Brexit and the impossibility of independence

February 4, 2016
I know why the caged bird singsIn the run up the the referendum over EU membership I  am coming across a large numbers of remarks about independence.  It can be a great and noble aspiration.  It can also be used as an alternative for thinking more deeply about an issue. Starting with ‘what is independence?’
This thought occurred to me as I digested my morning portion of tweets washed down with some low fat cynicism.

Today’s tweets covered a lot of territory.  Brexit was one preoccupation in England and Scotland. There is a certain amount of tangled logic about voting for independence from ‘Europe’ (the EC) and winning it for Scotland.  Several countries are celebrating or remembering their Independence Day.  A brewer brags about its independence from the chemical giants.  There are a few cries of a shackled youth for ‘ a bit of independence’.

Click here for tweet 1

Click here for tweet 2

Click here for tweet 3

Click here for tweet 4

Click here for tweet 5

Click here for tweet 6

Click here for tweet 7

Click here for tweet 8

Click here for tweet 9

Click here for tweet 10

For me, each of these tweets could be the starting point to deeper thinking about what the tweeter means by independence.

If these are not enough to suggest independence comes at a cost, here’s another regarding David Cameron’s attempts to negotiate for reform of the EC in advance of the referendum.

Those believing that a Brexit will regain control misunderstand there is no escape from shared control on international issues. Furthermore, negotiation is discussed in a totally zero sum way. That is not the only game (theory) around.

Three steps on the road to freedom

The three steps towards a better future may be seen as

dependence ‘you control me’

independence ‘I control me’

inter-dependence ‘we share control for mutual benefits’