Despite the radical actions of Great Britain in voting to leave the European Union, this unwieldy institution, that has become a mishandled and overgrown version of the once practical European Economic Committee, continues to ignore the reasons for one of the Union’s most prestigious and wealthy nations leaving the fold.
Why would a country’s people, who so clearly benefited both diplomatically and economically from the EU, feel the need to reject the ties that they hold with their neighbours and closest allies?
The current political discussions and negotiations between Brussels and London are so focused on the ‘how’ of Brexit that they are ignoring the ‘why’.
The technocracy of Brussels and Strasbourg are determined to brush Brexit under the carpet as an anomaly, the result of the stubborn nature of an overly-patriotic island race whose differing cultural values and historically based arrogance has led them to disregard the benefits of the Union. What the European establishment refuses to admit is that the active mistrust and anger that the British people feel towards for the EU is indicative of a wider dissatisfaction across Europe.
In a similar fashion to the long list of governments throughout history, when the economics work, when wealth and quality of life is increasing, somewhat unaccountable rules and regulations are tolerated. When this is no longer the case, however, when, as we see now, a European generation exists who, on average, will be less well off than their parents, the systematic technocratic integration is seen for what it is, an infringement on the rights and liberties of the people of Europe.
If the EU does not reform, the supposed anomaly of Brexit will become the norm.
The concept of sovereignty has been purposely linked to Europhobia. This repeated mistake has come to be employed by both the centre-left and the extreme right. The centre-left accuses the concept of sovereignty of leading to blind nationalism while the extreme-right places it on a pedestal as the solution to all our woes.
Sovereignty, in the context of this debate, ought to be defined as a way to relate the will of the people to the highest instances of the ruling government without external influence. To say that the EU disregards this rule completely, as the extreme-right argue, would be an oversimplification of the problem and an unjust attack on the actions of the European Parliament.
Pro-further-EU integration manifestos, however, make the point that sovereignty is a thing of the past, irrelevant in a globalised world. This is in complete disregard to the cultural, linguistic and economic aspects that have shaped every nation of Europe differently through the ages.
Sometimes violent competition, sometimes peaceful cooperation between the nations of Europe have pushed the people of Europe beyond any expectations. A “one size fits all” Europe does not exist and should not exist; the European technocrat needs to understand that. The uniformity of arbitrary rules (as an example the 3% public deficit in the Euro-Zone) is simply not adapted to the needs and economical discrepancies that compose its participating countries. Already its members rarely respect its content. Even the leading pro-EU powers France and Germany have infringed on EU rules including public deficit and the exceeding current ratio.
The smaller nations of Europe also feel no need to obey or respect the rule of the EU. The handling of the refugee crisis, in certain areas, has failed to meet the expectations that many of us hold from the EU. Their blanket policy fails to appreciate the nuances of each individual country, another example of where greater cooperation would be favourable to greater integration.
It seems that the European Union is not considering the reality of a changing mentality all over Europe as well as the growing tensions between its members and their ever-expanding economic disparities.
The large majority of Europeans support the existence of the EU, a smaller EU that will evolve with the will of its people not in spite of it. Their discontent is often disregarded as obscurantism and heresy - a misconception which pushes those on the right further away from the centre.
The citizens of the member state are growing weary of a bureaucracy where they are not involved in the decision-making process. They are tired of having an opaque institution regulating their lives; they wish to regulate the Union instead. Not because of misplaced patriotism or populism. Quite the contrary, the reason is completely legitimate, it is founded upon the historical struggle for liberty that has made EU the most powerful association of modern democracies on the planet.