Europeanism and Brexit

By richard | 18/06/2016

Europeanism “is a term that encapsulates the norms and values that Europeans have in common, and which transcend national or state identity.” Source As an Italian Brit living in Switzerland the notion that Great Britain wants to leave the European Union makes very little sense. In the article Britain’s Dangerous Urge to Go It Alone we see the usual points being discussed. Articles should be written from the emigrant point of view every so often. Articles should be written about Brits who have chosen to live and work in Europe.

Yet the E.U. is an extraordinary achievement, a voluntary union of nations whose histories include some of the bloodiest wars ever waged. However flawed the bloc, it has replaced blood feuds with a single market, shared values, free travel and labor mobility.

Brexiters believe that Europe is an imperial project rather than a social one. They believe that Germany wants to dictate how every other country acts. They believe that the European Union has taken away their voice. Those people are indoctrinated by Murdoch’s media empire to think a certain way. As long as Murdoch indoctrinates the British to see themselves as unique, as outside of Europe they will fight for Brexit.

Imagine if the mainstream media in England behaved like that of France, French Switzerland (I make the distinction because I do not understand German well enough to follow the news as the majority of Switzerland perceive it) and other nations. Imagine that the British press wrote about the good things that Europe is achieving. The most prominent one for me is the roaming agreement. Europeans, including the Brits have cheap roaming. As a person in Switzerland I get the same roaming deals as if I was in North Africa. Do Brits really want the same privilege as we have in Switzerland?

_a loss of faith in mainstream politicians and experts, a nostalgia for a past when nations decided their own fates and kept foreigners out._

That nostalgia is misplaced. Remember that Byron, Shelley and many other English personalities of the 19th century travelled to Switzerland, Italy France and other nations. They lived as Europeans before that identity was defined. We also live in the age of motorways, cheap airlines and free movement.

The nostalgia also ignores that society has made big strides. We no longer live within 6km of where we were born. We live in the age of tarmaced roads, cars and motorbikes.

Great Britain and her desire to leave the European Union go against my common sense. Europeans are more connected than ever and yet some individuals want to undo all of the good work. The League of Nations was one experiment that failed to bring peace. The United Nations is a great idea in practice but slow to adapt to a modern context. The European Union, from my point of view is a success. 28 countries are working together to cope with modern challenges.

Mainstream media spend a lot of time telling us about immigration, about people coming to specific European countries but very few of them look at emigration. Few articles look at the emigration of retirees from England to Southern Spain to enjoy a more pleasant climate. Few articles look at the number of British people living and working in Switzerland. Few articles look at the number of British people everywhere. Look at Asmallworld, Glocals, Couchsurfing and many more of these travelling and expat communities. Without the free movement of people for their studies, their professional lives and their sporting passions such online communities would fail to exist as there would be no need.

From what I see the young, liberal democrats, labour, Scotland, Wales and women want to stay in the European Union according to the Economist’s brexit poll. I hope that the South decides to Remain. For now they are equally happy to remain in the European Union as they are to leave. Let’s hope they choose remain. It’s a shame that the graph does not show the opinion of British Europeans. I am certain that a majority of people enjoying the freedoms that the European Union provides them with would be pro-remain.

The “Old” should not take away the future of the young by voting for Brexit.

The young believe in the European Union and should get their voice heard. This is the environment in which they will have to find jobs and they are the ones who will be hit hardest by a recession.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.