When Britain liked Europe and Europe liked Britain

I was 9 years old when the British troops entered my city, Brussels, and freed it from the German occupation. I remember the tanks of the 30th Corps coming into my street and my neighbors welcomming the British soldiers. For us it was the beginning of the end of World War II.

I remember me visiting the British soldiers with my friends in their tents near my home. And the soldiers giving us cookies. And British trucks distributing white bread to the people in the streets. (We hadn’t seen any white bread during the German occupation).

Many homes invited a “Tommy” (as we called the British soldiers) for lunch or dinner. Same did my parents. These “Tommies” were prepared to sacrify their lives for us.

My children and grandchildren have passed their vacations in Britain, to learn english and make friends. English is an important, maybe the most important language in Europe and in the world. All European schools are teaching English.

Now UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum, on Thursday 23 June, whether Britain should remain in the European Union or leave. A democratic decision, of course.

But I would feel sad if the UK decided to leave. Europe would be broken. An Eurotunnel was build tu connect it. Should we then learn another language instead of English?

There would be two losers: Great Britain and Europe.

We should not forget the reasons that moved Europeans to build a United Europe.




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