.
On the other hand, it is an important detail that the deal emphasized that the U.K. is outside of the principle of "more political union." Here, the objective is to make the EU's legislative power, which is its second basis after a monetary union, independent from the union, in other words, to protect the national powers of parliaments. This being the case, for the U.K., the EU is a de facto semi-economic union that highlights the free circulation of goods and capital alone, but not of labor and the labor force. This is because the U.K. puts major restrictions on Middle Eastern and African migrants and even the citizens of Eastern European countries, although they are EU members. This undermines the foundation of the union project.
Now, we can touch on how the U.K. views the Syrian civil war, the Middle East's dynamics and the sharing of energy and markets in the region. The U.K. sees that the influx of refugees, which is a nightmare for central European countries like Germany, will continue to escalate and will firstly disturb the economic and political balances in Turkey and then in the EU. Here, the critical question is whether the U.K. does not estimate that the systemic economic crisis, which is one of the causes of the current refugee crisis, and the EU crisis will end in the short run, or, does it not want the EU crisis to spill over into the U.K? I hope that the U.K. sincerely wants the fire in Syria and the Middle East to end soon and that the paramilitary terrorist organizations like DAESH are eliminated in the region. No one can get the best of the crisis by intensifying it. Moreover, the destabilization of a country like Turkey, which has become a bastion of stability so far, will bring losses not only for Turkey, but for everyone.
Now we talk about the U.S. and Russia as the players of what happens today. Let us reiterate the oft-told realpolitik adage of recent history that the strategy of world politics is determined in London and tactical phases and operational details of this strategy are set in Washington. Both strategies and tactical phases had been determined in London during the colonial accumulation period that lasted until the first quarter of the 20th century and Washington came into play after World War II. Russia merely functioned as a hand power that facilitated and used this game during both the Tsarist and Soviet eras. It functions the same way at the moment.
In summary, the U.K.'s step toward a referendum has not revealed its EU strategy alone, but also its strategy on the Middle East, the Caucasus and Africa. The U.K. foresees that the EU will not be able to overcome the crisis mainly because the refugee influx to the EU continues and, in parallel with this, income distribution deteriorates. This perspective also means a prediction for an instable Turkey, but be sure of that Turkey has dynamics to foil this prediction.