Will Europe always be considered a foreign land for the British?
United Kingdom as an island nation has always been a bit isolated from the rest of Europe. While the continental Europeans seem to get along well with each other and be increasingly considering themselves European we lag behind. Britain is as Euroskeptic as ever. No one is willing to make the case for us becoming closer to Europe and increasing trade does not seem to be working. Europe remains a foreign place to go on holiday rather than part of the national identity.
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With the UK being an island outside of central Europe still having our own currency does not help with trading and financial status. As a European country the UK is one of the most powerful countries however there is no effort by the UK government to become part of the Euro. The idea is opposed by many Brits and political parties.
In the current climate we are at a loss due to the Euro against the British Pound. This does not mean that we would be in a better financial situation if we had joined the euro earlier on. But it has caused problems with people travelling abroad and it has meant that people who would usually travel abroad, usually to Europe, have not done so. This has meant that there is an increase in funds from British toursits themselves however it does not change the current climate.
If we were to change over to the Euro transactions between European countries would be a lot simpler. It would also mean that we would be more involved with European styles of living and the currency. Having the British pound still means that we are segregating ourselves from the rest of Europe and until we do join the Euro this will still be in place.
There is a language barrier between us and the rest of Europe. Although English is one of the most widely spoken languages it is not the most and particularly across Europe. The British population insists that people coming from other countries should speak our language when as a tourist whereas we also consider this to be the case when travelling abroad.
It seems that only London is designed for tourists in that its signs are often translated however it is not to the same extent as we would find in other European countries. Menus, leaflets, road signs - all translated for our purposes yet we cannot do the same in return. This is what takes us away from the European atmosphere and segrogates us.
If you go to any European airport you will find the first translated signs are in English, and all of the staff speak English. The English language is catered for throughout the world. In museums and national attractions, the English language is shown, and as we are english speakers we have priority over any other spoken language in the world. It is also the main second language children are taught in schools. This point is inaccurate and irrelevant.
Cultural differences , past wars
The British consider themselves to be much more conservative, affluent and less exotic than their European counterparts. Brits share much more with members of the commonwealth and Australia(royalty & language, for example) than with Italy or Spain or France.
The UK is an important country within Europe and the EU. It is through its power as an island country that makes it a part of Europe. Although the UK is seperated from the rest of Europe through seas it should not mean that we are disregarded from Europe. The fact there are more Europeans moving to the UK each year and through the European Union having the ability to do this means that the UK is a consistent member of Europe and its ways of life.
As long as we have an encouraging government it will not
As long as we have an encouraging government that holds connections with Europe then the UK is as relative within Europe as the rest of continental Europe. Being part of the EU is a benefit for all and it is a powerful force within the world and particularly the United Nations.
With involvements with both of these and as part of the G20 this places the UK as a powerful figure. Without the connections that we have to the EU and Europe there would be no power to the UK. There is a longstanding relationship with other countries of Europe and why should this stop because we are an island country.
For example, if the Conservative Party is elected then Europe will most definitely be considered a foreign land for the British. David Cameron has already managed to alienate Sarkozy and Merkel by pulling out of the Centre Right party (European People's Party) in European Parliament and joining the more right-wing European Conservative and Reformists group. Members of this group have extreme views, for example one member even claimed that the election of Barack Obama was 'the end of civilisation'. Another problem is the debacle surrounding the possible referendum of the Lisbon Treaty in Britain. If Cameron does come to power in the next general election it would be interesting to see how this would affect euroscepticism in Britain.
What do you think?