CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
Banner photo courtesy of Associated Press.

Its Reluctance Notwithstanding, Britain Is a Part of Europe

Its Reluctance Notwithstanding, Britain Is a Part of Europe

The Island's History and Destiny Are Tethered to the Continent, but It Still Fights for Its Sense of Exceptionalism

The cars zipping unexpectedly by from right to left as you try to cross the street can be jarring for an American newly arrived in Britain. But it’s nowhere near as disorienting as hearing the locals talk about “Europe” as being somewhere else. It begs the existentialist question: If I’m not in Europe, where exactly have I landed? …

STORY

The Referendum That Won’t Make Great Britain Great Again

The Referendum That Won’t Make Great Britain Great Again

Angry Populists Think Quitting the EU Will Put the British People Back in Charge. If They Win the Vote, They’ll Be Sorely Disappointed.

In the winter of 1950, a young parliamentary candidate by the name of Margaret H. Roberts made a big promise to her would-be voters. Her country, the 24-year old political newcomer complained, had become weak: its economy was in tatters, its government too hesitant to exercise its might abroad. After years of decline and incompetence under a Labor government, it was “time to make Great Britain great again.

In keeping with the fashion of the times, the future Mrs. Thatcher wore a hat through much of her failed first campaign—though she does not seem to have had the wherewithal to emblazon it with her catchy …

STORY

‘Brexit’ Is a Losing Game

‘Brexit’ Is a Losing Game

Beyond Global Influence, National Security, and Economic Opportunity, the United Kingdom Would Lose Its Ability to Look Beyond Itself

In 1975, the United Kingdom voted on quitting Europe for the first time—just two years after it had joined the European Economic Community. A flip in power from the pro-European Conservative Party to the more Euroskeptic Labor Party led to a nationwide referendum on whether Britain should continue its EEC membership or stage a “Brexit,” severing its ties. The question posed to the British electorate was simple: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Community (the Common Market)?”

The “yes” vote won by a sizable margin—67 percent “yes” to 33 percent “no”—but the referendum was itself a sign of persistent problems in the U.K.-Europe relationship. Last month, following …

STORY

A Yes Vote on ‘Brexit’ Would Launch a Gripping Melodrama

A Yes Vote on ‘Brexit’ Would Launch a Gripping Melodrama

If Britons Choose to Abandon the EU, the Political and Economic Break Will Be Anything but Clean

The shorthand term “Brexit” is a snappy, media-friendly term suggesting a potentially abrupt historical moment, a milestone break with one reality and embrace of another. But the truth is far more ambiguous. Regardless of where voters stand on the question of the United Kingdom’s continued presence in the EU, the June referendum is unlikely to provide a tidy resolution of the issue, instead stirring up layers of further uncertainty.

No one really knows what a British exit from the EU might mean and anyone who says otherwise is lying (or, more likely, campaigning). What we can begin to discern, however, are the factors …

STORY

Reynolds on European Brit LEAD

The British Are Anchored by an Islander Mentality

Unlike Mainland Europeans, My Country Can't Just Imagine Its Borders Away

“You're abroad then?”
“Well I'm in Berlin. I'm an hour and a half away.”
“We can't put you up for a job when you're abroad.”
“What if I was in Newcastle? Edinburgh? ... Shetland?”
“Fine.”
“But they're further away than Berlin. I can be in London in an hour and a half!”
“You're out of the country.”

My acting friend, Ryan, has a British agent and a German agent because he pursues his career in both countries. That's a typical conversation with his British agent. If he’s not “in the country,” he laments, they don't put him up for jobs. Here’s one with his German agent: …

STORY
STORY

The U.K. Has Already Opted Out of the ‘Ever Closer Union’ With Europe

The U.K. Has Already Opted Out of the ‘Ever Closer Union’ With Europe

But the British May Yet Remain in an EU That Is More Democratic and Stops Obsessing About the Single Currency

On June 23, British citizens will be asked, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

On the surface, this would seem to be a simple yes-or-no question. But what exactly are voters supposed to take into consideration when casting their votes? What does the European Union mean to them? …

STORY
Banner photo courtesy of Associated Press.