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by John Brian Shannon | September 21, 2016
It is a time of change and a time of renewal in old Europa.
Three countries are leaving or have already left the European Union. Greenland opted to leave in 2009, the residents of Switzerland voted in a countrywide referendum to leave the EU in 2014, and in 2016 Britons voted to Brexit.
Not only that, but Italy decides by countrywide referendum whether to stay in the EU this December, while the Netherlands, France, and Hungary have upcoming elections and strong anti-EU political parties pushing for referenda to exit from the European Union.
Norway never did join the EU, but co-exists with the EU via the EEA and EFTA models. And Norway’s economy and people are doing very well, to say the least.
It’s not WWII scale of change in Europe, thankfully. It’s not even Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe scale of change. But Europe is changing, it’s a work-in-progress, and there is much that could still go right, or wrong, for the European project.
Creating a Minister for European Affairs
Which is why Prime Minister Theresa May should create a new position in her government of Minister for Europe which would cover everything Europe on behalf of the British government.
For the Foreign Secretary to try to cover all things Europe at this time of unprecedented change in Europe — and to build and nurture relationships between Britain and every other country in the world, is simply asking too much from one human being. The Foreign Secretary’s job is a full time job, and that’s under normal circumstances.
While a Minister for Europe would be a full time job with significant challenges involved as some of the 27 EU nations seek to delay, derail, or persuade Britain to remain in the EU (not because it will benefit the UK, but because that’s what will benefit their particular country) even as others seek to punish UK voters for choosing to Brexit.
The Minister for Brexit portfolio only deals with relations between the UK and the European Union, while a Minister for Europe would cover all socio-economic and military-security relations (and more) with every country from Iceland in the west to Ukraine in the east, from Norway in the north to Spain’s southern islands off the coast of Africa, in the south.
There is so much more going on in Europe these days beyond the mandate of Minister for Brexit, that it will take a full time and highly dedicated person to oversee all things Europe. It’s a big territory and it’s sure to be a big job.
Choosing the best Minister for European Affairs
And for that, you need someone larger than life — someone like Nigel Farage, who isn’t afraid of anyone, anywhere, for any reason. At no time would anyone ever think that Nigel wasn’t fully devoted to protecting Britain and helping her to grow to her best potential. Even his political opponents would attest to that.
Mr. Farage created and led the UKIP political party to great heights in a very few years, culminating in the Brexit vote, and Nigel Farage made it look easy every day of the year.
I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited to the job than Nigel Farage, nor could anyone approach his future success in all of the UK’s dealings with Europe, from Iceland to Ukraine and everything in between.
Thus far, PM Theresa May has made some smart moves, hiring Nigel Farage as Minister for Europe could prove to be the smartest move of all.