Well, it’s finally happened! The event that I never thought would come about in my lifetime has happened. In spite of the best and worst efforts of the Remainers, Remainiacs, Remoaners, scaremongers, Eurocrats, industrial and political elites, insufferable, condescending buffoons who think they know what’s best for us, not to mention out-and-out liars and bullies, the United Kingdom has officially left the European Union.
Ever since the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973 (along with the Irish Republic and Denmark), British relations with Brussels and Strasbourg have been anything but smooth. Over the past half century the EEC has mutated from a loose grouping of countries which shared a common market into a monstrous entity, one that is not only economic but political and is starting to become more federal and military. Being a part of that monstrosity does not suit the UK at all.
Where do I stand in all this? Well, I was born in 1971, two years before the UK joined the EEC so I have no memory at all of what life outside the EEC was like. I gradually became aware of this entity called the European Economic Community as I was entering adolescence in the early 1980s. At first I saw it as an alternative way of life and government to what I had known before. Northern Ireland, with all its troubles, a growing dole queue and an economy heading further and further down the plughole, was anything but a utopia. I learned of the benefits that membership of the EEC brought and the millions of pounds they gave to regenerate Belfast.
After 1990, however, I began to see the EEC in a different light. I already knew of their agricultural policies which had led to gross overproduction of food, especially meat, butter, milk and wine. I also knew of how overfishing was depleting stocks of fish in the North Sea. Now I was learning of their plans to become more politically cohesive, more federal, more like the USA. And the UK and Ireland were going to be sucked into it willy-nilly.
This vision of a United States of Europe did not appeal to me. Looking at the EU in its present form, all I can see is a lot of nobodies that somehow got elected as Members of the European Parliament blowing volumes of hot air. The most important of them are mostly nameless, faceless and totally unaccountable to the common folk like you and me. For every practical and sensible piece of legislation they pass there are who knows how many more that are quite pointless.
Now the UK is not entirely free of EU rules just yet. There is still a transition period which will run until the end of 2020 where politicians on all sides hammer out all the deals and deal with all the paperwork necessary and unnecessary.
How will Brexit affect me? It won’t, not directly at any rate. I’ll simply dot and carry on as I always have while being amused at all the scary predictions and worst case scenarios that failed to come true.