quick scan
WI-WE Progress
Progress: 93.26%   WWI-WE Version: 5
0 mandatory questions pending
26 questions total
23 questions answered
23 questions completed
3 questions pending
Popular WI-WE Tags

Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: community press » United Kingdom leaving the European Union

version: 5 / updated: 2013-01-29
id: #1960 / version id: #1960
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Faure Julien
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Faure Julien
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

Community Press (incl. marginal/underground press)

The source of the Wild Card is

Chu, B. (2012, July3), What if Britain left the EU? Retrieved from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/what-if-britain-left-the-eu-7904469.html The Guardian Editorial, (2012, November 18), If Britain leaves Europe, we will become a renegade without economic power Retrieved from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/18/editorial-britain-leaving-european-union


(max. 9 words)

United Kingdom leaving the European Union


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
The UK might leave the European Union. This would impact the European Union as well as the United Kingdom deeply. Nonetheless this will also have a huge impact at a global level, affecting durably the relationship and cooperation between countries.


UK UE Europe England Union Alliance


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 1: business models and industrial environment
First of all at a European level, this would impact both UK and European commercial and economic performance. For instance, 53% of the UK exports are done towards the EU. Moreover this would lead to different policies in Europe as the UK would not be able to influence them anymore. This might also have a positive impact on the UK economics on the long run as it may mean a focus on the emerging markets rather than the European one. That might also lead to an Anglo-Saxon economic alliance including the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
Feature 2: education and research environment
From an educational standpoint, this might lead to less cooperation between UK universities and the European ones. That would also affect the Erasmus Program which allows and finances European student willing to study in another european country.
Feature 5: politics and global affairs
The impact might also be political in the UK. Indeed UK is importing more from the E.U. than it is exporting to so it might be unpopular to set tariffs on imports from the E.U. At a global scale, the U.S. encourages London to work towards a closer partnership with the U.E. In the meanwhile, India and China could be less interested in building close partnership with the U.K. if not in the E.U. anymore.

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country United Kingdom
Level 2: important for a particular world region European Union
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world Impact on global geopolitics

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Some signals such as the growth of an anti-European feeling in the U.K. could hint at a growing likelihood of this wild card. We could also consider that the government will start preparing the public opinion several months before the actual decision. Thus any official or unofficial speech really negative about the European Union should be regarded as a hint.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
economic filters (business/market interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


In this case, the E.U. would have to face this failure: one of its member leaving the union. Thus it would have to re-think the way it works today, what are its main objectives, if it should only be a financial union or more, if it should include that many members or less, how decisions should be taken, etc.

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Social Anti-European movement due to difference of perception of what the U.E. should be: financial & economic union or more social movement against immigration due to E.U.
Economic U.K. does not want to abide by the law edicted in Brussels.

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
U.E. weakened Economies focusing on emerging markets
short term
(1 to 5 years after the Wild Card manifests)
U.K. does not manage to find new allies and is isolated U.E. transformation towards a more efficient union
medium term
(5 to 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
U.K wants to get back in the E.U. => strong opposition in the U.E. whether it should be back or not U.E. is back
long term
(more than 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
U.E. works on a close partnership with the U.K but also its new allies

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Try to keep unified the U.E. Avoid guerilla between U.E. and U.K.
Business actors (incl. SMEs) lobby for a unified E.U. works toward an economic partnership between U.K. and E.U. to avoid losing exports shares.
Academic/Research sector lobby for a unified E.U.
Media lobby for a unified E.U.
General public lobby for a unified E.U.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts E.U. as well as U.K. losing voice in the world as well as military capabilities.
Education dynamics Less cooperation and student exchanges between U.K. and E.U.
Social exclusion & poverty Probably less social policies in the U.K. as well as less immigration accepted.
Economic prosperity/dynamics Less imports/exports beteen E.U. and U.K. Less economic cooperation as well

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology would impact deeplu the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe
Environment (including Climate Change) Less synergies
Transport (including aeronautics) less cooperation
Security U.K. an E.U. would lose military synergies as well as ripost fear

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Improving researchers mobility and career development by, for example, realising a single labour market for researchers.
Developing and funding world-class research infrastructures
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.