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United Kingdom: We Will, We Will – E.U. Later

By Anthony Lane, July 1, 2016. Originally published in The New Yorker.

On June 23rd (2016), a referendum was held, asking United Kingdom citizens whether the country should remain in the European Union. The reply, to global amazement, was “No.”

Almost fifty-two per cent of voters expressed a desire to leave the E.U.

Donald Trump, too, has melded his mockery of the establishment with an appeal to patriotic zest, raising the prospect that someone, somewhere, might sneak over a border and steal your job as if it were an unlocked car.

He tweeted, “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back.

Unfortunately, Scotland is one chunk of the kingdom which did not vote to get out of the E.U.; but, then, Trump was never one to get stuck in a bunker of facts.

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The United Kingdom is an oxymoron. That much is clear from the crazed events that unfolded in Britain last week. On June 23rd, a referendum was held, asking U.K. citizens whether the country should remain in the European Union. The reply, to global amazement, was “No.” Almost fifty-two per cent of voters expressed a desire to leave the E.U. In effect, the country has turned to Europe, with a brave smile, and declared, “We’re sorry, but it’s over. To be frank, we never loved you anyway. All we can do now is try to make the split as painless as possible. Who knows, you may be happier without us. Oh, and, by the way, we’re keeping the cat.”

The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee blew into Britain on June 24th to bestow his blessing on a renovated golf course, declared the vote to be “fantastic,” and linked it explicitly with his own mystical quest.

Donald Trump, too, has melded his mockery of the establishment with an appeal to patriotic zest, raising the prospect that someone, somewhere, might sneak over a border and steal your job as if it were an unlocked car. The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee blew into Britain on June 24th to bestow his blessing on a renovated golf course, declared the vote to be “fantastic,” and linked it explicitly with his own mystical quest. He tweeted, “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back.” Unfortunately, Scotland is one chunk of the kingdom which did not vote to get out of the E.U.; but, then, Trump was never one to get stuck in a bunker of facts.

The country has turned to Europe, with a brave smile, and declared, “We’re sorry, but it’s over. To be frank, we never loved you anyway. All we can do now is try to make the split as painless as possible. Who knows, you may be happier without us. Oh, and, by the way, we’re keeping the cat.

🔝


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