For many European citizens, the 28-member-state Union has turned out to be a huge disappointment. It is far from the progressive, socialist bloc that many had once envisaged.
One of the reasons for the EU’s historic failure is Britain. Ever since the United Kingdom joined the European project, it has been a largely negative force, carping about workers’ rights, equality laws and the principle of inter-state solidarity. Now it is to vote on whether to finally leave the Union – the so-called Brexit.
When Britain first applied to join the then six-member European Economic Community back in 1963, it was rejected by co-founder France under President Charles De Gaulle. De Gaulle’s shrewd reasoning was reportedly that “the British are fundamentally hostile to the European initiative”.’