BREXIT AND EUROPEAN DISUNITY—A CYNICAL VIEW. This post on Zero Hedge by Michael Shedlock (and not by Tyler Durden) poses the question in the headline: “Why Did The UK Enter The EU In The First Place?” In the course of the post, Shedlock raises some of the arguments that the “Leave” proponents raised, focusing on excessive EU regulation—for example, there are 109 EU regulations concerning pillows and 31 regulations concerning toothbrushes. Why would the UK join the EU in the face of this overregulation?

Shedlock’s answer is given in an excerpt from an old episode of the great television series “Yes, Minister”. In the excerpt, the senior civil servant explains to the minister that the UK joined in accordance with its foreign policy of the last 500 years. The purpose was to keep Europe divided, and the best way to do that was to join. The excerpt is less than two minutes long, and makes a persuasive case—or at least poses a theory that a lot of suspicious Europeans may have considered.

Ironically, one of the frequent comments on Brexit has been that one of the major consequences of the UK’s getting out of the EU will be that Europe will be divided by threats to leave by other members. I can imagine some Europeans thinking that the UK left the EU in order to divide Europe.

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