The “English question” – FAQ

 The English Question (Brexit)  has spawned a lot of  questions. Some can’t be answered as yet. Others can be and the answers show the English are not headed for a pretty place, whatever the outcome of the Referendum.


Why is the UK government insisting on a referendum?

To preserve the English establishment and élite

Will the UK stay or leave the EU?
Polls are on a knife edge.

What does Mr Cameron want from the EU?
Supposedly a set of reforms so he can propose staying in

Has he got them?
Apparently not. He’s certainly not delivering a fundamental review and rethink of how the EU actually operates.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin makes a point during an interview with Reuters at their offices in Paris February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told the UK

Don’t  expect a renegotiation of  EU membership   to include any powers of veto over closer integration of the euro. Nothing in the deal could stand in the way of further eurozone integration or confer special status on a particular industry, such as financial services“.
NB: The UK is seeking legal protection for the City of London from new regulations that would apply across the whole of the EU, including non-eurozone countries. Last week, France secured some needed amendments to ensure that efforts to balance the euro zone’s “ins” and “outs” did not give the City of London an unfair edge.

french flag half mast

Mr. Sapin said no country could have a veto on further economic union or exemptions from the provisions of the single market.

So what’s Mr Cameron up to?
It’s not clear.Perhaps  he just wants to protect the City. Maybe he really wants the UK out.  He’s being driven by Conservative Party  policy  and/or the British elite establishment  wish-list.  Or maybe it’s just


Mr Cameron has insisted the UK is happy to be part of the EU’s free-trade zone, but wants assurances it will not have its laws and economy tied more closely to the other member states.
We are going to keep our borders. We are never going to sign up to things like a European army. We are never going to sign up to an ever closer union.”

What underlies the UK demand for a referendum?

The difficult relationship between the UK and the EEC/EU.

The English are  ‘difficult’, “aloof” and ‘anti-Europe’.


Yes. In 2005 Mr Cameron removed Conservative party  MEPs from the European People’s Party, the main right-wing grouping in the EU Parliament. UK Conservative MEPs then  formed a separate group.  MEPs from other countries  viewed the move as isolationist and counter-productive.

Why difficult and anti-Europe?

uk exceptionalism
1) Because in the UK (English) mind there is a  kind of exceptionalism that sets it apart from the rest of Europe

David-Cameron 10

According to Mr Cameron, the UK is  “argumentative and rather strong-minded.We have the character of an island nation – independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty – and of institutions that have served us well for many hundreds of years. And the need to protect our sovereignty has always been paramount for us.”

Queries: And no other country in the EU has these  personality attributes – whether island nation or landlocked?
Why is the UK so keen on protecting “institutions that have served us well for many hundreds of years”
What  exactly are these institutions? 

Who have  they served so well?

Comment: Definitely not working-class communities who experienced the social upheavals of industrialisation in the 19th century and de-industrialisation in the 20th.

Certainly not the UK’s former colonies like Ireland, India and Kenya

born to rule

2) Is it the inherent English “born to rule” mentality?
Possibly. Right from the start the UK refused to become a founder member of the Common Market in 1957 .


Conservative Foreign Office minister, Sir Anthony Nutting said the “most popular move in Europe would be for us to move in and run the show”.

Comment: Other EU nations  (Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands), had Empires and don’t have a “born to rule” mentality. Why not?

Who and what fosters it in the UK?

de gaulle

3) The UK’s undisguised feeling of superiority?

1967: General de Gaulle accused the UK of a “deep-seated hostility” towards European construction.

Queries: Can England not abide equality, being one among peers, all engaged on a common project? Does it always need to be top-dog with some under-dog to boss and bully?

thatcher and the EU
4) The UK spirit of entitlement?
1980: “I want my money back!”

Margaret Thatcher called for the UK’s contributions to the then EEC to be adjusted, warning that otherwise she would withhold VAT payments.

 Outcome: victory for Thatcher and damaged relations with other EC countries.

1998: ‘No. No. No.’

thatcher and eu2

We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels“.

She called for a “fundamental re-negotiation” of the UK’s links with the EU, (which Mr Cameron says he is doing).

Most of the problems the world has faced have come from mainland Europe,” she wrote. “And the solutions from outside it.”

Comment: English Conservatives  certainly know how to live up to the name “perfidious Albion” and  annoy EU leaders and institutions


What do other EU members think?


Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament  said that many Euro-MPs now wanted Britain out of the EU as Britain was ‘testing their patience’ with its ‘continuous demands’.

Let’s get the negotiations over and done with. The Brexit referendum is just one more tedious, unnecessary problem for the EU at a time when there are much more urgent and crucial matters to deal with.
Such as?
Need you ask!! – immigration, refugees, rise of uber-right parties, ending the free movement Schengen area, sluggish economy, sky-high youth unemployment, cut-backs in social services,  strong-arming Greece as a lesson to anti-austerity movements in Portugal, Spain and the Republic of Ireland.

1973: What sort of UK entered the EEC?
A UK with no devolution. NI was back under Direct Rule. Westminster spoke for a “unified country

2016: What sort of UK will decide whether to exit the EU?
A UK with devolved powers to Scotland, NI and Wales, with about 50% of the populations of NI and Scotland wanting to exit the UK.

Will they all vote the same way?
Most unlikely – England appears to want out.

Scotland wants to stay IN at least to differentiate from England and create the motivation for  Indyref2.

NI may be split –  DUP will vote as Mr Cameron instructs, Nationalists/Republicans and farmers are likely to vote IN.

Wales seems inclined to stay IN.

 Outcomes of the Referendum – and Potential Pitfalls:

  • UK votes to stay

It has to knuckle down and put up with what’s on the EU table.

