Earthquakes struck all over Europe this past weekend, as the votes for the European Parliament came in.
Parties on both the left and the right wanting to loosen ties to the European Union had notable victories in the UK, France, Spain and several other nations.
The results have gravely wounded the European project, which is to move the 28 EU member nations to an “ever-closer union.” The project may, indeed, have been killed. Here’s why:
1. Britain may leave the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on the issue if the Conservatives win the next election. The UK may see a vote for an exit if he fails to assure the electorate that he can deliver a reform plan for the EU that returns substantial powers to national capitals.
It isn’t a hopeless quest. Repatriating political power to the nation-states may be more appealing than an “ever closer union” in nations where anti-EU forces are growing. But if Cameron can’t convince the European government to reform and Europe remains weak, with sluggish growth, an exit from Europe would be the likely answer.