Thursday, 23 June 2016

Brexit explained

As the United Kingdom stands on the brink of remaining or leaving the European Union, I am reminded of this excerpt from the Yes Minister television series of long ago. Season One, I believe it was, when this exchange took place:

Sir Humphrey: "Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well?"
Jim Hacker: "That's all ancient history, surely."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times."

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