Should one of its most prosperous members vote to leave this Union, many other members will ask what a French friend recently asked me when I posed the possibility of Brexit: “Pourquoi pas nous?” Even more interesting, again, for those paying attention, is that visa-free travel is being extended to Turkey on June 1, just one week from now. Surely the significance of legally opening the doors to the descendants of those who besieged Europe for centuries is lost on a populace that seems not to know that Britain existed (and even prospered) before the drafting of the constitution of the European Union.Share
Brexit would allow the EU to take a hard look at their emulate-the-USA project. They could ward off the rise of right-wing parties everywhere in Europe (gasp!), which saw its most recent surge in yesterday’s near-election of Norbert Hofer in Austria. It might allow the EU to realize that the road to peace and prosperity doesn’t run through Brussels (as if Brussels can even keep itself safe), and doesn’t operate in a secularist vacuum that pretends that history, money, and religion have no previous lessons to teach us. In restoring subsidiarity to Europe by allowing free and uncoerced cooperation in areas like currency and immigration, free from ideologically-driven treaties, the EU could regain safety for the long term, a safety which is currently only preserved in the most fragile and temporary way.
And yet most cannot help but think that the epiphany of Brexit might cause a Macbethian reaction among the EU elites, who have not been above removing democratically elected leaders in Greece: already halfway through a river of misery, it would be just as far to the other side of “ever closer union” as to turn back to the original point of departure, the 1951 “European Coal and Steel Community.” Furthermore, that further bank would now be more easily reached without Britain on its back, the Britain that Churchill always claimed was “with Europe, but not of it, linked, but not combined . . . interested and associated but not absorbed.” (Read more.)