What the British can do and must do is use this Brexit mess as an opportunity to reform Brussels.
That’s where the smart money lies.
There is a brilliant opening to do so.
It works as simple as this:
We the British would really prefer to stay, but we want a revised governmental structure more akin to the way laws are enacted in the our country. We value British freedoms and liberty which is not the same as typical Continental autocracy. We believe that law should emanate from those people who live closest to those whom the laws will affect. Yes, we know this is messy, but we’ve developed messy habits which work for us. We’re not accustomed to sitting back and “taking” it. It’s a bad British habit we have of voicing our opinion.
Consequently if you desire us in your union we must insist that all European law emanate from the people whose representatives are found in the European Parliament. We would also prefer that no law come from the Council of the European Union, nor do we desire any good ideas from the European Council.
Only in this manner can we be assured that our fishermen will be allowed to fish. Fishing is another bad habit we islanders on this rock called Great Britain acquired. We like it and can’t quite give it up despite your best efforts to compel us to do so. Not fishing would be like asking the French and Germans to stop making wine and sausage respectively. We’re sorry, but we grew up surrounded by water, and, well, fish live in the water.
There are a few other things we’d like as well. We British don’t like to delude ourselves, so if we are to be a union, let’s be one. We know a few things about unions having won and lost a few.
What will work best is a shared destiny which means shared responsibility as well. So if we are to incur debt we must share it as a true union. We’ll have none of this nonsense where some live well while others suffer under austerity. Either we all suffer or none of us suffer at all.
As we British are fond of saying: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Ah, yes, immigration. Well, we shouldn’t leave that out, should we, since you have gone to the trouble of labeling so many of us as uncultured, jingoistic racists. Well, maybe we are, and maybe we are not, but one thing we British hold dear is tradition. We’re not in the habit of slaughtering our royals or renaming our month of November to Brumaire at the whim of a crazed Jacobin. We are accustomed to order, discipline and civility. We believe that when in Rome one must do as the Romans. Permitting hordes of people from foreign cultures to swamp the boat does not loan itself to assimilation. As such we must insist on strong borders. Europe without borders is no Europe at all.
Well, there, I think that hits the main points. Can you live with that? If not, well, as Larry Grayson, one of our own, would say: Shut that door.
Thank you and good luck. You know where to find us. We’re that noisy little nation of shopkeepers sitting to your west.