vendredi 24 juin 2016

My dear English friends, thank you for your sacrifice!

My dear English and Welsh friends, thank you, heartily. You have resisted in favor of the REMAIN, from the most rational to the most apocalyptic argument. You have chosen to ignore the risks of explosion in your glorious country, Scottish and Northern Irish, two of the four nations, which remained from your great empire, having massively -and shamefully- voted in favor of the Union. You took the risk to divide for a long time your society between young graduated urban people and old rural poorly educated people leaving a massive social gap. It was an unprecedented vote of courage as it will politically and economically devastate and weaken your country for long. Europe can just be grateful.

It shows your sense of sacrifice from which the continent has benefited many times, when you saved the world from Napoleon’s claws and the German hegemony twice. You finally realized that your island’s place was not within the Union. Although you already had a large foot outside (for the budget, currency, Schengen, political security, immigration, banking union, etc.), your presence alone was enough to block any attempt for further European integration, not only because we feared to displease you but also because it was consistently necessary to invent hazardous “black boxes” to maintain your "special status". Because of you, EU initiatives and reforms have always failed at bringing adhesion, support and legitimacy across the continent. Despite our best efforts, you continued to argue Europe was over-regulated and too interventionist, while most Europeans found it far too liberal. Of course we had no chance to experiment Margaret Thatcher so we remain, overall, attached to the welfare state, state intervention in regulated market, these many things you hate. Furthermore, we had to accept to render tasteless the project of our founding fathers, that to practice a medium-term policy that ultimately displeased everyone: Europe has managed the feat to invent regulatory neoliberalism!

You witnessed the financial and political shocks EU faced since 2008 and you understood that EU could die under the weight of its contradictions, its paralysis, the compromises and mediocrity of its national leaders, fueling more and more skepticism into a European project accused to cause all national problems. So you decided to give us a big kick in the rear: if the impact of the departure of one of the four major EU countries doesn’t wake us up, if we do not mobilize each other to revive a project that ensured peace over the continent for almost 70 years, then yes, it deserves to die. Your Churchillian awakening will stay in the history! Because you know what awaits you: after the Second World War, you were stuck in the depression so deeply that the IMF had to intervene to rescue you, as vulgar Greeks. Your GDP, when you joined in 1973, was one of the lowest in the EEC, and that's why you had to join a project that was so repugnant to you. If Churchill was to favor the United States of Europe, it was obviously with the United Kingdom as the tutelary power and not as a single member, not larger than France!

I'm impressed, as always, by your sense of sacrifice and your collective interest. When I think about what you now have to do, first to cut the links between you and us (200 trade agreements signed on your behalf by the Union you will have to renegotiate, 80,000 pages of EU laws you’ll have to process in order to avoid loopholes, euro transactions that will come back to the continent); second to try to maintain access to the single market, especially for your banks and financial services. I can only praise your courage! Years of uncertainty, turmoil, and heartbreak are lying ahead. Hats off, English gentlemen’s! Hopefully we will show us worthy for your sacrifice. 

Nevertheless, from a continental standpoint, good luck to your lonely adventure and greetings from France ...

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