for the sake of fairness, we must say that many of the UK’s Brexit problems are caused by its imperial history, unusual constitutional model and incompetent politicians. As such, other countries insane enough to follow the UK could avoid many of the pitfalls of Brexit. Even then, though, it’s impossible to imagine any country ending up in a better place once it’s left the EU.
On Wednesday outside the Parliament, the pro-EU and pro-Brexit protesters with their garments confronted each other behind an exasperated France 24 journalist who was trying to film a report from London. Another Remain protester chased the environment minister and well-known Brexit supporter Michael Gove with a toy unicorn.
We already commute, marry and move houses across borders, so why shouldn’t we get elected anywhere in the EU as well? We already have free movement of people – next it’s time for free movement of politicians.
What we do know for certain is that if the goal of a good political system is to bring out the best in human beings and to avoid the escalation of disagreements to violence; the system of European nation-states has consistently failed us. It may be that no system can guarantee eternal peace, but a federal Europe would bring us closer.
The danger is that we are left feeling distant from these momentous historical events – that we don’t recognise exceptional circumstances when they’re around us because we don’t see armed fascist troops marching on Rome. In reality, however, the defence of freedom and democracy is everyday business.
The long and eventful day had started from the 16th arrondissement of Paris, passed by the 5th, and ended in a three-person bedroom in a brand new Romanian student accommodation complex.
By feeling European, you reap the benefits of cooperation and what’s more, it truly feels like cooperation in the common interest. You can both enjoy the glorious taste of fresh tomatoes and meet your colleagues without hiding a dagger in the pouch.
If the young adults strolling around Haikon kartano this weekend keep the spirit of Linnaseminaari at heart, and find the much-discussed courage in their daily lives, Finnish public debate on the European Union may soon look rather more visionary than what it is today.