Dear Great Britain,
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation… but on this side of the Atlantic we’re not entirely sure you have done that adequately. Speaking as friends, we’re concerned for you. We just want to make sure that you have really thought out this whole “Brexit” thing. Leaving the European Union is a big decision and maybe its time we had a real conversation about that.
In a week’s time it will be 240 years since we last sent you a formal letter of declaration. We all know how that one turned out, but if We the People of the United States were to be really honest with ourselves, the truth is that a lot of our reasons for leaving the British Empire were specious at best. In fairness, you treated us better than we usually like to admit. So please know we completely understand the impulse to be rebellious for no other reason than anger and the desire to thumb your nose at the establishment. However, our circumstances were also not the same. In 1776 we were colonies with no representation in Parliament and no choice but to follow your rules. In 2016, the United Kingdom was not a colony of the European Union, but a voluntary member. You had a vote -and an important vote- in how things were done. Now, thanks to Brexit you have thrown that away, and there are going to be consequences… for all of us.
To be James Blunt about it, your actions have weakened your own country, weakened Europe, and weakened global stability. There is now a very real possibility that Scotland and even Northern Ireland will be leaving the United Kingdom in order to stay members of the EU. For anyone who voted for Brexit with delusions of getting the old Empire back together, than that notion should be quickly dispatched. Speaking as a former colony, those days are gone, and now you are on the verge of losing at least half of what you still have, including the lucrative oil fields of Scotland. Yet, the problem goes much deeper than that, because the European Union is now weaker and may even face similiar referendums from hard-line conservatives in places like France. A united Europe has been good for the world, especially when it came to dealing with threats like Russian aggression, piracy, and terrorism. An EU without the might of Britain and especially its military will no longer be as strong or connected.
Many Americans do not yet understand the ramifications of Brexit. Some will even incorrectly applaud it as a “blow for freedom,” or other such cliched rhetoric, but it will affect us as it will affect the world. The day after the Brexit Referendum passed the global stock markets, including the NYSE, plunged to record lows. The British pound dropped to about $1.37 against the dollar, the lowest it had been in decades. Even worse, America has now lost its most trustworthy ally in the EU. Great Bee, we know you always have our backs and we will always have yours, but that was why it was so important that you remained in the EU. You were the counter-voice to nations like Germany and France. Don’t get us wrong we love the Germans and the French as well, but sometimes they have strange ideas. Don’t believe us? Check out the EU’s national anthem. You were our voice of reason, our rock, our everything, and now that’s gone. Even worse we are going to have make all new trade treaties with you, but quite frankly we’re the least of your problems.
You see the United States is Britain’s second largest foreign market, guess who the first is? It’s the European Union. Now, economically speak it’s very complicated, but one of your biggest reasons for Brexit was because of the insistence that Europe was creating Draconian regulations that were stifling the UK’s economy. Unfortunately, leaving the EU is not going to fix that. Your private industries still need to trade with Europe, which means they still need to follow those regulations for export, and since it makes no sense to manufacture the same goods in two different ways, so will the UK. Even US companies follow certain EU regulations, because we want to sell our goods to Europe and Britain will too. That means your country is going to have negotiate all new trade agreements with a Union you basically just told to go “Sod off.” They are going to look to make an example of you so that no other countries *cough France* gets any similiar ideas. That probably means higher exports and limited access to some markets.
You may think, “well that’s alight, as long as we get to keep those bloody refugees out of our country.” See… here’s the thing. You’re probably not going to be able to do that either. Unless the UK is planning on going full isolationist, the EU is not going to allow you to close your borders indefinitely if you want to keep trading with them. Your economy needs the European markets. Even worse what are you going to do with the thousands of Europeans living and working in the UK? Do you give them citizenship or do you boot them out? Kicking out foreigners and refugees may feel good, but it is also another way to nosedive your economy. More labor import actually increases a country’s value. In fact, many experts are expecting an economic boost for Europe thanks to the influx of refugees. There are also 2 million Britons working in Europe. What happens to them? Do they have to come home? Do they become European citizens? You see by withdrawing from the EU you are also withdrawing your citizens from the EU and that means they are going to lose a lot of privileges when it comes to travel and overseas work. Not everyone is going to be happy about that.
Maybe that’s why Brexit so was heavily rejected by the younger generation of Britons. The generation that grew up under the EU and experienced all the privileges that if offered. It was the older generation that favored leaving. We do want to say that the United States completely understands this knee jerk impulse. Similar to your former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, we here in the States also have a crazy-haired insane man screaming nonsense from an undeserved pulpit. We are months away from possibly electing an orange skinned bigot to our highest office. We know how you feel, because whenever we mention the chance of a Donald Trump Presidency everyone still sort of chuckles at the impossibility of it, than quietly weeps to themselves at the sheer terror of it. Brexit was a lot like that. No sane person probably ever thought it was going to pass, and now it has. All over the world, we are seeing countries having sporadic and terrifying ultra-conservative reactions. In our progressive world we want to believe that these are simply the last gasp of an older way of thinking, but they still pose very real dangers to the stability of our planet, and that has been illustrated in no clearer way than with the United Kingdom’s most recent referendum.
So in response, and the real reason we are writing this letter is because we are hoping to get your permission for the United States to join the European Union. We hear they have an opening and it just feels like the right decision. We will of course have to change the name to something like the Transatlantic Union or the United Federation of Planets or something, but we can work all that out going forward. You see, under the EU, Britain’s unemployment rate has been consistently lower than our own, even during the financial crisis of 2008. Your economy is one of the strongest and has grown tremendously thanks to access to the European Single Market, as well as benefiting from the individual trade deals that the EU has set up with 52 countries around the world. As EU citizens, Americans would be allowed to move and work freely throughout most of Europe, and quite frankly a lot of our people could use a little more worldly travel.
Being part of the EU would be a great opportunity for any country. In America, our economy would grow, we could become less dependent on China, our citizens would become part of something much greater, and we could gain a seat in the governing body of the EU and help them make decisions that better affected the stability and peace of the world. Yet, and more to the point, it’s not 1776 anymore, and the world is no longer separated by vast oceans of wooden sailing ships. We’re sorry to be the ones to tell you this, but the British Empire is never coming back, except in steampunk novels. Similarly, the “American Century” is over. Both our countries need to accept that our powers are starting to wane, but instead of railing against it, we should be using what we have to build a better and more peaceful world. As countries and people we can no longer stand apart from one another. The challenges of climate change, radicalism, Daleks, and more must all be met with unified resolve. This planet is more connected than ever and it imperative that we start to learn how to live, work, and pull together as nations and as citizens of Earth.
So… would you think the European Union would be open to letting us join? After all we have a strong economy and a decently sized military, and we hear those are two things they are going to be needing now. Listen, we know this is an awkward request to make. After all, you two just broke up, and its going to take at least two-years of a messy and painful divorce before it is all over, but we were kind of hoping you could put in a good word for us? Also, we wanted to ask your permission first, because we’re best buds and all. We wouldn’t want to do anything that might make you uncomfortable. So, what do you think? Are we cool?
Anyway, thanks again. Say hello to Wales for us and let us know what the EU says. We would really like to maybe get this done before November… for reasons.