Brexit : what will remain of the United Kingdom ?
An earthquake, a thunderstone, the independence day …! Everything almost has been said during these past twenty four hours or so …
Certainly a very, very bad surprise and the beginning of an era of doubt and uncertainties for the future of UK. And for Europe too.
It may not mean absolute chaos: England will survive (we know her capacity to be resilient, to face danger and threats …), and so will Europe one way or the other.
Nethertheless Brexit makes it a big step back, for several reasons.
It seems to be the expression of fear and both identitarian and insular retreat. “We are a small island with the population of France, sinking with that influx of new populations …”
The results clearly evidence several factors:
London, the affluent, swinging London, versus most of the rest of England and Wales. But strangely enough Birmingham, rather wealthy and developing at a good pace voted Out. But Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool choose Remain.
Scotland and Northern Ireland (normally opposed to London’s establishment) clearly stands in favour of Europe. And of course Gibraltar (I have discovered the Channel Islands, Jersey, Guernsey did not vote).
Older people versus young people : the elderly remember the ancient times, long before the Common Market, “we had jobs, security, a “sensation of freedom and influence…” - a lost paradise, if ever be. But no unanimity among the young. Levels of education disparities do count a lot (Cambridge : 75% Remain), as well as levels of household income. See the Guardian maps.
Out for what? For a dream? Compared to the sixties times have changed … What is the project for the Out? Independence in an ocean of competition, new threats, growing angers and dangers from all parts. Asian car industry just announced some investments could move out of Britain.
A step back for Europe too
Scotland and Northern Ireland (within Eire or not) should stay in…
What about Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Greece for different reasons? Shall we assist to a kind of reverse “printemps des peuples”? Leading to the irreversible deconstruction of what the post-war generation struggled to build step by step.
A new Deal for Europe
Lost sight of, not visible for a majority of people? Massively rejected? The European project has not managed to meet expectations nor promote a cultural, social, economic durable model of its own.
Despite it absolutely fabulous amount of assets and values, cultural, technological resources and skills, Europe never jumped beyond specific, sectoral, even successful ones (ERASMUS, AIRBUS, European culture capitals, European spatial Agency policies, etc. …) or rather controversial and more rigid programmes such as the PAC/ACP. Our common currency? Fifteen years after, partly convincing though admired by others (Japan, China, South America) ….
To regain momentum in popularity, a few suggestions:
-Young people inclusive education and training cooperation at all levels (apprenticeship).
-An affordable “cultural pass” to events all over Europe and special fares to travel …
- Energy, mobility and climate new tangible initiatives …
- Focus on rurality (its diverse ways of living, incentives to new farmers, promotion of local products …).
- Focus on a common compatible agenda for social services coordination.
- Focus on On line open courses (MOOCs) to mix cultures, cross pedagogic pratices…
At all professional levels and in our fields, we take therefore this opportunity to send out a signal, an urgent call for papers, contributions and forums.
JL Husson firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't want to spoil the party so I'll go I would hate my disappointment to show There's nothing for me here so I will disappear If she turns up while I'm gone please let me know … The Beatles 1967