I saw the results of the Brexit vote last week, and a part of me wanted to cheer and say “At last!” (and not just because something finally gained more headlines than the US presidential race!) while a part of me looks to the future with some anxiety.
Living in Britain through the formation of the Common Market, its evolution into the European Union and the birth of the Euro, the whole EU thing often left me feeling more frustrated than anything.
Yes, being in the Union gave people the freedom to live and work where they pleased. The single currency presumably gave people and businesses in member states a lot easier time of managing their money. But I would say that Britain’s heart was never really in it. I think the writing’s been on the wall for years now since Britain chose to stay out of the Euro.
Any plus sides to the arrangement were probably felt more by politicians, big business, and the City than by ordinary folk in Britain. On the downsides, new stories popped up regularly of the latest bureaucratic nonsense to emerge from Brussels. We were drowning in floods of news rules of breathtaking absurdity from regulating the permitted curvature of bananas to the recycling of teabags. And bureaucrats were being paid outlandish salaries on an obscene gravy train to come up with this nonsense.
And while the British instinctively believe in “playing fair” some countries always seemed happy to flout the rules while grabbing as much as they could from the Union. Dang it all, that’s just not cricket old chap, what?
I honestly don’t know if, given the choice, I’d have voted Remain or Leave. The frustration was clearly boiling over, but the effects of the vote will be far-reaching. Trouble is, there’s a lot of noise and speculation out there but precious little useful information.
I’m not going to make any predictions. Leaving the EU may be good for Britain, it may be disastrous. The UK may stay whole, it may fragment. The same goes for the EU. The knock-on effects around the world are incalculable.
All we can do is hang on for the ride.
And what better way to distract yourself than with a good book? The Goodreads group Support for Indie Authors is holding another “Free and Bargain Books” event this weekend, from July 1 through to July 4. Lots of authors and e-books of all genres to enjoy, either for free or priced at 99 cents.