I’ve not been following Brexit particularly closely. The way I see it, the British people may want to leave the EU, but the British political class do not want to leave. They’ve been absolutely wedded to the EU for the past 50 years or more, and they can’t even begin to imagine anything else, and they’ll find any excuse they possibly can to stay inside it. So I’m not expecting to see Brexit happen any time soon.
The reason that the British political class is wedded to the EU goes all the way back to the British Empire. For centuries, the British political class were major players on the world stage, and Britannia Ruled The Waves. But that all ended in about 1950, as the Empire was dissolved, with all its colonies and dependencies granted independence. Britain reverted to being a small and insignificant European offshore island. But the EU (or EEC as it was then) started to look like a new empire in the making. This new empire would become a major player on the world stage. And by joining it, the British political class would once again become big shots in the world, just like they once used to be. Much the same reasoning applied to the French and German and Spanish political classes. The EU offered a way for all these nobodies to become somebodies again.
It’s also the reason why the EU doesn’t want Brexit to happen. The imperial EU gains in power and influence the more members it has, and it loses power and influence as countries leave it. So Brexit hurts the European political class just as much as it does the British political class.
And this is why I imagine that all the Brexit negotiations that are taking place actually consist of like-minded Britons and Europeans trying to figure out ways to stop Brexit ever happening.
But I read today that:
More than 132,000 people have backed the online petition on the official Parliament website urging the Prime Minister to abandon the Brexit negotiations and begin the withdrawal from the bloc.
MPs are now scheduled to debate the issue in Parliament’s Westminster Hall annexe on January 22.
Why is it being debated in the annexe? How big is the annexe? Can 650 MPs be fitted into it? Only about 60 people can get into the Jubilee Room in the annexe.
Regardless of this, I expect the debate will see the MPs in parliament, many of whom are fully paid up members of the pro-EU political class, vote against abandoning Brexit negotiations.
I also learned from the same article that there is now a new government department: The Department for Exiting the EU. How wonderful! It will of course need to have its own offices and stationery and telephones and secretaries. And it will be necessary for it to remain in existence for however long it takes to exit the EU. And that will probably take forever.
But if Brexit is one sign of disintegration of the new EU empire, there are plenty of other signs of it:
Orbán: Europe’s Migrants Aren’t Muslim Refugees, They’re ‘Muslim Invaders’
Calling multiculturalism an “illusion”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán slammed the Merkel government’s “chaotic and anarchic” migrant policy, which led to a flow of “Muslim invaders” entering the European Union.
Responding to the suggestion that Hungary was not showing sufficient “solidarity” with the European Union because Germany accepted 2 million migrants but Hungary will not accept 2,000, Prime Minister Orbán told German tabloid BILD on Sunday: “The difference is: They wanted the migrants. And we do not.”
The EU is trying to impose its pro-immigration doctrines on countries which increasingly reject them. The constituent nation states of the EU are gradually beginnning to re-assert their national identities and cultures in the face of a EU centred in Brussels. It’s not hard to see a few EU member states trying to secede from the European Union in much the same way as Btitain (or at least England)
Is this very much different from the situation 100 years ago, when a Bosnian Serb nationalist assassinated an archduke of the ruling Austro-Hungarian empire, triggering WW1?
Or is it very much different from the situation in the USA in 1859, shortly before the secession of southern states from the union, and the American Civil War? The USA was becoming a major player on the world stage, and if US politicians like Abraham Lincoln wanted to remain big shots in the world, they had to prevent/reverse the secession of 11 states from the 33-state USA. And so they did.
My guess is that the EU is a far more fragile union than the USA was in 1860. At least in America, more or less everyone shared the same language and the same culture. And that has never been true of Europe. And in all likelihood the EU will fairly soon disintegrate back into the squabbling nation states from which it remains composed.
Britain may never leave the EU. But the EU will cease to to exist for it to remain a member of.