Will it hold?
Helen Thompson on the EU
If the real point of the European Union is to achieve an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, the British have never seriously wanted a place in it. If we follow the logic, Brexit makes the EU a more viable political entity. But the EU has always been about much more than gradual European political unification. Currently, it is set up in a manner intended to enable it to manage the varying problems of its member states and to contain Germany. Brexit reflects more than just the difficulties of bringing an island state with a singular constitutional and legal history and a fear of monetary integration into a union created by other states to contain problems Britain did not share. Brexit is part of a larger reality in which the European Union must navigate faultlines deriving from its political structures and the turbulence beyond its borders.
The full text of this essay is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.