Integration of the nations?

With the UK voting to leave the EU, the relevance of regional blocs is under question and the impact on Asean remains uncertain

BILLBOARD OF RIGHTS: The Asean Economic Community came into effect this year. PHOTO: Patipat Janthong

Following the shock Brexit decision, Asean members have been left to ponder the relevance of regional integration.

The 10 Asean member states previously looked to the European Union as a prototype for integration regionally. From the beginning of this year, Asean member states elevated regional cooperation to a new level under the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

While the UK was never fully integrated with the EU -- it retained the pound over the euro and opted out of the passport-free Schengen zone -- the pro-Brexit vote on June 23 showed the majority in Britain believed they would be better off on their own.

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