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The sacrifice of sovereignty

28 2 0
Britain joined the EU in 1973, thinking it would retain its sovereignty and right to determine its future. Little did it know what it would cost the country to reclaim those rights. Yonhap
By Amanda Price

Britain has been in a right pickle and the salty brine it has been sitting in has soured half a nation and spiced up the other half.

Like Japan and Korea, Britain and the European Union (EU) have been feuding, not that either of the latter two would admit it.

The problem, simply put, is that Britain gave away it sovereignty and now it wants it back.

However, the argument from the EU is that sovereignty is obsolete. The new empire is built on solidarity and if Britain insists on breaking with the pack, the EU will make sure it costs her dearly.

The offshoot of this punitive action will, it is hoped, also discourage other potential defectors.

The whole topic of Brexit resembles the dichotomous world of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," in which things that are small appear bewilderingly big, and things that are big have shrunk beyond recognition.

Political analysts, international law analysts, and even garden-variety analysts have inspected, dissected and just about vivisected the whole body of argument into a thousand fragmented and bloodied pieces.

Now there's a new sheriff in town (not a very British metaphor, I know) who has promised to end the feud. All of us, no doubt, wish Prime Minister Boris Johnson the best of British luck as he fights to reclaim Britain's sovereignty.

While some dismiss any comparisons or parallels drawn between the British/European crisis and the Korean/Japanese crisis, we must at least acknowledge the similarities.

The time frame is similar. Japan and Korea have had almost 70 years of peaceful co-existence, and Britain and Europe have had almost 70 years of peaceful co-existence.

The circumstances are comparable. The European Project, which evolved into the European Union, began after years of horrific conflict and bloodied attempts at conquest. The Japanese and Korean alliance began after years of brutal oppression and bloodied attempts at conquest.

The weapons are alike. Both arm themselves with trade-shaped darts, aimed squarely at the economy.

Territory is an issue for both. Britain asserts it has a sovereign right to fish within in its own territory, and Korea and Japan argue they both have rights to fish the waters surrounding Dokdo.

History plays a part. The British tend to be proud of their history (like South Korea), whereas many once fascist and communist EU states have a history they would rather forget (like Japan).

The now Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, and South Korea's former Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-see. South Korea already has all that Britain is fighting for ― sovereignty, autonomy and self-determination. Yonhap
Where the similarities........

© The Korea Times