We are at the edge of a continent with only one bloc next to us. We share a land-border with it. Yet, Brexit means we are about to definitely leave that bloc to become one of only a handful of countries outside a trading bloc.

First published in October 2020.

So, it looks like we will soon be one of only a handful of countries that are NOT inside a trading bloc.

A couple of empty wildernesses.

A couple of pariah states.

And us.

There is a reason these things exist, and we will soon discover it...

Because when it becomes obvious how hard and expensive it is to be outside a bloc – and believe me, Leavers, it WILL become obvious – we will certainly have to try to join one again.

But which one?

Well, let’s look at that map again. Notice something?

Pre-Brexit World Economic Blocs. | MIT

Every trade bloc is made up of neighbours. There are no non-contiguous blocs.


We are not going to join the African Union. And NAFTA (which has been replaced by USMCA on 1 July 2020) is not going to open the books to an island 4,255 miles away.

We are at the edge of a continent with only one bloc next to us...

The EU!

And sure, you can say “We don’t mind the trade, but why do we need the political union too?”

Because that’s what is available. Nothing else.

We can sit in the middle of the Atlantic waiting for a more comfortable life-boat to come along, or we can get in the one that exists.

And for all its ‘discomforts’ (which do not damage your life one bit), the EU is the only trade bloc big or powerful enough to get equal terms from the United States and China.

And we share a land-border with it. It is right next door.

And it wants us to be part of it.

We must be crazy.🔷

Russell Jones, Designer, data analyst, blogger.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 17 October 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)

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