Nationalism and hostility in Britain (2)
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Nationalism and hostility in Britain (2)

Like many others I was shocked when I woke up Friday morning to a headline stating that Brexit had won. Even more shockingly, far right parties in France, Denmark and the Netherlands also called for a referendum on whether to remain in the EU or not.

The rise of nationalism has long been coming and it seems as though it is finally here. The MEP elections two years ago were marked by calls throughout Europe to vote and protect democracy against the threat of right wing parties which were becoming increasingly popular.

People from different European countries want national sovereignty over a union. They then proceed to put forward this idea by looking at how their country was doing fine before it joined the EU. They state that they want direct control of their country, and that interference from others harms their country’s interest.

The problem with this argument is that times have changed. We are no longer living in times whereby a country could deal with other countries on its own and do well. In today’s unified and globalised world, forming part of a Union like the EU is a great asset. Trade is increasing in between the member states and with other states outside the Union. This results in greater economic growth.

Another benefit is the freedom of movement which allows for residents to work and study in other member states. Students and workers are given great opportunities, which eventually lead to better jobs and better workers.

The EU is also well equipped with dealing with the threats of terrorism to regional security. The union has a counter-terrorism strategy which involves the cooperation between different states in the EU. Member states work together as well as with international partners in order to protect citizens.

Furthermore, many environmental issues can only be tackled at international level. There is no point in conserving a migrating species in a country, so that it is then killed in another country. Same thing with air pollution and climate change which can only be tackled when countries work together and not when they work alone.

When tackling today’s problems, we need to look at solutions which apply to today’s world. Idealistic views on times when nations work on their own are not compatible with today’s world.

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