De Engelse filmacteur Ralph Fiennes kreeg op 15 december 2018 in het Spaanse Sevilla door de European Film Academy de European Achievement in World Cinema Award uitgereikt. Zijn toespraak was een pro-Europees, bewogen en humanistisch verhaal dat het belang van de cinematografie accentueert om mensen te verbinden en te leren over grenzen heen te kijken. Fiennes keert zich tegen het populisme, de politiek correctheid en de manipulatie door sociale media. Acteur Fiennes lijkt samen te vallen met de vele rollen die heeft gespeeld in films waar mensen dagelijks moeten vechten voor hun vrijheid en leven. Vanzelfsprekend was vrijheid nooit. Het staat in het hedendaagse Europa opnieuw onder druk. Dat gaat verder dan vermaledijd kosmopolitisme en de bekommernissen van een vrijgestelde klasse. Bij een YouTube-video over de Britse filmindustrie die erop neerkomt dat door een toekomstige Brexit ‘alles wordt weggegooid’ schreef ik onderstaande reactie:
The prosperity of a nation is not a soccer match. Politics should not be about winning or losing, but about cooperating and together finding common ground for the sake of the nation.
The Brexit referendum was consultative and not binding. Therefore it is not legal or constitutional, but a political decision to make it irrevocable. But of course the logic of politics is that a decision can be reversed by advancing insight and changed circumstances.
The question that appeared on ballot papers was: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ A slim majority of 51.9% said no. Under what conditions the UK would leave the EU, the people were not asked and not answered.
In addition, there were many irregularities that raised the question whether the referendum took place under equal, fair conditions. A parliamentary committee (Culture, Media and Sport) chaired by Damian Collins tries to map the irregularities. Among other things, about the interference of the Russian Federation and illegal Russian money that flowed via dusky routes to the Leave campaigns. Via Arron Banks. But Collins’ own party, the Tories, do not cooperate and block a broad, open investigation, as was done in the US under the direction of Robert Mueller after the suspicion of Russian interference.
In short, the British are now saddled with the outcome of a non-binding referendum that did not ask for clarity about the kind of withdrawal from the EU. A referendum whose legitimacy can be challenged by the many irregularities.
The circumstances have changed. All signals are red. Companies, banks, hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, farmers and transporters warn about the disadvantages of a Brexit.
President Trump places America First and attaches no value to the so-called special relationship with the United Kingdom. Other countries in the former English sphere, such as Canada or Australia, see that the UK has only 66 million inhabitants and the EU 442 million.
Why should third countries act against their own interests and give preference to the United Kingdom over the much larger and economically powerful EU (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, etc.)? All the more because the British political class has shown in the past two years that it functions as a class of toddlers without a sense of reality and sense of responsibility.
Because no matter how the Brexit problem goes, with a hard, soft or No Deal variant or a withdrawal of the exit, the British people are the big losers with an economy that is lagging behind in the uncertain circumstances and a political class (especially Tories and Labour) who only deals with itself and acts exclusively from its own party interests.