As the polls indicate, tomorrow morning we’ll wake up with a Boris Johnson as head of the English executive. And from Gate 10 on Downing Street, you will notify us that on 31 January you will definitely leave the European Union. With this announcement, The Europeanists must be happy, because in reality England never conceived the European union, in fact, at these crucial moments of the common project, a strong Europe is better suited without the bells of Big Ben.
After World War II, continental European countries had understood that the recovery was solely and exclusively about peaceful cooperation and cross-country collaboration. Germany and France led the birth of the European project, the United Kingdom, however, was left out. declined the invitation to join the European Economic Community on a number of grounds. On the one hand, its economy had not suffered so much during World War II; On the other hand, the idea of a common market articulated around various European countries did not seem, then, as attractive as the Commonwealth and the constellation of colonies that had sustained the prosperity of the Empire for a century. And since then, Europe’s isolation has once again been a national desire.
Taking advantage of De Gaulle’s departure as a “defender of England’s non-entry into Europe” and Pompidou’s arrival at the french leadership, negotiations were facilitated that allowed the UK to join the European community in 1973 with a conservative government led by Edward Heath, this entry meant for the country a golden opportunity to relaunch the British economy without the country’s political sovereignty being threatened
Two decades later, the European Union is formed as we know it today, with the express purpose of deepening the construction of the federation with an economic and political project. The latter was intolerable for the British Conservatives, and in the Maastricht negotiations they obtained several opt-out clauses. Again, the UK becomes an anomaly, leaving aside much of the common policies that defined Community construction in the years that follow: currency, governance, borders.
Today, the European Union has major challenges such as the challenge of climate change, the digital agenda and cybersecurity, rethink transatlantic relations, structuring a new Africa plan, preserving the WTO system without harming the internal market, completing monetary union and finally external security. Tasks not easy that do not require the presence of England to carry them out.