Some might argue that the British have never really arrived in the EU, so what’s the big deal about them leaving?

I guess, the British really have never arrived in the EU. From the very beginning they were concerned about the path this union was taking and from the very beginning they were right to be suspicious. To be honest, I’ve never come across an EU citizen who wasn’t going on about how idiotic a lot of EU regulations were and yet, we – the EU citizens – kept going without really seriously challenging it. Whenever anybody did challenge the EU, they were made up to be “the bad boys”. The Irish in relation to Nice and Lisbon and the Greek when it came to fiscal disagreements. The Irish and the Greek were “kids you could push around”. The British are a “big boy” – you don’t push them around too easily.

This time around, everybody in the EU has to start putting on their listening hats and understand that it is about time to rethink the whole idea of a European Union. The EU has never really worked. It has always been a struggle from the very beginning. Politicians might have put on a brave face to show unity, but what about the ordinary people? The only people who are regularly asked for their opinion are the Irish, because their constitution dictates it. Let’s face it, the reason no other country ever asks their people is, because they’re afraid of the result and furthermore, they would actually have to engage with them about EU politics.

The Brexit referendum is a real chance for us, the members of the EU, to get it right. Let’s sit down and redraw the foundations of what really is a good idea.