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Let’s face it, the United Kingdom — the parts of it that matter in England and Wales anyway — has never really been that pushed on the European Union. One foot in, one foot out kind of job. So should the UK’s electorate do the, um, honourable thing and decide to leave the European Union, a Brexit as it’s being called (a bit unfair to Northern Ireland, situated on the island of Ireland as it is), a whole raft of exciting, new opportunities looks set to come their way. Here we take a look at some of the standout ones:
Eurovision: ‘Eur havin’ a laff!’
Europe’s annual song contest, an event that has been running since 1956, used to have a bit of prestige — it did introduce the world to ABBA remember, while the UK had memorable winners in Brotherhood of Man, Bucks Fizz and even Katrina and the Waves. However, in recent years it seems to have become less about the quality of songs and more about ridiculous on-stage antics. A Brexit would give the UK the perfect excuse to stand aside and leave those crazy eastern Europeans to it. (Perhaps Ireland could follow suit?)
Flood the Channel Tunnel
If the UK’s relationship with Europe has been a bit love-hate its, nay England’s, relationship with France has been much more hate than love down through the centuries. The Channel Tunnel / Eurotunnel that connects the two countries might be seen as a symbol of European integration and togetherness. Sod that. England should be erecting barriers to keep the French et al. out, not allowing them an easy route in. In the aftermath of a Brexit, Donald Trump will be on hand to help out in keeping those nasty foreigners at bay.
United England (and Wales)
Speaking of foreigners, the reality is that the heartbeat of the United Kingdom has always been England, with Wales in tow. Those guys on the peripheries, namely the Scots and Northern Irish, have generally been unstable nuisances. Voting to leave the EU could give the opportunity to do a bit of overdue pruning. The parsimonious Scots would have more reason to go it alone after chickening out a couple of years back. As for the Northern Irish, they might realise they’ve more in common with their southern brethren, finally putting an end to that ‘damned Irish question’ for Westminster.
Football’s coming home
The English — the essence of the UK as we’ve already deciphered — invented football (or soccer if you will) as we know it (China doesn’t count). Why then, should they have to pander to the likes of Uefa and Fifa? They should be dictating things, like the old empire used to do in many spheres back in the day. Exiting the European political union could open the door to re-evaluate how England does business with the rest of the continent from a football perspective. For example, if you’d all English referees at the European Championships, none of these diving prima donnas from the continent would get away with their antics and England would probably win the thing outright (or fail gloriously in a penalty shoot-out; plus ça change). Or if tournaments were just held in England, the country’s football hooligans could engage in their regular, just-for-a-laff ‘show of strength’ without having to put up with all the, um, over-the-top international castigation.
Sticking with sport, a Brexit could also pave the way for a return to golf’s original Ryder Cup, that of Great Britain versus the USA. Heck, even if it was just English players on their own, they’d easily dispose of the States these days.