Several European countries have direct or potential problems with secessionist movements. We’re most familiar with the ongoing battle between Catalonian separatists and the Spanish state. Nevertheless, there are (or have been) others of note: France has concerns over Corsican nationalism; the predecessor of the Liga in Italy – the Northern League – wanted the prosperous north of the country to become an independent state; tensions have been simmering away in Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
Only once has a European country sought to undermine the international recognition of the territorial inviolability of sovereign states. Germany unilaterally (and against advice at the time) recognised the breakaway state of Croatia in the early 1990s. What followed was a ten-year-long Yugoslav war which, to this day, has not been fully settled (see Kosovo).
Our United Kingdom, for its part, has always been steadfast in respecting the sovereignty of our European neighbours. We never gave succour to Corsican separatism; we refused to side with Catalonia; we have never recognised the Turkish-occupied northern third of Cyprus. Interfering in am established democracy with the intention of cleaving it apart is, quite simply, not only a recipe for strained relations, but grounds for actively hostile ones.
Therefore, it is more than a grave insult to read the voices of the chattering classes from across Europe requesting an independent Scotland be given preferential access for future membership of the bloc; it is also a profound, unwarranted and unwanted exercise of deliberate provocation into UK internal affairs. As you might expect The Guardian, ever-keen to take the lump hammer to Britain for daring to vote for Brexit, facilitates this request in its letters pages. The sheer hatred the Left have for their own country, brilliantly explained by George Orwell 80 years ago, is highly relevant in the continued wars over Brexit now. For the British Left (and many on the Continent), the dismemberment of the United Kingdom is the price they want to extract for our democratic decision of June 2016. Not only would it re-establish EU influence on this island, it would severely humiliate what they see as the English enemy in the eyes of the international community. Respect for sovereign and territorial integrity? No chance!!
What these people forget is that bad relations and ill-will can be a two-way street. If it reached that point, what remains of the UK would still be a force capable of drastic measures to harm or subvert other European states. The morality of these measures would go out of the window as the rUK would feel justified in damaging a collection of countries it – rightly – judged the executioner of its partial demise. My advice to the EU is to back off, and back off now! No other European state would tolerate outside interference in its essential state functions and composition. Neither should we.
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