Think Brexit is bad? It’s just a taste of what’s to come for Europe

by David J. Bercuson

National Post
December 12, 2018

Great Britain is the cockpit for the current European struggle to maintain itself after decades of local nationalisms, recalcitrant governments, disagreements over migration and arguments over the single currency have threatened to tear the Union apart. Brexit may or may not happen, but the struggle (by the British) to fashion a Brexit which will do the least damage to Britain, and by Europe to do the least damage to itself, will not end with a Parliamentary vote at Westminster. There are fundamental factors pulling the Union apart that will simply never abate.

Britain is an island off the coast of Europe. Geography can only be overcome in small chunks. For centuries the English, dragging the Scots, some of the Irish and the Welsh behind them, celebrated their “splendid isolation” and struggled to maintain as many barriers between them and the continent as possible. Successfully invaded only once, by William the Conqueror in 1066, invasion by the Spanish, the French and the Germans all failed due to the Channel, the weather and the determination of Britons to fight for their isolation.

Great Britain is the cockpit for the current European struggle to maintain itself after decades of local nationalisms, recalcitrant governments, disagreements over migration and arguments over the single currency have threatened to tear the Union apart. Brexit may or may not happen, but the struggle (by the British) to fashion a Brexit which will do the least damage to Britain, and by Europe to do the least damage to itself, will not end with a Parliamentary vote at Westminster. There are fundamental factors pulling the Union apart that will simply never abate.

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