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I am a sad Brexiter
I have too much admiration for the intelligence and the competence of the British to make light
of the fact that they are putting the European construction at risk and I have too much love for
the latter to let it be destroyed at a time when we need it the most.
I have spent a good part of my life contributing, in my own small way, to building a Union that
represents the only way to, first and foremost, safeguard the values that have shaped us, but
also to promulgate them. This European model of society exists. It is deeply entrenched in the
History of our continent. Its roots can also be traced back to the violence of the many divisions
all across Europe, particularly the horrors of World War II which led European civilisation to
the brink of destruction: the repudiation of such destructive animosities is what has fuelled its
unflagging pursuit of unity. This European model represents the will and desire to establish a
world of justice grounded on the irrefutability of human dignity. As such, it is based on the
sanctity of Human Rights, of culture as a means of emancipation, of a model of sustainable
development and a vision of the international order built on multilateralism. Britons, whose
history is entwined with that of the Continent, share this culture but, as the heirs to an immense
empire and the undisputed victors of two world wars, they never had to rise above their
nationalism and the geopolitics that is the result of this.
I remain convinced that, amidst the fragmentation of globalisation that we are witnessing, this
model of the European Union, despite its political weaknesses or administrative unwieldiness,
remains our most precious heritage. This is what is at stake today.
The fact that the British people have chosen to go their own way is a mistake from my point of
view but is of course their prerogative. Consequently, given the impasse, if it were to come to
pass that the British Parliament refuses to vote on the agreement on the table and a second
referendum is not a viable option, then there must be a separation, and this must be done
A Hard Brexit will be course be costly for the Union, even if it turns out to be even more so for
the British. However, this cost will be nothing compared to the one that shall be incurred by all
the prevarications we see taking place. The irresponsibility of those that called for Brexit and
who later absconded from the responsibilities of power, the lies and inconsistencies that were
ultimately revealed to the voters, and which today make the British Parliament incapable of
governing in a way that does not seem a sad travesty and the cynicism of the leadership of the
political parties who cannot see beyond their own particular interests can all be seen as
ridiculous but is not really any concern of ours. What does concern us is the preservation of the
Union, starting with the Internal Market. Yet, since 1973, it cannot be said that the British have
been of any great help to us in this regard. With the exception of a long period under the Labour
Party from 1997 to 2010, their action was only focused on slowing down European construction
in accordance with what they deemed to be in their interest. Without them, the Union today
would in fact be much further along, much stronger and much more united. The most vocal
Brexiters are now showing their true face. They unashamedly write that perhaps remaining for
a time in the Union to undermine it from the inside might prove promising. Indeed, the masks
are coming off: they are more Europhobes than Brexiters, they seek more to harm the Union
than to serve their country; in other words, they wish to continue doing as they always have.
This is the mortal danger that we must guard ourselves against. If they vote in favour of the
draft agreement, they will exit in an orderly manner because the Commission’s work has been
exemplary; if they vote again and no longer wish to leave, they will remain with us; but if
neither of these two possibilities prove feasible, then I am a sad Brexiter: Brexit must take place
swiftly no matter the cost and the Union must continue on its journey. Half-hearted stances as
well as successive postponements endanger what we have built up, which represents our only
hope for a future that is free for our children.