|If you are Hungarian, don't look at this... (Source)|
The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It covers an area of 4,324,782 sq km (1,669,808 sq mi), with an estimated population of over 508 million. It operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making. Its institutions are the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the European Court of Auditors. WNow I pinched that opening graphic from a Wikipedia article about something called Euroscepticism. Long story short -
Euroscepticism (also known as EU-scepticism or anti-EUism) is criticism of, or opposition to, the European Union (EU). Traditionally, the main source of Euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state, and a desire to slow, halt or reverse integration within the EU. Other views often held by Eurosceptics include perceptions of a democratic deficit in the European Union or a belief that it is too bureaucratic. Euroscepticism should not be confused with anti-Europeanism, which refers to the rejection of the culture of Europe and Europeanisation, and sentiments, opinions and discrimination against European ethnic groups. A Eurobarometer survey of EU citizens in 2009 showed that support for membership of the EU was lowest in Latvia, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. Euroscepticism is found in political parties across the political spectrum; however, the rise in radical right-wing parties in Europe is strongly linked to a rise in Euroscepticism in the continent.I was stationed in Germany after the borders "came down." There was still a border crossing kiosk on the edge of the village we lived in, which was on the Dutch border. It was most convenient to travel back and forth to work via a short cut through the Netherlands than it was to take the "long way" staying totally within Germany.
Ditto when traveling to the nearest U.S. bases at Bitburg and Spangdahlem which led one through the Netherlands, then Belgium, before crossing back into Germany via the Schnee Eifel.
Entering la belle France still required the checking of papers and the like in 1992. A trip to the UK when The WSO was in the sixth grade (which would make it 1996 by my reckoning) required the checking of passports in Dover at the British terminus of the Chunnel (said marvel I got to ride through there and back again).
Now in an age of terrorism and wandering hoards of ne'er-do-wells (who may or may not harbor terrorists in their midst) it seems a bad idea to just let folks wander about one's countryside without a "by your leave."
As it seems wicked easy to get into Europe along its southern flanks (and I can tell you, Italian airport security looks completely lame next to French airport security, I can hardly imagine what Greek security is like), then once you've wandered onto the continent, no doubt having been provided a complementary cup of ouzo at the border, you are now, to paraphrase the old Southwest ad, "free to move about the continent."
Now the Brits have always seemed to me a rather sensible folk. They are under heavy pressure from an influx of Muslims into the country and they've been getting rather tired of the bureaucrats in Brussels trying to run the whole show.
And having said "Eurocrats" making rather a dog's breakfast of the whole thing to boot!
So it's understandable that they would want out of the EU. As Americans I think the best we can do is be supportive of our British cousins, not rush to judgement about the "wisdom" of their move or anything like that. It's their country, they want it back.
I understand that.
Oh boy, do I understand that.
While I have no dog in this hunt I can say this, I think it's the right move.
Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands? (I do believe they are contemplating a similar move.) You know what to do...