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Still European

(76 Posts)
Baggs Sun 03-Jan-21 14:07:39

Of course we are still European. We always were and always will be unless there's some sudden, gigantic tectonic shift in which case we probably won't be anything.

Beats me why people conflate the EU with Europe. The latter is a continent, the former a trading bloc containing some but not all European countries.

Just saying 🙂

Smileless2012 Sun 03-Jan-21 14:11:52

Couldn't agree more Baggssmile.

quizqueen Sun 03-Jan-21 14:13:40

Well said, Baggs, but many don't seem to know the difference including most commentators in the media. I've even heard Mr Farage slip up sometimes and say Europe. Just because I voted to leave the EU, it doesn't mean I hate the European people.

sarahcyn Sun 03-Jan-21 14:14:49

Thank you @Baggs. Of course we are still European.
Unfortunately, like Brexit, this stupid virus is putting terrific strain on old friendships - see @welbeck's response above, which is completely understandable, but if it weren't for the pandemic none of us would feel we have to choose between our friends in this way.
I lost all my Remainer friends after Brexit because I voted with the majority of the country to be unshackled from an increasingly sclerotic, corrupt and wasteful bureaucracy which is completely hypocritical in its attitude to animal welfare (my main concern).
I never see my own reasons for voting Brexit reflected anywhere. I see myself continually lumped in by pundits and online wiseacres with racists and xenophobes - quite funny when my Polish DIL is a vociferous Brexit supporter.
Now I'm losing all my Brexit leaning friends because so many of them think the virus is "just flu" and that "the state is trying to control us" "we're losing our freedoms" "the rules are ridiculous" "the financial elite are trying to remove currencies" "Bill Gates is putting nanoparticles in the vaccines which will control our minds" (seriously - these are real conspiracy theories). I have to listen to these daily from my dear elder son because he has moved back in with us with wife and toddler while househunting...
Some of us are probably feeling a bit alone.

Mamie Sun 03-Jan-21 14:21:48

What do you mean by European Baggs? Part of a geographical entity? Having a similar geopolitical experience as countries that are relatively near? Having a shared historical experience including conflict / peacetime? Speaking the language of some European countries? Enjoying the cuisine? Sharing cultural experiences - art, architecture, music, dance?
I think unless you define it a bit more it is a bit meaningless. Unless you are just saying that the the EU is not a synonym for European. In which case - well yeah. 😊

Whitewavemark2 Sun 03-Jan-21 14:24:13

Mamie

What do you mean by European Baggs? Part of a geographical entity? Having a similar geopolitical experience as countries that are relatively near? Having a shared historical experience including conflict / peacetime? Speaking the language of some European countries? Enjoying the cuisine? Sharing cultural experiences - art, architecture, music, dance?
I think unless you define it a bit more it is a bit meaningless. Unless you are just saying that the the EU is not a synonym for European. In which case - well yeah. 😊

I agree with your points, well said.

David0205 Sun 03-Jan-21 14:34:57

Except we now have to have customs checks on personal goods including cars and caravans when we enter or leave the EU, be careful of VAT on purchases from the EU too and refund is from the individual state. Small sellers on both sides will need to be very careful with imports/exports.

Mamie Sun 03-Jan-21 14:40:40

Well yes David0205 and those of us who live here and are having to come to terms with life as Third Country Nationals have a whole lot of extra stuff to deal with. But President Macron said to us resident Brits, "aujourd'hui et demain vous êtes chez vous" and that to me is the essence of what it means to be European.

Nanof3 Sun 03-Jan-21 14:40:46

We have lived in Germany for some years previously and we were pretty near the Dutch border. We made many friends and I can tell you that they regard themselves German or Dutch and never describe themselves as Europeans, indeed they harbour resentful feelings regarding the seemingly endless rules and regulations and the tremendous waste of money that is endemic in the EU. Many Germans in particular wish they could also make the break as we have finally done.
Why do people describe themselves as European when they do not live on the continent, most of us are proud to be English, Welsh, Irish or Scots first and British second. There is nothing wrong with being proud of our own country.

