Sunday, May 16, 2021

What Size Is A Significant Nation These Days?

I ask that question because now that the United Kingdom has exited the European Union, the UK finds itself alone in the world as a standalone nation, sans colonies, sans everything that 150 years ago made Britain an Empire; in this new sans environment Britannia finds herself the amazing shrinking country.

Today she is, give or take, 65 million people.

That's the same size as France and Italy.

That's not that much bigger than California.

That certainly is substantially less than the 500 million of the European Union that Britannia decided to exit.

But things are about to get interesting.

Scotland is inexorably heading toward a secede from the UK vote; they voted on that a while back and 55% voted to stay; but that was before the English component of the UK voted to leave the EU; since there are way more English than there are Scots, Welsh and Northern Ireland the English vote prevailed; Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU but they are too few to have a say; so now they want to go back; secession is the only path to that end.

Wales is in the wings watching.

Northern Ireland voted about as overwhelmingly as Scotland to remain in the EU.

What they are likely to do is complicated by the history back to James I (James III of Scotland who ascended the throne of England and commenced the UK) whose son - James II - actually came back to Great Britain after abdicating and running away as his son in law William of Orange moved with an army from the coast into London; James tried to overthrow his son in law and his son in law's wife - his, James II's daughter Mary.

The politics surrounding William of Orange - William III of England - and his wife and queen, Mary, spawned an ugly little civil war that had most of its battles in Ireland.

What has remained has been northern Irish loyalty, almost psychotic loyalty to the main island; the marching season dredges up the whole thing year after year.

But those people liked being in the EU; they might someday do the unthinkable and merge with the Irish Republic and thus rejoin the EU.

So where does that leave the English?

Assuming that they keep Northern Ireland in the kingdom but lose Scotland and Wales that leaves them, at about 56 million in a group of states that are 40 million or a bit more: Poland, Spain and California.

If they were to lose Northern Ireland England would be alone in the world with54 million people.

Nigeria has a population of 260 million.

I see the tactic: secede from the EU; but I'll be damned if I can grasp the strategy.

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