Brexit: Please Britain, Don’t Stop


These are good times. Instead of Syria fragmenting, the European Union is. Seeing the convoluted suicide of Europe almost makes the bad times worth it. And for once in its long and repulsive history Britain might actually do something good: exit the EU. The hope is that this exit will trigger the break up of the UK (the Scots will rebel) and the final break down of the European Union.

This week the EU leaders are meeting in Brussels and the focus is Britain’s future in Europe. Britain is seeking to reform (that is roll back) it’s European links. Whatever deal is struck between London and Brussels will be put before the British people in a referendum in June. The British will be asked: do you want in or out?

At this stage it could go either way. But looking at past “in or out?” referendums in Greece (2015), Ireland (2008), France (2005) and Netherlands (2005), a negative vote for the EU is a real possibility, if not an inevitability. But when did the EU ever respect democracy?

Let’s be clear: by pursuing reform and roll back Britain is doing the people of Europe a favour. It may be acting in it’s own backward interests but it is tearing apart the European mask. And Europe’s Anglophile elite, so desperate to keep the UK “in”, are helping London unmask the EU monster. And so either way (Britain in or out) the EU is being delegitimised one more time.

Britain’s intention is to protect it’s financial industry; to make Europe more “competitive”; to end the whole idea of political unity in Europe; and to humiliate European labor for the heck of it. In short, it wants more neoliberalism and less Europe. And if it doesn’t get what it wants, it threatens to leave. The fact that the EU is neoliberalism personified is beside the point. Britain is just looking for an excuse to jump ship. And we say: jump Britain, jump!

Charles de Gaulle was right: Britain is a US Trojan horse. Thatcher and Blair proved this. And before it was someone else’s Trojan horse, it was it’s own war horse causing nothing but mischief in Europe and the wider world. Britain has always been a rogue state looking out for itself and ready to sacrifice continents (including Europe) for it’s own gain. Looking out to sea, it has only an instrumental view of Europe. Europe is just the buffer zone between it and the migrating hordes to the east and south.

It is no surprise therefore that Britain’s latest vision of Europe (it’s so called “reforms”) targets poor migrants more than anything else. Britain however is aiming not at the Syrians but at the Polish. That’s right! Britain is attempting to keep the Europeans out of Europe, never mind the Asians and Africans.

“Surely” you say “Europe can’t accept this audacious insult! Isn’t the free movement of labor one of the pillars of the EU?”. Yes but the EU is dumb enough to accept Britain’s demands. After walking freely into America’s war crimes; after bailing out zombie banks; after imposing austerity for no good reason; after raping Greece; and after bullying the victims of NATO’s wars, the EU is definitely stupid and sadistic enough to victimise it’s own poor citizens, who want nothing more than a modest job.

Instead of chasing Britain out the exit the Anglophile EU is chasing Europe’s working class out the exit. And that is precisely our hope. By discrediting itself yet again the EU is creating another opportunity for the European left.

Britain wants to block EU migrants (we repeat: not Asian or African) by stopping welfare payments which at present EU migrants are entitled to. This is a direct attack on the lowest paid workers in Britain (mostly Polish). And according to the Financial Times (1 / 30 / 16) the EU is willing to accommodate Britain by changing “the EU’s definition of a worker so that low paid migrants earning less than £7,000 a year would not be eligible for in-work benefits.” The British PM David Cameron however “wants any threshold to be set higher – perhaps nearer £15,000.”

So if Britain is going to remain in the EU it wants to disappear yet another large chunk of the welfare system. It seeks more ammunition for it’s bosses in their relentless war against labor. And Brussels and Berlin agree with the UK. With bosses like these who needs ISIS? Europe is digging it’s own grave. And Britain is digging the quickest. Is it a British conspiracy? Or an American conspiracy? Who cares? As it is the EU is beyond redemption. We say dig Britain, dig.

There is a catch however, for those of us who want the EU to disappear: a British exit would immediately make the EU a more attractive project. A Britain-less “Europe” would make Europe a more civilised place. A place worth belonging to. Instead of killing off the EU a Brexit might give the EU more legitimacy. And might be the start of an alternative Europe. “Europe” minus it’s chief imperialist and number one war criminal would offer some kind of break for the world. And “Europe” minus Britain’s financial markets and tax havens and neoliberal fanaticism would be a break for Europe’s working class. Is it possible that a Brexit would make the EU lovable?

Time will tell. For now let’s just embrace what looks like a win win situation. In or out Britain, by opening up another European can of worms, is speeding up the death of Europe’s status quo. And while they’re at it, why doesn’t Britain vote to exit Ireland as well? Now that would be a dream Europe.

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.