It’s not you, Europe


I think we both need a stiff drink.


Oli Scarff

BRUSSELS, Belgium — British Prime Minister David Cameron promised his country on Wednesday that he would hold a referendum on its continued membership in the European Union. This is the note he should have sent the union’s other members.

Dear Europa,

It's not that I don't love you, but we need to talk.

We've been together 40 years now and we've had some wonderful times.

Who could forget that party back in '89 when you invited all the neighbors over... it's just a pity so many of them decided to stay on at my place afterward.

Of course I'll always love your cooking and am eternally grateful for you having my family and friends over on vacation.

It goes without saying that the business side of our relationship has been very profitable — whatever happens, I hope we'll always have that.

It's just that now it seems to me that all I get is nag, nag, nag.

I mean, do I really need you to tell me how many hours my doctors should "work" or how I should protect the "environment?"

Many of the chaps at the club say I should dump you here and now. I've told them that's going too far, but I think it’s clear we both need more space.

I'm sure you'd be happier with more time for yourself.

With me out of your hair, you'd be able to focus on those things you're always talking about, like fixing your broken euro or those little projects of yours — that banking union thingamajig or even that kooky idea of all harmonized taxes :).

You wouldn't really want to drag me into any of that now, would you? I'd just be in the way.

Now I'm not saying this will be easy, but we'll both come out stronger. We just can't be in each other's faces all the time. And it's really not that I want to break up with you, whatever the gang back home is saying.

Without you I'd feel, well, you know, diminished.

I don't think I could stand up to Barrack, Dilma, Vladimir and the rest without you by my side, not to mention the likes of Bibi and that Iranian fellow. I'm not even sure they'd want to see me at all if we weren't together any more.

Believe me, breaking up would hurt me more than it hurts you.

It’s just that the guys back home have warned me they're at the end of their tether, and if we can't get things sorted out between us soon, they won't let me be in charge anymore. You know how much that matters to me.

I want to give us more time, so I've told them we'll give it another four years to see if we can work it out. After that, it’s only fair that I ask them where our relationship goes from here.

Au revoir and lots of love,


p.s. Even if we do break up, I hope we can still stay friends. To repeat, naturally there’s absolutely no reason why the business side of the relationship need be affected.

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