The UK has always been diffident about Europe sitting on the fence and never really taking it seriously. It was always partly committed to an Empire long gone and partly to what Churchill called “the new world”. But the special relationship he so enjoyed looks strained by the “little America” thinking of the current White House.
Even now, crippled by an alarmingly weak group of politicians, Britain is still dithering.
Meanwhile Europe is concerned to preserve its integrity and that centres on one border and freedom of the movement of goods, capital, services and labor.
Britain cannot belong to the EU if they are not part of it. No European politician is going to damage their reputation with the 450 millions in the Union for the sake of the 70 million in Britain.
But Britain has to remain and there is a route to success – it focusses on London and the South East the Euro centre for global trade and finance and a world centre for higher education.
If London withdraws it leaves a strategic hole the E.U. will find hard to fill. Paris, Berlin and Brussels will attempt to replace London’s capacity. They will fail and they know it.
So the challenge is how to put this win/win back on the agenda – how to walk back from what was always a profound mistake – how to help Britain not just back into the fringes of the E.U. but into the heart of a profoundly compromised but no less imortant western alliance.
for a wholesale summary see “Europe in Crisis” podcast at www.jamescookeenterprises.com.
Have a good day, James