Brexit is like leaving a sinking ship

The EU is deeply divided and tensions are growing. Britain could not have left at a better time.

Tarric Brooker

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

Like leaving a drama-filled relationship, Britain’s exit from the European Union came at just the right time – shortly before yet another episode of controversy and infighting erupted, due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Rather than being in the middle of this new crisis, like so many before in recent EU history, this time Britain is watching on safely from the sidelines as the members of the EU battle over age-old questions of a fiscal union which it has struggled to answer even after decades.

In recent weeks, the European Commission has threatened to sue the German government over a ruling in its constitutional court. Berlin and Paris have agreed to a bailout of southern Europe. But the amount offered is not nearly enough to save Italy and Spain from economic crisis. And at the same time, it is far more than many northern states are willing to give. Each day of conflict brings the EU one step closer to the precipice. Just as the Eurozone debt crisis did before, the Covid crisis has further exposed the power imbalances and fault lines between the various states within the union.

Meanwhile, despite having major problems with Covid-19, Britain will soon – finally – be largely free and clear of the slow-motion trainwreck taking place across the channel. The trials and tribulations in Brussels that once influenced everything from farm quotas to the laws of the land will soon be a fading memory of a bygone era.

Now, rather than focusing on bailout after bailout or ever-closer union, Britain once again stands alone. Once an exit settlement has been paid, British taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for propping up the ever-troubled Eurozone.

Like the proverbial Titanic, Britain chose not to embark on the next chapter of the European Union’s journey. At the time this decision was ridiculed. Britain was told it was too weak to break free and that it would end up an irrelevant island in the North Atlantic. Without the protective strength of the EU, bigger players like the United States and China would take advantage, it was argued. But in this brave new world we now find ourselves in, Britain is getting a headstart in the drive towards economic self-sufficiency that many across mainland Europe now recognise is needed.

In time, other nations may leave the Titanic EU’s sinking hulk, searching for better times ahead. But by refusing to embark on the next leg of the EU’s voyage, Britain has given itself an important advantage. It can now act solely in the interests of the British people, while the rest of the EU spends the coming years struggling to hold together its grand experiment.

Tarric Brooker is a journalist.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

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