I’m referring to the contributors, readership and prolific commentators over on the Breitbart news agency, which as you know has close links with Mr Bannon.
The people over at Breitbart are literally obsessed with the EU - for some reason, unbeknownst to me given that they aren’t in the main Europeans themselves - and have written article after article, comment after comment dripping, nay salivating, with longing for a great unravelling of the supranational system in place in my continent and a return to the completely autonomous nation-states of the past. I wish they would stop fantasizing about revolutionary upheavals and radically changing the political system in a different jurisdiction. But that’s a different story…
Their dislike of the EU is ideological, is my point.
Trump and Pence, have adopted a pragmatic line - in Pence’s case he praised the supranational system created after WWII and stated that the U.S. is “committed to the EU”. Trump is now extending, in essence, diplomatic courtesy and conciliatory words.
To me, this is a refreshing change from those “Breitbart” folks. I’m glad and hope it translates into future diplomatic relations.
is, but I, for myself, have always felt that if Brits or anyone else want to leave the EU, they should be free to do it.
I’ve always agreed with this. Problem for the UK is that we are ourselves a country composed of sub-nations, two of which - not including Gibraltar - adamantly don’t want to leave the EU. So it’s rather complicated internally.
Obviously, in such a situation, people have reasons with which one might disagree, but which are sufficient to those who want it.
Amen to that.
As an American, and realizing Americans’ situations are quite different, having a “continental economy” in one country, it is not surprising to me that, given European history and current events, many Brits might be more wary of “the continent” that, say, a German might be.
In England, yes but not in Scotland. Our independence issue has been revived again. There could be a referendum held as early as Autumn 2018. Now, I have no clue how that would work out. We could vote to remain in the UK again, if it takes place, or vote to set off into the European sun and join the EU as a Member State by 2023. But the point is, the dispute over the EU has come to this.
I won’t be voting in any future referendum, thank God, since I’m permanently domiciled in London now, for work purposes. It’s become my home - but I’m still a Scottish Brit and I’m in the odd situation of just watching this play out. On the one hand, I don’t want the UK to break apart, obviously, and the island of Great Britain to become the new Ireland, divided between North and South with a border crossing. But, I can’t deny, the idea of having my European citizenship back, after its been rescinded two years from now, is tempting…
I’ve also always thought that some of the wealthy, intelligentsia portions of the Brexit side - who harbour far less concerns, if any at all, about Eastern European free movement and scarcity of jobs - just cannot stomach, and more to the point never have been able to stomach, the idea of their nation, which once ruled the waves being “just” (as they see it) a Member State collaborating with equals - and tiny Luxembourg is considered an equal within the EU legislature and Commission to Britain - within a larger Union.
It was never about immigration for these people. And that’s fair enough.
Now, can Britain realign itself with the North American continent instead of the European one?
That’s a good point. Certainly, the UK will be seeking an even closer relationship with the U.S. post-Brexit and your right, this wouldn’t come with any “sovereignty” price in the sense that joining a political union like the EU would.
Thing is though, countries tend to have significantly higher trading relationships with their immediate neighbours. Australia has close cultural ties to the rest of the Anglophone but its main export destinations are China ($82.9B), Japan ($43.1B), South Korea ($19B) and India ($11.1B), with the U.S. not far behind.
That’s natural, since Australia is closer geographically to the Asia-Pacific, so it’s only commonsense for its largest markets to be Asian.
For the UK, 46 % of exports from U.K. cities are delivered to the EU which is three times more than to the US and 11 times more than to China. Again, that’s only natural.
We’re going to still have the problem of a giant, continental single market in goods, services and capital just over the channel - literally joined to Britain via the channel tunnel - that we rely need to trade with.
If Scotland, hypothetically, were to become an independent member state of the EU, that would be even worse for England (I say England, since the Northern Irish, who are predominantly Ulster Scots, would have less reason to stay in the Union without us and Wales would surely see little point in being a little appendage to England), since we - meaning myself in England as well - would have a border with the EU on our own island!!!
In this event, we would be as closely yoked to the EU as you are with Canada - sharing a border with the EU in Scotland and another with the EU in the Irish Republic (for as long as NI would remain part of the UK, in that hypothetical scenario). The rump UK would literally be hemmed in by the EU to the North and West, like a sandwich really.
You can see why, no doubt, this would be a nightmare come true for many people. Even if its avoided and Scotland remains, we still have a border with the EU in Ireland.