Current Events & Trends: Britain and Europe: The cross-Channel gap grows

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Britain and Europe: The cross-Channel gap grows

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In fact, for more than 400 years London sought to maintain the balance of power on the continent by supporting the weaker states in conflicts, whichever these happened to be at the time. The awkward relationship between Britain and Europe has been labeled “the cross-Channel gap,” since the English Channel separates the United Kingdom from the Continent.

The ongoing euro crisis has concentrated minds in Britain, bringing UK dissatisfaction into much sharper focus. Standpoint magazine commented: “The crisis thus forces Britain to choose. Not wanting to be included in the [European Union’s] inner core, Britain must decide what its relationship with the evolving entity will be” (Iain Martin, “Beyond Euroscepticism: Time for the Alternative,” September 2012).

Sunday Telegraph political editor Patrick Hennessy reported on recent developments, “Ministers are to launch a major drive to claw back powers from Brussels next year in an urgent effort to safeguard Britain’s independence as the European Union takes evercloser steps towards becoming a superstate” (“Bid to Reclaim Powers from EU ‘Superstate,’” Sept. 23, 2012).

A comprehensive audit covering some 20 crucial areas of EU control over UK affairs has been put into effect by British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The idea is to reclaim sovereignty in crucial areas. Of special concern are the billions in British currency handed over to Brussels annually, with little or no control over how these massive funds are spent. A recent article in Britain’s Daily Express by its political editor was headlined, “EU Begs UK for Yet Another £1bn” (Macer Hall, Oct. 5). That would make it nearly £14 billion for 2012. EU extravagance has already reached legendary status.

The long-promised referendum on whether or to what degree Britain remains in the EU has also returned to the front burner. Daniel Hannan, chief British Eurosceptic writing for the Daily Mail, speculated that exiting from the EU would not only free the British economy but also spark a revolution to save Europe (“We CAN Break Free from the Shackles of Brussels,” Aug. 16, 2012).

On the other side of the spectrum, Simon Kuper’s column in Financial Times’ FT Magazine carried the flag for the EU. His piece was about winning back Europe’s right-wing populist voters (“How We Can Beat the Far Right,” FT Magazine, Sept. 22-23, 2012).

Whether Britain will eventually leave (or be forced out of) the European Union or remain as an awkward, ill-fitting member is an open question. But in either case Bible prophecy reveals that it will eventually be devastated by this coming European superstate (see our Bible study aid The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy ). (Sources: Daily Mail, FT Magazine, Standpoint, The Sunday Telegraph. )

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