I have for as long as I can remember had a keen interest in all things British. Be it pop culture and music, television, humour, history, football, clothing, the people, and last but not least, the beautiful English language. The UK, after Denmark, is my most frequently visited foreign country.
I have plunged myself into your debates and politics, not always with admiration, but always with fascination – despite the fact that it has nothing to do with my everyday life. I have made good friends, and had some of my best times on your shores. I’ve always felt welcome, and well met.
Now, I am not so sure.
Let’s leave all “facts” aside. The numbers are hard to make any sense of anyway, and The Economy feels like a beast of its own, held on a fragile leash by a small clique of very wealthy people. So I don’t want to talk figures. I want to talk about the message you send. The feelings you purvey.
You have made it clear that you are not interested in us anymore. That you are better off alone. You have made it clear, that instead of working out our differences, you’d rather, for worse or even more worse, leave.
Yes, Norway and Switzerland are doing fine outside the EU, and have some nice deals that give them special status. But you see, they were never in. They are, in a way, the lovers of Europe. Getting some of the EU love, without ever making that full commitment.
You, however, were a legal partner. We were married. You forced a very painful divorce upon us, and our relationship can never be the same again.
I am not saying that the English football hooligans are a fair representation of your country. But they were chanting “F**k off Europe, we’re all voting out!” while ransacking Lille and Marseille. You have to realize that this is the image the rest of Europe now have stuck on our cornea, as you make your lazy break up speech.
“It’s not me, it’s you.”
More than once have I heard the words: “If it wasn’t for us, you’d all be speaking German!” Mostly from US patriots admittedly, but that’s beside the point. Because suddenly, speaking German doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Britain. I am disappointed in you. You’ve let nostalgia and stubbornness get the better of you, and as a result we’ll all be worse off. You more than anyone.
Ich hoffe, dass ich falsch liege. Aber ich fürchte, ich bin es nicht.