A European Union without the United Kingdom: The Geopolitics of a British Exit from the EU
LSE IDEAS
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“As Cameron himself made clear in his speech at Chatham House, on current projections, by the middle of the century the UK will have the largest population, economy and military in the EU.”

Why does this myth about the “UK growing faster” constantly get repeated? The population of France overtook the UK in 1985 and has been growing at a similar rate to the UK. Germany made a mayor census based adjustment down in 2012 (probably the source of this awkward projection) [See Google Public Data: https://goo.gl/f9zlIY ]. With currently 26 million fewer inhabitants, it is almost impossible for the UK’s population to overtake Germany’s in the next 40 years. Turkey’s might though…

The armies of France, the UK and Germany run on similar budgets and are of similar size, each with their own strength and weaknesses. The main difference being that the German army doesn’t have nuclear warheads, but Britain may fail to approve the budget to keep its nuclear capability for another 40 years. It will come as a surprising to most Brit that the German army is involved in more conflict areas around the world than the UK. With the budget cuts necessary to keep the UK’s debt in check, it is unlikely that the UK’s army will grow any larger than France’s or Germany’s anytime soon. Turkey’s might grow faster though…
After shrinking more severely after the 2008 crash, the UK’s economy has seen bigger growth in some years lately. But looking at growth over a ten year period, Germany is holding up strongly against the UK, though France has had an incompetent government and there is room for improvement. Only Turkey has clearly been growing faster.

The “UK is going to the largest population, economy and military in Europe” myth is based on a nonsense projections peddled by http://iitm.be/10UKIP. It is also overlooking what is happening just outside the EU, in AKP run Turkey.

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