The big winners in all this are the British, who tend to be Europhobic. For example, years ago the U.K. decided not to join the EU?s common currency, because the British people wanted to keep the pound.
And while Prime Minister Tony Blair is a supporter of the EU constitution -- last year, Blair worked with other European leaders to hammer out a final agreement -- he was smart enough to avoid discussing the constitution during his recent bid for re-election. Blair had promised he?d let the people vote next year on whether or not to accept the constitution, but he made sure he had a new term in hand first. Now there?s probably no reason for a referendum, since the French have done the British a favor and killed off the constitution for them.
That?s ironic, because when it comes to hating the French, we Americans can?t hold a candle to the Brits. A few years ago there was a minor furor here over renaming foods that included the word French. Thus, in some circles, French Toast became ?Freedom Toast.? But we?re light years behind the British.
In England, you?ll look in vain for an ?Exit.? That may be because the word sounds too French (even though in French an exit is a ?sortie?), so exits are labeled ?Way Out.? And don?t try to order a filet (fill-eh) of beef. It?s pronounced ?fill-it,? love.
There?s little doubt that, had the EU constitution prevailed and come into force, the fine folks in Brussels would have standardized the word for ?exit,? so Europeans in any nation would always have been able to find the way out. As the bureaucrats are finding out, though, the voters already knew the way.