The myth preached in Britain down the decades that Brussels is an all-powerful behemoth has led people to underestimate the degree to which Europe is a continent of nation states bound together in a treaty-based alliance dominated by Germany and France.
The French see the revolutionary nature of what Britain is proposing to do more realistically than the British themselves. An article in Le Figaro by Adrien Jaulmes goes to the heart of what is happening, saying that “the UK has built its power on two principles: keep the British Isles united and the European continent divided. Today it is close to succeeding in doing the opposite.”
Though Brexiteers deny it, their policy amounts to isolationism in a global economy. Like global warming denialists, they are simply ignoring facts in favour of an illusory vision of a mighty United Kingdom with its empire at its beck and call.
Britain has become just another small country, in a large global economy. It isn’t exceptional any more, no matter how lofty the delusions of grandeur get. And post-Brexit, the United might even drop off the Kingdom, if Scotland elects to go its own way and head back into Europe, which is something I would support at this point, despite opposing Scottish nationalism for decades.
I am an aging child of Polish WWII refugees that Britain welcomed, at the time. British born and raised, I used to be happy thinking of myself as British. Then came Brexit, brought about by English nationalists hankering after long-lost glories and dreams. Fine. If Brexit goes through, let them have their English nation. I’d rather be European. There is more hope and imagination there.