Brexit has been inevitable since 1973. Europeans have never believed that the UK was a dedicated member of the “club” since they joined.
The 2016 referendum result took everyone by surprise. The British as much as the rest of the EU. Even though the British may probably have been the most EU sceptical nation of the bloc ever, their representatives knew all along that it was a cozy relationship.
The UK is used to being the leading force of the Commonwealth. They are used to call the shots within their environment. To be an equal member of States has never been comfortable for them. Something was missing – something like superiority.
When the Brexit referendum result was final and the British government felt compelled to fulfill the people’s wish, they were very clumsy in trying to convert it into reality. They had to talk to equals – yet they tried to act as superiors. Kind of a crowbar approach. A “That’s what we want and that’s what we get” approach.
The EU may not be perfect. A lot of the UK’s issues may well be justified. However, the EU is not India or Ireland. The EU, if not always a good example of democracy, is not a walkover.
Free movement of people and goods has certainly been a great achievement of the EU, even though there may be many question-marks about EU policies. One thing is for sure, the EU has maintained peace on our continent. Peace, which has never been as solid as it has been since the foundation of the European idea of unity. Something to build on.
“Exit” will happen
Saying all that, a different EU will appear sooner or later.
However, the aggressive path Boris Johnson is following will most probably lead to a brink of “civil war” within Britain. A no-deal Brexit is not what the ordinary British citizen, nor the ordinary British business wants or needs.
Johnson’s tactics will hopefully bring a revolt about. A revolt which will lead to withdrawing from Article 50. Not that Brexit is off the table, but to say to the British people – “you voted for Brexit, we will deliver on Brexit, but let’s remain within the EU for now and let’s take some time out to work towards Brexit.
This in turn will give Britain and the EU an opportunity to clear their heads and start talking in a constructive way. The EU, which leaves a lot to be desired for, should take this opportunity to sit down with the UK and come to some common ground. The UK and the EU are politically not that far apart. It’s a matter of being frank and honest to each other and find a way forward.
Who knows – at the end Brexit may not be necessary and the citizens of the EU may thank the UK for all the “hardship” they’re causing right now.