What is the role, if any, of the EU as a player in the new paradigmatic world? I will not claim to be an expert on Brexit although I follow it with concern for some level of detail. If proximity is needed for understanding I’m out of luck as I’m almost directly on the opposite side of the planet.
As always these things are much more complex than people are comfortable in handling. While I see Brexit as springing, predominantly, from the same reaction as the arrival of Trump and cohort it is obviously not the fully the same. The use of racism and xenophobia are the preferred tools for authoritarians who wish to destroy complex social structures to more easily dominate and command the simpler ones that are controlled by fear.
As you noted there is another group who are seeking a return to sovereignty from a late stage capitalist system with suspicious goals. Those goals have been and are the removal of assets form the majority of the population for the benefit of a tiny elite.
Courtesy of the British and American imperial lineage that system has been dominant for the last, roughly, 250 years. As a result the aging decline of that system is symptomatic of the post industrial world states. While some variations have been more successful and flexible than others, they all seem to be now showing the same patterns of decline if not full collapse.
The structural problems are inevitable consolidation of assets (capital) in fewer and fewer hands that generates wealth from asset manipulation creating an elite oligarchic class with massive financial power and no need to do anything but monitor the flow of assets into their accounts. These folks are currently at Davos but are worried.
The other side of this structural problem is that representative government can only be representative of the oligarchic class and their cohorts. This can be prevented only by great and, ultimately, exhausting effort. In the end only money has value and matters and the preservation of existing wealth is the only policy that will be supported.
This is now very obvious as the current economic standards measure only the flow of revenue from assets and manipulation into the accounts of those who live solely on capital returns. By those measures everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. The rich are getting richer at an accelerating rate so there is nothing that needs changing except improving the PR to make this look as if it is of value to everyone.
There is already a theme at Davos that all the economic indicators are so good what is it that people are complaining about? But back to the issue at hand.
Within this context I can see an attack on the EU that, following the neoliberal rules have been destroying economies for the general population by emphasizing austerity to prevent the lessening in value of the oligarchy’s financial hoards. In this sense the EU is just another neoliberal government protecting the status quo.
At the same time we need to be moving to a new value order that is neo materialist (a topic for another time), sustainable and focused on ethical management of our planets assets and being. So what is involved with that and how do we get there?
A basic factor in this form of a new planet and human paradigm is based on planetary rights and obligations. The logical structure for the human management side of this is the metropole or urban region as the administrative unit. This would logically be planetary responsibilities and rights maintained universally with everyday ordinary management at the regional level.
Because of this anything that identifies sovereignty at any level other than individually and planetary causes me concern. Because of that I tend to see the EU as a possible route to the new order. That may or may not be the case but it definitely is not the existing nation states.