- 2016 Brexit referendum leads to many assessments > assess damage while the firestorm is still raging.
- losses caused by Brexit feel almost intangible.
- an ominous sense of abandonment
- UK + Europe involvement = needed more than ever since end of Cold War.
- Great Britain + Commonwealth stood up to fascism & Nazism on the continent and held out until the Americans finally jumped in. > Most European countries tainted by WWII + degrees of collaboration + even participation in the Holocaust.
- Part of many Europeans’ shock at the Brexit referendum + its aftermath five years ago was the outpouring of the kind of naked nationalism + right-wing extremism
mistake that the UK has made = that it thinks it will do better on its own > feel freer, less beholden to what is supposed to be a faceless internationalist bureaucracy, less encumbered by rules and regulations that strangle national dynamism & individual initiative = gross misconception.
By Ferry Biedermann, freelance journalist working both in the UK and in Europe. He has contributed to the Financial Times, CNBC, the Washington Post, Trouw newspaper in the Netherlands and many others. He is also a former correspondent in the Middle East for the FT and Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant.
The five-year anniversary of the 2016 Brexit referendum naturally leads to many assessments of what it has meant for both the UK and the EU, thus far. It’s hard though to assess the damage while the firestorm is still raging. Also, the losses caused by Brexit feel almost intangible. As a fervently anglophile European, someone whose cultural, if not always political and social, lodestar was located to the west of the continent, it’s deeply disturbing that the UK has cut itself off from us to such a degree. It feels unnatural and disconcerting.
I’ve lived and studied in the UK…
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