At 1:00 am this morning, I was reading about the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the European Union. It passed with an incredibly small majority, 51.89%. That means that almost half of the voters, the vast majority from Great Britain, wanted to stay in the EU. Can we say a house divided?
I went to the website of the Council On Foreign Relations and found Winston Churchill’s speech at the University of Zurich on September 19, 1946. Churchill said the countries of Europe needed to unite after surviving the horrors of two world wars. Here are some excerpts from his speech:
“If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance there would be no limit to the happiness, prosperity and glory which its 300 million or 400 million people would enjoy.”
“We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing.”
“In this last struggle crimes and massacres have been committed for which there is no parallel since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, no equal at any time in human history. The guilty must be punished. Germany must be deprived of the power to rearm and make another aggressive war. But when all this has been done, as it will be done, as it is being done, there must be an end to retribution. There must be what Mr Gladstone many years ago called a “blessed act of oblivion”. We must all turn our backs upon the horrors of the past and look to the future.”
You can read the entire speech at their website:
The last 70 years have been spent trying to unite the countries of Europe. In 1949 the Council Of Europe was formed. That was followed by the European Coal And Steel Community, the European Economic Community, the European Atomic Energy Community, the European Parliament, etc. Finally, in 1993, Churchill’s dream came to pass. The European Union was formed, complete with a common currency – the euro. Only Britain held on to its own money system.
Now the UK is pulling out of the European Union. The stock market is going wild in reaction, and there’s no telling how badly the shock waves will affect the world economy. It will be interesting to see which country will be next to pull out of the deal. I’m guessing it will be Germany. Time will tell.