Why Great Britain
should stay in the
The gap in the plethora of articles pro and anti Brexit is astonishing. You’d have thought everything that could be written has already been written, many times over. One more article is unlikely to change any of the minds already firmly convinced of the rightness of their case, is it?
Perhaps not, but don’t give up yet. See what’s missing from the reasoning.
References to Britain’s Empire are legitimate. It was exploitive, unfair, and rapacious at times. As Empires go it was better than most. It was also big – ‘the sun never sets’, etc. It began to be seriously dismantled immediately after WWII. It was a painful process. Churchill said he didn’t want to preside over it’s demise. No British leader that I can remember actually wanted it gone. Education, improved communications, awareness of the power of the mass, all contributed to the British Empire’s destruction. The Commonwealth followed as a fairly happy family.
Learning to let go is something all parents have to do. It is a painful process. Authority, however obtained and maintained, is a wonderful stimulent. Ask anyone who has retired from a CEO’s job. Acres of personal time ahead, travel when you want, where you want. Freedom. And isolation, unless you are very careful. Britain wrestled with increasing isolation for over thirty years. Then she joined the EEC, a noble, aspirational and much needed attempt at friendship.
Well, nearly joined. Britain never joined the EU in the wholehearted way that others did. A thick fog in the English Channel still convinced the British voters that it was the Continent that was isolated. About half of them even believe that today. The lesson of friendship that all parents must learn when their children become independent is less than half learnt in Britain. But it is a vital lesson.
Families are wonderful institutions until they become a drudge. Membership certainly invokes responsibilities, and kinship is partly defined by blood. But the joy of today’s world is the amount to discover, the options to choose from, the learning to increase the mind’s activity. Humankind would never have progressed so far without going out from our home and exploring the new jungle. Fraught with risk of extinction, brimming over with opportunity to become the people we would like to be, the coming centuries offer something not yet even dreamt of.
We are starting to get there. Perhaps it is only the first step. We understand the importance of diversity at work, in life, in marriage. We are beginning to appreciate the potential for genders not yet conceived. We see our Tree across a different Field from the one we knew as a child. We hope to comprehend the brain, the mind, the spirit of a person, opportunities for animals, challenges of robots. Taught creation’s beauty we must now imagine the beauty of our own creation.
To equip ourselves to do that we must learn what friendship means. It isn’t an endless cocktail party or a sympathetic ear. It is living for, rather than simply living with. It is turning enemies into friends. It is seeing the beauty in something unfamiliar. It is a collegial life born from the ashes of dissent and enmity. It is joining hands where formerly there was crossfire.
Parents learn their own independence by joining others who have shed their families too. When they do so they finally become grown up.
Great Britain should stay in the European Union. If it does it can then become a Great Partner.
It would be a big step in further growing up.