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It is easy to forget that defense and security are not the same thing.Since 2014, the security environment for Britain and the European Union has deteriorated sharply. Despite these deteriorating security conditions, a slim majority of Britons voted in June 2016 to withdraw from the EU – a decision that could fatally undermine the United Kingdom's relationship with its European NATO partners.In the absence of U.S. leadership, a stable and secure EU could thus become the most important pillar of the U.K.'s post-Brexit security strategy.But the stability of the EU is far from guaranteed, because a smooth and painless Brexit may tempt other member states to also quit the bloc. If a eurozone country even suggested that it might withdraw from the euro and the EU, the resulting capital flight would devastate its economy.Namely, it would not further undermine European stability, which also happens to be Britain's biggest security asset.Despite the costs, a "hard" Brexit would, at a minimum, discourage other EU members from following the U.K.'s lead, thereby shoring up European stability and helping Britain maintain its national security, which may be the most important consideration in the long run.
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