No-deal Brexit would leave UK vulnerable amid US-China trade war – Kezia Dugdale

Germany's Ursula von der Leyen with European Council President Donald Tusk. Picture: AP
Germany's Ursula von der Leyen with European Council President Donald Tusk. Picture: AP
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While politics in the UK remains in a quandary, the top jobs of the European Union are also in flux.

Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Defence Minister, looks likely to be the new President of the European Commission. Subject to approval by the European Parliament, she will be the first woman to serve in this role.

The President acts as the head of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU that proposes new laws, and leads a cabinet of commissioners, who are all accountable to the EU Parliament. If successful, I imagine there will be less bizarre hair ruffling and kisses from Mrs van der Leyen, as there have been under the incumbent President, Jean-Claude Juncker, but her ascent could have far reaching consequences for us back in the United Kingdom.

Mrs van der Leyen has always been a supporter of even closer European integration, which would see core issues such as finance, tax and economic policy agreed centrally. However, with both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt playing to the right-wing Tory gallery, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit seems more likely than ever.

As no one needs reminding, a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the UK, leaving us adrift and debilitated by economic uncertainties. A doubling down on European integration allows EU members to pool resources and share risk at a time when the United States and China look to be escalating their trade war.

With the EU likely to move even closer as a bloc under new management, it is surely more important now for a People’s Vote, to stave off being left out in the cold to weather these turbulent waters alone in the world.