June 27th, 2016
Brexit is a remarkable event in a time that the period during which my British friends referred to the United Kingdom as the “Empire” is long behind us and these lovely panoramas of past glories will never return.
Its a sad moment in our common history and I am deeply disappointed with the decision of my friends to turn their back to Europe. As a committed European I cannot see it any other way.
Our world has changed greatly since Britain joined the EU and as Thomas Friedman observed during the last century our world is flat and I can add globalization is here to stay, a fact which the Brexit voters do not wish to accept.
The high price for this romantic but stubborn stupidity based on misinformation by the elder generations will be paid by the younger generations, limiting their ability to live and work across Europe. In time the future of Britain, these sons and daughters of Britain will be forever grateful for this delusional, narrow minded choice whereby a glorified past and Nationalism over Future was chosen.
Brexit is like a beautiful fantasy within a wonderful dream, but the reality is in the real world it’s cold outside and the world is consisting of large blocks . This choice by a small majority who is in favour of Brexit is a betrayal of the younger generation, the future of Britain.
This choice based on the failure of responsible leadership of both main parties which will result in more “xenophobia, nationalism and isolation”, but the worst damage done by Brexit will be invisible: the investments not made, the opportunities not created.
Looking back, the EU which was first suggested in 1464 by the King of Bohemia has since its creation brought us peace, stability and prosperity as foreseen by founding fathers Robert Schuman, Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer.
As Javier Solano said “the project started as a peace project among adversaries and the greatest accomplishment of the EU is the spread of stability and democracy across the continent.”
The long term consequences of Brexit are underestimated by the general public and will take 40 years back, the same time Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour party seeks to take Britain back. Jeremy Corby represents the solutions of yesterday, has no solutions for today or tomorrow. He is like old wine past in its expiration date, put in new shining bottles, but undrinkable.
Brexit will damage the Liberal order which since 1945 has represented open markets, democracy and individual rights, in that regard the European project represented progress and leaving will undermine Britain’s role in the world.
Further it is expected to weaken Britain economically by slower growth, potential loss of Britain’s free trade status with the other EU members and the increase of export costs affecting the competitive position, which likely will increase inflation and lowers the standard of living in Britain. The status of the City of London will be affected, banking, finance, resulting in relocations and decrease of real estate prices. In addition the position of Scotland is unclear.
Generally speaking Brexit can cause a brain drain, create instability, hurt the younger generations and will weaken the UK, EU, NATO, our transatlantic relationship. our transatlantic relationship.
These developments will further strengthen the “know-nothing” forces of extreme right in the different countries, forces which seek to take us back to the 1930’s. In my own country The Netherlands Geert Wilders is already celebrating and most likely already at the tailor measuring his brown shirt. But he is a balloon which will sizzle at the election time, making him fail once again in his pathetic attempts for a NEXIT.
It must be said, Great Britain and the Continent have not always had a harmonious relationship; it was a relationship out of necessity which was more based on Trade and more then once frustrated the development and needed integration of the EU and its institutions. But there is more what connects us then divides us.
It is therefore sensible if my British friends would take a step back and pause for a moment in order to see if the British Parliament takes their responsibility and will consider a second corrective referendum or is ready to proceed with this insane decision which is against the interest of Britain and will lead to the disintegration of the United Kingdom.
Should this not be the case, we must act quickly and proceed with this divorce immediately and not wait and create more uncertainty all around, the financial costs are already immense. The choice for a new relationship with the EU has been made by the British people and the consequences are theirs.
But perhaps in time when the consequences of Brexit and clear heads prevail iy should not be rule out a corrective referendum can be held on the agreed terms and conditions on the British exit and let the people decide.
A possible re-entry in the EU can always be considered in the future, despite the damage which has been done since Thatcher.
We also must take a look at the EU and conclude there has been insufficient integration of the member states and institution whereby we must realize that the speed in which the EU with the eastward expansion has been counter-productive. IIt is thereby essential that the EU agrees to the compulsory distribution among its member states, something some New Europe countries are not accepting. This is based on the fact that in the EU we have four different cultures which are difficult to balance and lead to conflict.
We must conclude that New Europe needs another 20-40 years to adapt to their new situation in which morality towards different issues, such as the refugees crises, democratic principles and the rule of law play a major role.
In addition the influence of Russia in New Europe, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic should not be underestimated. In the end of the day financing New Europe without clear terms and conditions has been contra-productive and is limiting progress of traditional Europe.
As suggested before we need to return to a “two-speed” Europe and start a process of enhanced integration mainly among the eurozone member states.
As an committed European I hold the opinion that we must increase the speed of integration of the traditional EU 2003 and its institutions, introduce majority vote in the commission, proceed with the European Security and Defence Union and introduce a transnational voting list for EU elections,