Brexit is not an end to Britain’s liaison with Europe. It’s just a new beginning | Dan Snow | Opinion | The Guardian


They are sick of the whole thing. They just want it to be over. No more uncertainty. Brexiteers want resolution. They will be disappointed. Willing something does not make it so. Aethelred wanted Viking raids to stop. The kingdoms of Wales, Scotland and Ireland wished the Norman and Plantagenet monarchs of England would cease their predatory lunges into their territory. Neville Chamberlain hoped that Hitler would be content with Czechoslovakia. Oliver Letwin wished there was an island we could send all migrants to. The hopes of politicians and rulers are whispers in a gale.

There is no end state in our relations with Europe. There is only millennia of collaboration, conquest, disputes, exchange, competition and alliance.

We live on a small archipelago just off the north-west coast of Europe. We are not a tribe cocooned by towering, razor-sharp mountain ridges in the New Guinea highlands. We are connected. At times, continental armies have marched across the fields of Wiltshire, Wexford and West Lothian. At others, the British have watered their horses in the Seine, Rhine and Danube. The seas around us have facilitated exchange, not prevented it. People, ideas and stuff have crossed the water, mocking the decrees of princes and parliaments.

 

Source: Brexit is not an end to Britain’s liaison with Europe. It’s just a new beginning | Dan Snow | Opinion | The Guardian