There’s all this fuss going on about whether the UK should leave the EU. I’ll not bore American readers with the ins and outs of the in-out campaign (the BBC explains it here), but silly rules over things like abnormally curved bananas, higher than predicted immigration, and a very high ‘club’ membership fee have irked enough people for polls to be showing a lead for the ‘Outies’. Come June 23, it’s not impossible the UK says “No, thank you’ very politely to the EU, and casts itself off into its then very sovereign waters. There it would float, savouring its new-found freedom, as you do after breaking up with that person who always decided what you both did in the relationship.
But once you’ve had a long-term partner, it’s hard to give up that sense of security, of always having someone there for you, in good times and bad, who splits the bills and who’ll back you up if you get into a fight. So I’m wondering if there is a Brexit, then perhaps (after a decent interval, of course) there could be some potential for the UK and USA to take that ‘special relationship’ to the next level. Perhaps not all the way to a permanent (51st) state of matrimony, but would there be anything wrong with perhaps a little territorial flirting, a ‘friends with benefits’ scenario. Benefits such as…
* the UK would be able to watch more American football, have a public holiday on July 4th, and discover real iced coffee; the U.S. would be able to watch more proper football, have the day after Christmas Day off, and discover real hot tea.
* brunch in a real American diner would probably become the meal of choice in the UK; in return America would have the gift of British bacon.
* Hallowe’en in the UK would be SO much better; and in the USA, you’d have an excuse to set off fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day (November 5).
* no more having to wait 25 zillion weeks for your favourite UK/USA series to be shown on ‘foreign soil’. And perhaps BBC America might actually become a proper TV channel, instead of one that shows just the one show.
* spell checkers could be reprogrammed to allow both UK and U.S. spellings of words such as licorice/liquorice, center/centre and check/cheque. And of course aluminum/aluminium. I’d love words such as pants/trousers and fanny pack/bum bag to be homogenized, but I think the U.N. should first concentrate on bringing about world peace.
* there could be a new meaning to fly/drive holidays. In theory, you don’t need a passport to travel within the US and to US territories, just a government-issued photo ID. So what about a joint UK/USA driver’s license that meant no passports, no visas and no interminable immigration queues on both sides of the Atlantic for ‘dual drivers’. Although of course it would mean you’d have to prove you could drive on both sides of the road (at the same time doesn’t count obviously).
* the UK would learn there is a world out there that has bigger cars and smaller gas bills
* the US would learn that there is a world out there where the price on the tag actually is the price you pay
* Americans who love members of the Royal family would feel that little bit closer to them; ditto for those in the UK who revere the Kardashians.
* the UK would get patriotism, the USA would get irony. Which is what I’ve been employing in this post. Thanks for humoring/humouring me.