brexit and the spirit of dunkirk
Last Updated : GMT 22:34:41
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Brexit and the spirit of Dunkirk

Arab Today, arab today

brexit and the spirit of dunkirk

Amir Taheri

For the past two weeks, “Dunkirk” has topped the box office in cinemas throughout the UK. The film is a fictional rendition of the British evacuation from the French port of Dunkirk in May 1940, as Hitler’s invading divisions blitzed their way toward Paris. The evacuation involved more than 400,000 soldiers, including many Frenchmen and troops recruited in British Empire units such as Canada and Australia.
The greatest retreat in the history of warfare prevented the Germans from annihilating the bulk of the British military, giving London the chance to prepare to fight another day. At first glance, there was little heroism in such a vast force fleeing without fighting; armies usually retreat after they have fought and lost a battle.
Yet what came to be known as “the spirit of Dunkirk” was truly heroic as thousands of ordinary Brits, defying Hitler’s vast war machine, made their way to the French port — often aboard small fishing boats, dinghies and even a few floating bathtubs — to help bring the stranded soldiers back to England. Over the following decades, “the spirit of Dunkirk” came to indicate a key characteristic of the British: Fighting when their backs are to the wall.
So unsurprisingly, those who campaigned for Brexit last year have seized on the excitement created by the new film to inject some heroism in their narrative. “Yes,” they say, “Britain is heading for tough times outside the EU, but helped by the spirit of Dunkirk, it shall overcome all hurdles.” One leading Brexit campaigner has even demanded that the film be shown in schools to boost the morale of the young whose lives will be most affected by leaving the EU.
But it is hard to draw a parallel between Brexit and Dunkirk, if only because the EU cannot be equated with Nazi Germany. Nor was the UK at war with the EU, an alliance of democratic nations whose latest version Britain played a leading role in creating. For Brits in Dunkirk, it was a matter of life and death. But regarding the EU, Britain enjoyed membership in the world’s biggest economic bloc alongside most of its NATO allies.
Brexit advocates cite four reasons for the UK to leave. The first is “regaining lost national sovereignty.” But in its White Paper published earlier this year, the government declared that Britain never lost sovereignty. EU membership meant sharing, not losing sovereignty.
Britain already shares sovereignty in many international and regional organizations, including NATO, the UN, the Commonwealth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. If sharing sovereignty is equated with its loss, the UK should withdraw from more than 120 organizations, something even North Korea has not done.
In any case, EU membership involves sharing sovereignty on a limited number of issues linked to commerce, industrial standards, agriculture and working conditions. It does not extend to taxation and interest rates, let alone national security, defense and foreign policy. The fact that Britain can leave the EU or any other international organ of which it is a member shows that shared sovereignty does not mean loss of sovereignty.
The second reason cited by Brexiteers, “control of borders,” is equally bogus. Anyone entering the UK knows they must show a passport or identity card and be formally admitted into the country. EU citizens have the right to enter the territory of any member state without a visa to visit, look for a job, study or simply reside.
But under the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, they cannot stay beyond three months unless they can prove they have a job, are in fulltime education or have independent means of support. Member states can, and in many cases do, expel EU citizens who do not fulfil the stated conditions.
The third bogus claim is about “rule by unelected officials in Brussels.” The Council of Ministers is the EU’s main decision-making and legislative body, and is composed of ministers from member states, all of whom are democratically elected. It forms the union’s legislative body together with the European Parliament, which is also directly elected by voters in all member states.
When it comes to the so-called “Brussels bureaucracy,” it is necessary to remember that it is composed of individuals appointed by elected governments of member states, in the same way civil servants are appointed in each country with clear patterns of accountability. There is nothing that the “Brussels bureaucracy” can do without the approval of the governments of member states and their parliaments.
The final reason cited by Brexiteers is the claim that the UK, outside the EU, would be better able to make trade deals with the rest of the world. But the UK is already trading with more than 190 countries, many of which have full or partial trade deals with the EU that the UK has played a key role in shaping.
It is not because of EU membership that the UK is exporting to the US half as much as Germany does. The reason is that Germans produce goods that Americans want to buy and the Brits do not, because the UK has specialized in service industries at the expense of manufacturing. Being in or out of the EU need not alter that fact.
There are no objective reasons to necessitate Brexit, whereas the Dunkirk retreat was an inescapable necessity. But regarding Brexit, it would be foolish to ignore the subjective, emotional factors. Many Brits feel there are too many foreigners in their country, and blame EU citizens for declining standards in their National Health Service, shortage of affordable housing, pressure on schools and even traffic jams.
Dunkirk was about running away only to return. Will Brexit repeat that?

