I saw this quote on Twitter the other day - ‘Fear is only temporary. Regrets last forever.’ And it rung very true to my stance on Brexit, something the author most likely wasn’t intending.
In 2016 I was a rabid Remainer. Sponsored by fear and powered by ignorance, like many young Brits, I bought the talk of political and economic downfall. I believed David Cameron when he said that this vote will ‘poison our politics’ and I listened to my local MLAs sing of an economic fight that is dawning on the UK to sustain its prosperity. I was bombarded from so many sides with such manipulated truths and hysteria; even Polish media which, as a Polish national, I listened to with unquestionable trust, talked about concepts like ‘deportation’.
A year and a half in, I am thankful I wasn’t allowed to vote at 16. I am thankful for the 51.89% vote to leave that prompted me to research and inspired independent thinking and see the EU for what it is.
I’d like to tell you about what I found out.
First off, I would like to establish that the EU had surpassed what it was meant to be - an organisation for Europe’s voices to be heard as a collection of small countries. Europe is no longer made of small countries; France and Germany are superpowers comparable to the US in global influence, and they do not need the EU, which they dominate, for their voices to be heard. Why do they maintain the most power? Eurocrats are desperately trying to stay in power and are not giving way for the smaller countries to take leadership and come on the world stage, it has almost become an instrument for the big countries to fester their historical imperial attitudes over the smaller countries in Europe.
And they have a clear agenda. The socialist-liberal views of Timmermans and Juncker would be acceptable if they didn’t seep into the EU policy so much. This has alienated many conservative countries and has created a rise of right-wing governments in countries like Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and even Germany and France. These notions have not been welcomed. It seems like the EU wants Europe to conform to a certain ideology. Notable with Merkel’s shenanigans during the latest general election in Germany and her defeatist attitude.
The EU has also been putting great emphasis on unity without question, which is alarming. Case-study of Catalonia. The EU described the incident as a ‘internal affair’, and I am obviously a big supporter of reduced EU influence, however what came to my mind when Catalonia was literally fighting for independence outside the polls, was Kosovo. Kosovo, a disputed region which proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008, which eerily parallels Catalonia. What is different, however, is that Kosovo was successful because of how much praise and recognition it got from the EU and the member states. It was practically a race to recognise Kosovo and its independence from Serbia. Why? Is it because Serbia is friends with Russia? Is it because Spain held the EU council presidency 4 times? It’s a clear example of hypocrisy and showcases the growth of tribal attitudes in the European politicians.
While on Catalonia, a brief comment on why the EU should’ve been involved in that particular instance. People were beaten on the streets, stopped from exercising their democratic rights. It shows the current focus of the EU, maintaining allies, even at the cost of people’s well-being.
Similarly, they don’t care that fining the UK £39 billion will hurt the taxpayer, or that the people of Turkey would benefit from EU involvement in the government. The EU is highly tribal and cannot see past the governing powers of a country to acknowledge how much potential good they can do for the people. They seem almost obsessed with their regulations and policies that the member states have to abide by.
They have lost sight of the good they are supposed to do. The £130 million a year that the travelling circus spends on relocation to Strasburg from Brussels, and vice versa, is a testament of their commitment to ridiculing themselves.
As I am writing this, Wednesday 20th December 2017, I am watching my president address the media about the EU’s decision to trigger article 7 towards Poland, which would put sanctions on us and ban us voting in EU summits. In full disclosure; I am disgusted and infuriated. The judicial reforms that the EU deems ‘unconstitutional’ are reforms for the people, who have been deeply affected by the severity of the corruption in the judicial system which has left unreformed from the period of USSR’s govern over Poland. In fact, the judges and administrators are the same people who were at the top during the occupation. The Polish foreign minister, Waszczykowski, said it best; ‘let us protect our constitution, not your view of our constitution’ when speaking to Timmermans.
The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is an ex-prime minster for Poland and ex-leader of the now biggest opposition party who, in their last 8 years of rule and until being overtaken by the current leaders, have been exposed numerously for corruption and Russia-friendly attitudes. Tusk throughout his ‘career’ has been highly critical of the current leading party, and now, as the ‘President of the European Council’, has the pleasure of attempting to punish the Polish government. These are the kinds of people that the EU has in their ranks, people who are so despised in their own countries that they find refuge in Brussels only.
I believe that the UK is going to set a precedent; it will show that we can remove the middle-man and work with different countries without an organisation, but instead with diplomatic, independent treaties. The EU has become a hurdle for freedom and democracy as of late, and must be reprimanded or disbanded. Otherwise, I see nothing to stop it from creating a gang so strong that it will undermine the very sovereignty of its member states states.
Maja came to NI from Poland in 2008. She is currently studying for A levels at Lurgan College.