The United Kingdom looks like it’s tearing itself apart. I’ve been watching reports from the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, and some YouTube channels in an attempt to grasp what’s happening with this thing called “Brexit.” As someone from the U.S., I’m equal parts fascinated and disturbed by the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. My hope is that everyone over there will be okay – no matter what happens. My fears are that all of this drama is happening for no good reason.
One of the side effects of all this attention is that many people on my side of the Atlantic are more aware of what’s going on abroad. Personally, I’m a fan of John Bercow’s style of Speaker of the House of Commons. The man is every good British stereotype, although I don’t know much about him outside of his penchant for yelling “Ord-a! Oordaaa!” If the whole fiasco was just about the antics of him and Parliament, Brexit would be something resembling an okay comedy show.
Behind it all, this is about the removal of a large member of an organization which – at least nominally – has stabilized Europe over the past half-century. This isn’t some minor thing. The last two times Europeans went to war, they were World Wars. Body counts were in the hundreds of millions. If such a thing were to happen now, the results would be just as disastrous. With this in mind, I wonder how the United Kingdom is comfortable being an outsider to something which governs its neighbors.
Of course, I don’t live in the UK. I’m not familiar with what’s going on there. All I see are different news reports. The situation changes depending upon who is talking. Everyone claims to want to conduct the will of the British people. If they are to be believed – and the recent votes are any indication – the British people don’t want to do anything. Naturally, I find that difficult to believe.
Something I find lacking is perspective from the European side of things. From what I’ve seen, it appears that people on the continent of Europe are just watching a train wreck unfold before their eyes. There’s nothing they can do to stop it or help. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them to hear people in the UK say they don’t want anything to do with them. My worry is that it will negatively affect them and their relationship with the UK.
In the end, the only thing I can do is watch. But I’m concerned for everyone in the EU and UK. After all is said and done, I hope everyone’s going to have enough time to recover from this.