Two years on and, nolens volens, the Brexit saga continues to overwhelm the British public. Engulfed by spiraling uncertainty, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Certainly, Brexit would set a precedent for any future European governments considering their versions of exodus, but it is safe to say that, given the immediate consequences on Britain’s role on the international scene, current Eurosceptic ambitions in some EU member states have run out of steam.
Truth be told, the EU has no time for Brexit anymore, with crucial European Parliament elections looming. Far-right movements are spreading like wildfire across Europe, fueled by the Orban/Trump/Bolsonaro rhetoric. However, importantly, accents are shifting from EU exit to an induced sense of loss of control. It won’t be long until failing democracies in Central Europe play the Russian threat card, whether justified or not. Meanwhile, France and Germany appear more united than ever and their policies may currently be paving the way to a different Europe.
Dial back a few decades and you will find Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman, Winston Churchill and other tireless unifiers create the foundation of the EU. Conceived as a visionary project whose sole purpose was to maintain the peace following two monstrous world wars, the EU and its values come to serve the greater good in the long term, at times at the cost of internal political credit.
Historians like Neagu Djuvara predicted long before the storm that, like any civilization, Europe was a bubble that would eventually burst – unless something changed. Britain seems to have unilaterally decided that the time had come. And it wouldn’t be the first attempt. Steering the wheel this time, however, unlike in 1973, are not Labour, but the Conservative party.
Across the La Manche, leading powers appear open to helping Britain – so long as being in the EU remains the best possible deal – but their focus has long shifted from Brexit. May 26 is when the real and understated D-Day in Europe happens, when 705 MEP seats will be filled and EU institution leadership will be elected accordingly, while the spare 46 seats that used to belong to the UK have already been wiped due to UK’s decision to leave the EU table. The fact that the spare 46 seats haven’t been put up for redistribution indicates a small door left open for the UK, should it change its mind yet again.
While some of the world’s superpowers are busy talking about wall building, queue jumping or job stealing, it begs the question of whether or not we’ve been missing the point all along. Are we investing wisely in our future?
Far away from the Brexit drama is also a Commonwealth member – Dominica – who is quietly set to pioneer a green economy model, much to the delight of Mr Macron and his climate change efforts. Struck by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Storm Erika in 2015, this Caribbean nation of just over 70,000 people is adamant on seeing the bigger picture for a more sustainable future. Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit pledged to make his country “the world’s first climate resilient nation”. Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme – ranked world’s best by FT’s 2017 and 2018 study, CBI Index – funds a number or green initiatives, such as a geothermal plant, thousands of hurricane-proof homes and eco-friendly, luxurious hotels and resorts. Surviving the wrath of climate change has united this small nation beyond any divisive, short-term topics and around looking after the global community. Dominica’s lesson to the world is that truly great nations think beyond their homes, their borders and their continents. When Brexit becomes old news, what does tomorrow hold for the citizens of the world?