It has to cope with sulks and disgruntlement from almost 50% of its population and 100% of its Conservative élite  – who will never stop campaigning for another referendum

  •  UK votes to leave

Brexit risks pulling down the EU and the UK .

  • It may trigger an exit run of  other countries. Brexit might turn into a full-blown EUxit.
  • The UK may be worse off

The EU (in whatever form it continues to exist) will not lift a finger to help the UK with anything. The USA won’t  help them with trade deals etc because the US wants the UK to stay in. Despite UK expectations, Commonwealth countries will hardly be beating a path to their door .

What happens in Ireland?

Will the border be re-constructed?

Will the Republic and NI have any say in the matter, or will both be subjected to the outworkings of a minority vote in NI?

What about damage to  trade etc?

Will a reparations scheme be set up?
Will EU funding for cross-border projects be suspended as only the Republic will be in the EU?

  •  Only England votes to leave 

Will we even know?

We won’t if we get only the total vote (X% vs Y%), with no regional  break-down
If we do get a break-down what happens to all those Scottish, Welsh, Irish citizens who voted to stay, particularly if they constitute the majority in their respective areas?

Will they be deprived of their EU citizenship and passports?

Against their will?

  • Karma finally kicks in


  • Will England leave the EU while Scotland, NI and Wales (and maybe even Cornwall) stay and make up the rest of the UK in the EU?

 They’d be the rUK!!! What a win-win for all the Celtic nations!!

karma's a bitch

Can Britain be European?

WIT :: of violations and exasperation

Was British prime minister Margaret Thatcher correct about the euro, European Central Bank and a European Union?

11 thoughts on “The “English question” – FAQ

  1. I don’t know who wrote this rather childish attack on the UK, certainly they don’t know very much about their subject.

    The people of the UK put pressure on all 3 major Parties in the UK for just under 20 years,asking them for a Referendum on EU membership.

    All 3 Parties agreed – all of them broke their word.

    Along came UKIP – a new Party which campaigned for a Referendum on EU membership and made it clear that it supported withdrawal from the EU.

    UKIP’s main body of evidence was the EU itself. Countless expositions in the EU Parliament and supported descriptions of massive fraud and natural corruption by the “High Princes” of the EU brought just what the EU really was to the attention of tens of millions of British people.

    The British people then started a campaign to inform their MPs that they would not -re-elect them if they did not support a Referendum.

    Throughout, David Cameron was anti-Referendum and toed the anti-Democratic rule by dictat of the EU Commission and its Big Business Sponsors. It did not distress him at all that British workers were losing their jobs to what became known as “EU Immigrants.”

    When 1.4 million Poles arrived in England in a 17 month period – the damn broke and UKIP with the blessing of the public forced Cameron to offer a Referendum on EU membership – or have all his MPs lose the next Election.

    In the last Election – a few short months ago – Cameron promised a long list of “Demands” which he would present to the EU.

    It sounded fairly good and the people were not to know that he had no intention of keeping his promises – none of them.

    The current offer under consideration by the EU – may be accepted by the Commission and friends – but the British public are disgusted with their Prime Minister and more than 65% will vote to Leave the EU.

    What happens after that simply cannot be as bad as being a member of the EU. It is viewed as corrupt, greedy and grossly incompetent – which I think is being kind.


  2. This “rather childish” article (with a list of supporting references) did not examine the background to the UK’s desire for a referendum. It examined the mindset underlying the UK’s attitudes to the EU, EU attitudes to the UK, Mr Cameron’s activity and Conservative policy, potential outcomes of the referendum and what might happen in their aftermath.

    Such a pity that “adult” poster Christopher Hill (with no references) did not address any of these issues but preferred to re-cap the road to the referendum – which is over and done with because, as far as we know at present, the referendum will be held in June of this year.
    Mr Cameron may, of course, change his mind at any time – just as he pulled out of an arranged meeting with leaders of the EU parliament who were anxious and keen to discuss his proposals, preferring instead “to discuss his reforms at a closed-door meeting of the Conference of Presidents”
    What does that tell us about Mr Cameron’s (and hence the UK’s) attitude to the EU and its representatives?

    Here’s what they thought: “Mr Cameron’s last minute cancellation of a meeting of the conference of Presidents caused anger at a chamber that has the power to tear up the deal. “It was very rude. He is shooting himself in the foot,”


    • I think in your riposte, oh most knowledgeable one, you highlight the problem.

      Cameron’s attitude to the EU has absolutely nothing to do with the majority of British people.

      He is remarkably polite and subordinate in his dealings with, what must be, some of the most awful, corrupt, criminal minded and grossly incompetent people on our planet.

      Cameron, for reasons which are at best doubtful, is anti-UK, anti-Democracy – one supposes to be in line with the EU itself.

      There is nothing worthwhile emulating in the EU. Its long list of failures is a testament of greed and corruption.


  3. The “rather childish” one thanks Mr Christopher Hill for the accolade of “most knowledgeable one” – however sarcastically intended.
    Mr Cameron’s attitude may have nothing to do with the majority of British people (proof?). He may well be anti-UK and anti-democratic. He is, nevertheless, the UK’s legally elected PM and Conservative party leader and, as such, furthers Conservative party interests in the EU (as the post shows).
    I’ve already told you what this post was about. The iniquities of the EU are not within its remit. What are within its remit are ideas/speculation about what will happen when the UK votes in the referendum.
    You appear to think the UK will (and indeed should) vote OUT. What will happen then?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Brexit? No UKexits . . . | the

  5. Pingback: Post-Brexit – Bye-Bye UK? | the

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.