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

brexit and the spirit of dunkirk brexit and the spirit of dunkirk

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today AnOther Magazine names fashion coordinator

GMT 10:28 2017 Thursday ,14 December

AnOther Magazine names fashion coordinator
Arab Today, arab today Flights between Russia &Egypt to resume

GMT 02:52 2017 Saturday ,16 December

Flights between Russia &Egypt to resume
Arab Today, arab today 3 Ways to Find the Best Interior Design Ideas

GMT 09:49 2017 Tuesday ,12 December

3 Ways to Find the Best Interior Design Ideas
Arab Today, arab today Dutch police open fire on man with knife

GMT 03:07 2017 Saturday ,16 December

Dutch police open fire on man with knife
Arab Today, arab today Polish regulator defends TV channel's fine

GMT 09:49 2017 Saturday ,16 December

Polish regulator defends TV channel's fine
Arab Today, arab today Dubai’s first ever ‘Modest Fashion Week’ draws

GMT 11:26 2017 Tuesday ,12 December

Dubai’s first ever ‘Modest Fashion Week’ draws
Arab Today, arab today Lufthansa gives up on buying

GMT 06:56 2017 Friday ,15 December

Lufthansa gives up on buying
Arab Today, arab today Why You Should Choose Oriental

GMT 10:36 2017 Wednesday ,29 November

Why You Should Choose Oriental
Arab Today, arab today Palestinians at UN push for resolution

GMT 04:03 2017 Friday ,15 December

Palestinians at UN push for resolution
Arab Today, arab today US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

GMT 05:33 2017 Friday ,15 December

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 03:23 2017 Wednesday ,06 December

Cleric praises mosque school idea

GMT 08:32 2017 Thursday ,30 November

MP calls for withdrawing confidence

GMT 08:16 2017 Saturday ,02 December

MP warns of new drug spread in Egypt

GMT 06:56 2017 Friday ,01 December

Minister stresses refusal to Benkiran

GMT 04:18 2017 Sunday ,26 November

Bella magazine appoints celebrity writer

GMT 12:20 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Amara underlined role of construction

GMT 15:24 2017 Thursday ,05 October

A.F.VANDEVORST appoints SPRING London

GMT 04:30 2017 Sunday ,22 October

Miista appoints IPR London

GMT 15:05 2017 Thursday ,05 October

Haddon PR handles Deskmate

GMT 16:33 2014 Thursday ,13 November

Al-Ehtimam Bil Aakhareen

GMT 06:00 2017 Sunday ,29 October

Childrenswear brand Once appoints Dyelog

GMT 09:12 2017 Friday ,17 November

Gleam Futures represents Grace Beverley

GMT 16:08 2017 Tuesday ,24 October

Glamour fashion editor goes freelance

GMT 03:34 2017 Sunday ,05 November

Needle & Thread relocates press office

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Blogger seeks male beauty boxes for Christmas Gift

GMT 15:12 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Christmas Gift Guide - My Girls On Tour

GMT 05:29 2017 Wednesday ,27 September

SheerLuxe.com names fashion editor and marketing manager

GMT 06:03 2014 Wednesday ,09 April

Please .. Let Gaza breathe!

GMT 07:31 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Actress Menna Shalaby reveals her coming works

GMT 13:56 2017 Friday ,01 December

Trump fuels Tillerson firing speculation

GMT 04:06 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Kuwait prepares for hosting GCC Summit

GMT 10:05 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Bahrain's top Shiite cleric hospitalised

GMT 15:23 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Former Egypt interior minister Habib Al-Adly arrested
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday