British PM David Cameron’s exit speech won praise from some in the social media. Very quickly, however, sentiments changed with the recognition that it was his disastrous decision, coupled with bad timing and strategic misreading of sentiment that plunged global markets into turmoil and uncertainty. Across the globe, the reaction quickly moved from shock and horror to ridicule and contempt. Through the years that the UK has been part of the EU, it has, at best, done so in a half-hearted and hesitant manner.
In Churchill’s admission to General de Gaulle, the UK preferred the open sea to Europe if it was forced to make a choice. That sentiment has never wavered. Indeed, even though the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up in 1951, through the Treaty of Paris, after World War II to unify a devastated Europe, it was only in 1961 that Britain applied to join the European Economic Community that the ECSC had evolved into. It took over a decade, thereafter, for Britain to join the EEC.