with Britain as an integral part
Michael York builds on his earlier blog "It's exciting to be a European" and describes his personal journey from rejoicing in the nation state to embracing the idea of a greater European Union.
When I first came to Europe, I rejoiced in the individual nation-state and the existence of borders, and I championed local self-determination. A number of years later, I began visiting Britain and coming to know England, Scotland, Wales and also Ireland. Having since become a British national, I can say that I adore London, the British monarchy, the people, the landscapes, the history, cream teas, the theatre, the concerts. But I have also come to adore Europe as well. The beauties that are Britain, my English, Scottish and Irish friends, the quizzical yet wonderful Anglo-British mind, none of these are lessened by being a part, an exciting part, of European culture – including its unprecedented political experiment.
The United States of America was initially also a great experiment. And while we might not be happy with what it has become, we can always learn from our neighbours and relatives hopefully to not make the same mistakes. European culture is spectacularly multifaceted and will always be so – consisting of English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and more than two dozen spheres in all; each being an integral player and member of an incredible historic output by any and all standards.
Yes, we have made mistakes – from imperialism, conflict and war to blind commercialism and occasional faulty technology. But we have also produced music, the arts, literature, philosophy and poetry. The European narrative is a credible rival to the world’s other cultural outputs – and Britain is a legitimate and integral part of that unique output and the collective political needs of the world’s future. So now, despite my initial wish for civil atomisation, I have come to embrace the idea of a greater European union – culturally, commercially and even politically. In rectifying the needs of this last, Britain is an undeniable voice in any negotiation for change and improvement.
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