Anti-Brexit protests NurPhoto/Getty Images

La Pequeña Inglaterra y la Bretaña no tan grande

AMSTERDAM – Como angloholandés —de madre británica y padre holandés— no puedo evitar que el brexit me resulte algo personal. No soy un entusiasta incondicional del euro, pero la Unión Europea sin Gran Bretaña produce una sensación similar a la de haber perdido un brazo en un terrible accidente.

De todas formas, no todos mis compatriotas se sienten desdichados, Geert Wilders, holandés, anti-unión europea, antimusulmán y demagogo tuiteó: "¡Hurra por los británicos!, ahora nos toca a nosotros". Este tipo de sentimiento es más alarmante y ominoso que las implicaciones del brexit para el futuro de la economía británica. El impulso destructivo puede ser contagioso.

La imagen del Reino Unido ha cambiado, literalmente, de la noche a la mañana. Durante más de 200 años, Gran Bretaña representó un cierto ideal de libertad y tolerancia (al menos para muchos europeos; es posible que los habitantes de la India tengan una percepción un tanto distinta). Los anglófilos admiraban a Gran Bretaña por muchos motivos, incluida su relativa apertura a los refugiados provenientes de regímenes continentales intransigentes. Era un lugar donde un hombre de origen judío serfardí, Benjamín Disraeli, pudo convertirse en primer ministro. Y se enfrentó a Hitler virtualmente solo en 1940.

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