It’s time for a Full English Brexit

Over the Christmas and New Year holiday, we are all brought to consider the highest values in our life. For those of us with faith, it is a time to learn from the ancient story of Christianity: the birth of Jesus. But this time also offers us all an insight into the indispensable value of family, friendship and community.

These values were some of the core reasons why Britain voted to leave the increasingly soulless institutions of the EU in 2016. Contrasted with the warmth of community bonds, local traditions and transcendental values, the grey halls and diktats of Brussels risk looking unnecessary and outdated, and not just to Brits. Recent clashes between the Commission, Poland, and Hungary point to similar disaffection with the European elite elsewhere on the Continent.

How long will it take the leaders of the European Union to realise the importance of family, faith and tradition? It is safe to say the bonds uniting European societies existed millennia before the EU. If the Parliament and the Courts do not respect these time-honoured traditions, they risk presenting themselves as not only unnecessary, but harmful to the very countries they seek to convince to join the European project.

Members such as Croats, Poles, Hungarians and Lithuanians, for example, are majorly opposed to gay marriage, despite it being a hallmark of the bloc’s ‘cultural’ agenda. Metropolitan elites in Brussels and Paris will unearth similar rebellions against  their values across their target members in southeast Europe.

Further, it is not unreasonable to identify such widespread disregard, among the EU’s ruling class, for Britain’s unique identity, history and culture as a vital reason for Brexit. For the EU to contribute meaningfully to the twenty-first century political discourse, it has to be drastically reformed, and begin by listening to the concerns of member states. It is impossible to see how it can survive without devolving power to nation states, and striving to learn from their cultures rather than demeaning them.

As a Lithuanian by birth, although I support some degree of European interaction on the level of finance, trade and cultural initiatives, I cannot back the push to bully Britain into accepting unfair terms of departure. The UK voted democratically to leave the institution in 2016, on the basis they were opting out of the ECJ, Parliament, and all that entailed, not that they would stay as closely tied to them as possible. Indeed, why vote at all if this remains the case?

For the best of Britain to be preserved and to avoid the risk of technocratic rule, its people must be respected, as well as the democratic tradition. It would be an indictment of our political integrity to make the terms of departure so complex and bureaucratic as to fall into the very trap Britain opted to avoid four years ago.

There is hope that a deal with the EU may be achieved soon, ahead of January 2021, and that both parties to the dispute can begin to work together, yet distinctly, moving forwards. For the sake of the democratic vote, the EU’s other manifold problems, and to preserve trust between the bloc and non-member countries, I urge the two sides to make the minor concessions necessary to finalise a deal. The longer it takes to agree, the more the EU’s bureaucracy gains control of a fragile situation.

As Head Chef, it is yet to be seen whether Mr Johnson can cook up a Full English Brexit. But with the right ingredients on the table as we draw nearer to the transition period deadline on 31 December, there is every reason to believe he can. As a last resort, he could walk out of the kitchen, and watch chaos ensue on the other side of the Channel.

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