BREXIT: Hard to tell if Britain is on board an airplane or locked in a car trunk

“If you jump out of the aeroplane you cannot climb back in through the cockpit hatch…The idea that you take back control by leaving is an illusion,” David Cameron (British Prime Minister)

“It’s our last chance to sort this out and take back control…If we don’t vote to leave tomorrow we will remain locked in the back of the car, driven in an uncertain direction frankly to a place we don’t want to go and perhaps by a driver who doesn’t speak the very best of English” Boris Johnson (Former London Mayor and main Leader of the Leave Campaign)

The quotations above by two important political figures in the wake of the Brexit polls inspired this short piece. This has less (or nothing) to do with a policy analysis neither does it aim at divulging what arguments best justifies the decision of Britain to leave or stay in the European Union (EU). After listening and following up with the arguments on both sides over the past few months, I have also gone back and forth wondering which of the options would appear more sensible. It remains a game of perception. Again, it brings to mind that one of life’s greatest hurdles has to do with making a choice between two seemingly ‘good’ decisions with facts standing as witnesses.

I do not envy those caught in the valley of indecision right now of whether they should see themselves as people on board a flight to a fascinating future or victims of ‘kidnap’ locked in a car’s trunk and being driven to an unsafe destination. This probably also explains why the answer might be resting in the tiny fraction of registered voters that are yet to decide.

I cannot pretend to feel the plight of the British citizens despite the fact that I have close ties with the place by extension of family and great relationships. Nevertheless, I share a personal sentiment that the inspiration of the legacy built by the European Union is something worth preserving. As an African, student of international relations and a practitioner in the field of international development, history and current day realities tell me how herculean task it has been for others to replicate the great feat of achieving Regional Integration.

If Regional Integration were a piece of cake, then the African Union (AU), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mercusur in South America would have effortlessly made it happen in the presence of a successful model to glean from such as the EU. There is no gainsaying that the European Union as a formidable entity serves a global purpose beyond the basics of trade, military and unifying laws. It is also imperative to mention at this juncture that should Britain vote to leave the EU, the process doesn’t end after the votes. The Brexit vote (to leave) actually kick-starts the beginning of another process that could take another two years to decide fully on the terms of departure. Talk about ‘being divorced and having the endurance to stick together for another while’.

While it’s hard to decipher what part of the net the balls drops, one would only hope that whether it’s by an airplane , a car, boat or by foot, the end decision makes for a destination that is just, better and more sustainable for Britain, the EU and entire world. BREXIT: Hard to tell if Britain is on board an airplane or locked in a car trunk

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