Niall Ferguson in the Wall Street Journal writing from the vantage point of 2021 tells the story of how the European Union became the United States of Europe. I have no idea if this is how things will turn out, but it is humarous look at the current crisis with good bits information and commentary thrown in.
The euro is still circulating, though banknotes are now seldom seen. (Indeed, the ease of electronic payments now makes some people wonder why creating a single European currency ever seemed worth the effort.) But Brussels has been abandoned as Europe's political headquarters. Vienna has been a great success.
David Cameron—now beginning his fourth term as British prime minister—thanks his lucky stars that, reluctantly yielding to pressure from the Euroskeptics in his own party, he decided to risk a referendum on EU membership. His Liberal Democrat coalition partners committed political suicide by joining Labour's disastrous "Yeah to Europe" campaign.
Egged on by the pugnacious London tabloids, the public voted to leave by a margin of 59% to 41%, and then handed the Tories an absolute majority in the House of Commons. Freed from the red tape of Brussels, England is now the favored destination of Chinese foreign direct investment in Europe.
And in 2013, in a historical twist only a few die-hard Ulster Unionists had dreamt possible, the Republic of Ireland's voters opted to exchange the austerity of the U.S.E. for the prosperity of the U.K. Postsectarian Irishmen celebrated their citizenship in a Reunited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with the slogan: "Better Brits Than Brussels."
. . . European President Karl von Habsburg . . . still known to close associates by his royal title of Archduke Karl of Austria . . .
For the best laugh of the day read the whole article. Is this close to what will happen? Who knows?
Hat tip to David of Duff and Nonsense.
6 months ago