Galaxy Sun 03-Jan-21 14:44:12

I dont think anecdote is data though, my father is German and he and his family harbour no resentment to the EU. They are very pleased to be part of it. I will always feel European.

lemongrove Sun 03-Jan-21 14:45:45

Yes Baggs I think many people do conflate the two things,
As if by leaving the tyranny of Brussels we are no longer part of Europe.We are as much a part in every way as we always were.Enjoying trips to other countries, loving the cuisine and cultures.

Mamie Sun 03-Jan-21 14:49:55

Seriously lemongrove? You would surely have to be pretty hard of thinking not to understand that "European" has a different meaning from "The European Union". Are people really that uninformed?

lemongrove Sun 03-Jan-21 14:50:01

As Nanof3 says though, I certainly don’t think of myself as European ( it’s a whole continent!)
Most people think of themselves as British here ( or English, Irish Welsh, Scots etc) just as the French, Germans, Spanish etc etc think of themselves.
Nobody ( truly) thinks of themselves as European, it’s meaningless.

lemongrove Sun 03-Jan-21 14:51:13

Yes Mamie they really are that ill informed as has been demonstrated many times on GN by angry Remainers.

Galaxy Sun 03-Jan-21 14:51:45

People have different feelings and beliefs to you lemongrove.

lemongrove Sun 03-Jan-21 14:53:19

So?

Galaxy Sun 03-Jan-21 14:57:53

So saying that nobody truly thinks of themselves as Europeans just shows you have difficulty understanding that people feel differently to you and have different experiences to you.

Mamie Sun 03-Jan-21 14:59:21

No I don't think it is meaningless lemongrove. Yes I will always be British in France, but France is my home. I feel a part of the continuum of the history and culture of Europe, so in that sense I am absolutely European.

Grandma70s Sun 03-Jan-21 15:01:15

When I was a child there was a book on my parents’ bookshelves called ‘We Europeans’, so I have always felt very much part of Europe. Both my parents were British, but French/English bilingual, and my father spoke excellent German as well. I have always felt this country was part of the European continent - after all, what other continent do we belong to? - and not some isolated island.

(I realise I am not talking about trading, but about identity.)

BlueBelle Sun 03-Jan-21 15:28:27

Well I m an European who lives in Europe I feel European just as someone who lives in Zimbabwe feels African
I value the friendship, the trading and the peace we have had on the continent of Europe and I am very angry at the division of my country because some people have a small island mentality

rubysong Sun 03-Jan-21 15:31:55

I am and always have been British. I've never felt European. Just my opinion.

Mamie Sun 03-Jan-21 16:02:14

I presume though rubysong that you don't think that the two are mutually exclusive? I think we are all individuals and the way we feel will depend on our personal experiences of life.
I am still interested to know what Baggs meant by her OP though.

David0205 Sun 03-Jan-21 16:37:54

My passport says I’m British and that’s how I feel, others that call themselves Scots or Welsh are just being deliberately divisive. I don’t think many of us identify as Europeans in the belonging sense, any more than the French do.

Certainly in the racial sense as would be African or Asian people

biba70 Sun 03-Jan-21 16:43:45

I know how I feel- but I don't know what was/is the point of this thread?

Will you take on French nationality Mamie, or have you already? Of course having they are not mutually exclusive.

lemongrove Sun 03-Jan-21 16:44:46

Mamie

No I don't think it is meaningless lemongrove. Yes I will always be British in France, but France is my home. I feel a part of the continuum of the history and culture of Europe, so in that sense I am absolutely European.

Yes, I can understand that when somebody lives in France as you do, particularly for a long time, although you are British, may feel, if not French, then less British and more of a mixture of the two, so European may cover it.
What I don’t believe though, is that those who live in Britain and are British by birth and upbringing see themselves as European first, British second, and English or Scottish etc last!
I think that those who say it, don’t mean it but believe it to be a more sophisticated outlook.It’s only a short step away from announcing grandly that they are a ‘citizen of the world’.