My Comments: As someone with strong personal ties to Britain and the United Kingdom (I was born there in 1941), the vote to leave is profoundly shocking. One of my grandfathers and my favorite uncle served in the British Army during the Great War. They somehow came home alive. My father and his brother fought for Britain and its allies during the next global war, called World War II. Both somehow survived. But tens of millions of people didn’t.
Following these two conflicts, both of which engulfed the same generation, Winston Churchill, a leader of profound abilities, pushed hard to eliminate the chance of another such conflict in Europe by promoting the idea of a United States of Europe. It slowly happened and Britain became a member state in 1975.
This whole history, some of which engulfed me as a child, has been repudiated. Sure, it had flaws, but the premise was and is a valid one, and now Britain has told the world, and more specifically, the countries of Europe, that the idea of a united Europe is full of shit.
Granted, the rules are perhaps archaic, and are monitored by a bunch of bureaucratic goons, but the consequences of rejection are hard to fathom. Personally, by the time it all unfolds and either more armed conflicts or economic chaos is resolved, I’ll probably be dead. Which means I won’t have to worry about the consequences. But my kids and grandchildren will, which is one major reason why I thought the European Union, with Britain a full fledged member, was a good idea.
Here’s a link to an article that appeared this morning that articulates much of this far better than I could hope to. If you are looking for a way to wrap your brain around this profound global upheaval, check it out. It was written by a Henry Grabar, and appeared on a news feed I subscribe to on June 24, 2015.