Look Back in Anger: How the Brexit Debate Was Framed All Wrong (written for The European Views*)

When “Leave” won 52:48 in the 2016 Brexit referendum, the English tabloids proclaimed “victory” as though Nelson had defeated Napoleon at Trafalgar. Photo: Pixabay
(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

The British people would never have fallen for Brexit, had the European values of today not been completely frozen out of the Brexit debate.


Nearly 3 years after the Brexit referendum in the UK, it feels as though the whole quagmire of Britain leaving the European Union is just beginning.

That’s against the backdrop of the fact the EU and the UK did eventually strike a last-minute Brexit deal, only to see it get killed by the British Parliament, and that nobody in London or Brussels really knows what would come on and especially after March 29, 2019,

Whether the UK goes through with a “deal” or “no deal” Brexit, a soft or hard Brexit, or possibly reverses Brexit, the Brexit ramifications will be around for generations.

Motions for a second Brexit referendum aside, for a while now the rest of the EU, the EU 27, seems to have made its peace with Britain calling it quits.

The Union’s image has certainly been hurt by Brexit but once London is truly out, many across the EU would give out a sigh of relief: the absence of the British veto harbors great promise for enhanced EU integration.

That would, of course, be “adequate” integration compliant with the genius principle of subsidiarity. It’s doubtful even the greatest proponents of “more Europe” would want the EU transformed into a hyperstate monster – that would run counter to its raison d’être.

No more “undefeated former empire” or Commonwealth exceptionalism stemming from London to clog EU integration, no more roads not taken because Britain’s an island.

Even the path towards a common EU army advocated by French President Emmanuel Macron might just be unclogged.

Brexit’s possible silver linings aside, the UK might decide to rejoin the EU again at some point.

Or it might be Scotland and the United Kingdom of England and Wales rejoining separately, after Northern Ireland has already remained inside or rejoined the EU as part a united Ireland (sort-of like how the former East Germany sneaked into the then European Community by reuniting with West Germany). Those possibilities remain questions for “political science fiction” writers…

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(386 words cited out of a total of 1341 words)

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