In June 2016, the European Union was shaked by the UK decision of leaving the organisation. Since then, 20 months after intense negotiations full of twists, the soap « Brexit » seemed to be finally ending in November 2018 : an agreement was found. Yet, British Members of Parliament(MPs) rejected this agreement on Monday 15 January, « the only agreement possible ». At Voix d’Europe, we think enough is enough !
2016 : the Brits voted « Leave »
June 23rd 2016 : everything changed in Europe. Fierce pro-European, we were waiting, like many British, the results of the referendum « for » or « against » the EU. Like those who, in London, thought « Remain » would easily pass, we had a real shock when we learnt that the UK decided to leave the EU. It was unbelievable. Yet, we had to deal with it, our neighbour on the other side of the Channel would exit.
At that time, we were students, we knew some British, and we put ourselves in their shoes. How would we have reacted, if it had happened to us, French ? How coud we consider a future without the EU while we’ve only known it since we were born ? Hard to imagine.
But, here it is. We’ve been told from everywhere, that the people is sovereign, that its choice must be respected. Accepting that the polls results are not always what we want is something we are taught. We then had to agree to see the UK leave the EU.
20 months of intense negotiations
And the Brexit has become even more real when Theresa May, British Prime Minister, triggered on 30 March 2017 the exit through Article 50. Her country had 2 years to negotiate an agreement that would suit both parties.
Europe pulled his ace out of its sleeve : Michel Barnier, fearsome negotiator. He never failed facing Her Majesty’s kingdom. For the past 20 months, talks have been intensive, rich in emotions, cloudy sometimes especially regarding the future of Ireland for instance. We talked about it very often, we often tried to inform our fellow Europeans about how the UK was suffering.
On 25 November 2018, the 27 were relieved : an exit agreement was found. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, had by the way stressed this performance with one little sentence he only has the secret of : « That’s the best deal for the UK. That’s te best deal for the EU. And that will be the only deal. » PERIOD.
Talks seemed over, British MPs would have to vote this agreement and on the 29 March 2019, we will eventually have 27 Members States in Europe.
Nothing of this happened. Since the end of 2018, the House of Commons has been delaying due date, slowing down the UK exit to possibly annoy the EU. Maybe they hoped for someone, somewhere in Europe, to hear their misery and stop the UK from leaving. In vain.
Obviously, we are deeply saddened for all of those who will suffer from this Brexit. The young, like us, who were born with the EU and who’ll have to choose between their country and another one where to live. Some of them even asked another citizenship to be able to remain in Europe freely. That is the proof that Brexit doesn’t make everyone happy across the Channel.
However, the polls have spoken. The people has spoke. Even though the results were tight, the « Leave » has won.
If you think a « Frexit » would be a good thing…
So, after a 2-year period of negotiations, 2 years during which the Brits opened their eyes on demagogic promises made by those who left the vessel far too early (Yes, we see you Nigel Farrage and Boris Johnson !) or not soon enough (depending on the point of view, we guess…), we’ve had enough.
Enough, to hear they didn’t know why they voted, while the vote campaigns were not that followed. Enough to see some British thought way too foolishly they were going to force their will to Brussels. Enough to hear that life will be so much more beautiful away from the EU…
Another voice is being heard in Europe in the 27 now : the British have to leave. Enough is enough. It’s tough to say, but it is the truth.
We think Europe has been very patient and understanding. European negotiatiors have tried to compromise and respect the British governement’s will. What has the latter done, besides tearing themselves apart and making no decision ? They used their own resources and wasted everyone’s time. And they will be the ones who bite the dust.
Warning ! we are not saying and will never say the EU is perfect. It’s not and probably never will be. We are the first to highlight its weaknesses. But according to us, Europe handled the best way possible the topic, even more with a quite undecided and tormentend partner.
And it should also be a good lesson to France, as some French think we should follow suit, follow the example of the UK and turn « the Brussels technocracy » away. How could we justify to the French that Europe is useless, that it decides for us, that it costs very much and that we would be better off without it when we see what’s happening right now in London ?
If it were true, why would the British do everything they can to finally remain in the EU ? Would they be fool enough to refuse such a perfect happiness which they voted for, a few weeks away from liberty ? Why would British movements (of all ages and from all walks of life) protest all over the country to make their voices heard and ask to vote again ?
Ths is not logical. And it would be time for the French to realise it.
In 5 months, we will vote for our Members of European Parliament. Let’s try to pick the right path for Europe when we vote. Let’s try to see which way is the best one possible. Because voting for Europe also means voting for ourselves, no matter what the country you live in.
L’équipe de Voix d’Europe.