Anti-Brexit protests NurPhoto/Getty Images

Klein-England und das nicht mehr so große Britannien

AMSTERDAM – Als Anglo-Holländer – mit britischer Mutter und holländischem Vater – kann ich nicht umhin, den Brexit ziemlich persönlich zu nehmen. Ich bin kein bedingungsloser Europa-Enthusiast, aber eine Europäische Union ohne Großbritannien fühlt sich an, wie bei einem schrecklichen Unfall eine Gliedmaße zu verlieren.

Doch nicht alle meine Mitbürger sind unglücklich. Der holländische EU- und islamfeindliche Demagoge Geert Wilders twitterte: „Ein Hurra den Briten! Jetzt sind wir dran.” Diese Geisteshaltung ist bedenklicher und unheilvoller als die Auswirkungen des Brexit auf die britische Wirtschaft. Zerstörungsdrang kann ansteckend sein.

Das Image des Vereinigten Königreichs hat sich buchstäblich über Nacht verwandelt. Über 200 Jahre lang verkörperte Großbritannien ein gewisses Ideal der Freiheit und Toleranz (zumindest für viele Europäer; Inder werden das womöglich etwas anders sehen). Anglophile Menschen bewunderten Großbritannien aus vielen Gründen, unter anderem auch für seine relative Offenheit gegenüber Flüchtlingen aus illiberalen Regimen auf dem Kontinent. Es war ein Land, in dem ein Mann mit sephardisch-jüdischen Wurzeln, Benjamin Disraeli, Premierminister werden konnte. Und es stellte sich 1940 Hitler praktisch alleine entgegen.

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