Brexit again . . Now the EU has given an extension to the Brexit deadline, here we sit awaiting next moves by the UK government. Time to reflect on the real colours of the UK – or rather Britain – no not really Britain either, but of England.
Churchill’s speeches after the war, like the one here in Zurich, promoting a United Europe, are misleading if we do not listen carefully. Right at the end, he says that Britain and . . . the USA and hopefully Russia will be friends and sponsors of the New Europe – NOT a part of it. That was a message which could be missed within his enthusiasm for what “the people and countries of Europe” should do. So sad, but it does explain quite a bit about what is driving the Brexit push; it is embedded in the genes.
Listen right at the end – not an often published piece of that speech.
And of course the reason that France today (i.e President Macron) has pushed back on giving the UK more time, is because again of the history.
Charles de Gaule twice refused to accept Britain into the EEC – only after he had withdrawn from political life and Prime Minister Macmillan in England made another request, did the UK finally get accepted and joined. De Gaule was very conscious of Britain’s first and foremost mindset of independent power in the world rather than one of team spirit and integration. In fact, de Gaule was so sure that he threatened to leave the European plan if Britain would be accepted.
We now know that he was a smart cookie and right to be so wary.
Should we have listened to the realities of the half-heartedness – no Euro, no Schengen, etc – or should we be thankful that the UK is simply showing everyone else that too much integration will never work with such a diverse bunch of nations and traditional enemies throughout time?
But for those of us who care for the UK and care for Europe, and care for peace in the world, it is a sad time to see the UK succumb to history and to out-dated, and maybe even irresponsible, ideology.
Again, the younger generation are the ones to lose out.