Local vs. Global

As I conceived this local vs. global post to schedule ahead the first trip abroad since 2019 beckons. We are off to France very soon. What will the European Union hold now the United Kingdom isn’t in it? Are there still Covid precautions to follow that are different to those in the UK?

It will come as little surprise to regular readers that I voted ‘Remain’ in the Brexit vote, against the majority vote of the people in Brixham which has a robust fishing community. I had a few reasons for voting in this way. In the main thought unity was better than division for I am a peaceful, inclusive soul. From a self centred point of view though I liked the ability to come and go freely from mainland Europe. The ability to carry what I liked between countries in my food cupboards and fridge was a plus. Travelling without time restrictions or even living on the continent fitted nicely with my retirement plans.

However since the referendum in 2016 my views have changed a bit. I wonder if, in spite of the current upheaval, Britain being out of the EU could bring benefits in the long term. I also puzzle why a UK government has power over the smaller nations in Great Britain and Northern Island. And why hasn’t England got its own parliament? Do we need overarching government in its existing form across our islands? Certainly some of the Cornish might say no we don’t.

Maybe large governing institutions can never fulfil ‘one size fits all’ aims. Perhaps it would be better to devolve more political power to smaller hubs. Sure, I see obvious arguments against this. There might be increased costs in terms of economies of scale. We all know that it is mostly cheaper to buy in bulk. The same principle can apply in the bigger economic picture. And there’s the gnarly problem of joining all those small bits up. It can cause problems as the people who had their cheese and ham sarnies snatched at post Brexit borders will tell you.

But stronger communal ties don’t necessarily mean that we have to be hostile to those who live in different areas from us. We don’t have to be nasty to each other or obstructive. Surely we could work on forging strong links with other communities around the world, providing aid, allowing easy travel between areas, collectively protecting ourselves from baddies, welcoming those where conditions in their own country make it untenable for them to live there…. Maybe I’m being woolly in pondering my local vs. global arguments and falling on the side of power for smaller communities. It’s just an idea.

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  1. My only experience pre Brexit between the UK and continental Europe was the day trip my daughter and I took to Paris from London, and was floored how seemless it was. I suppose that is quite different now.

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