Letter To The Editor: Brexit … Mourning Exit From EU

By Dr. T. DOUGLAS REILLY
Los Alamos

I think I may wear black today (June 24) in mourning for the UK voting to leave the EU.

In early 1975, we left home in New Mexico to move to Italy. We took three months to get there, driving across the US, sailing on a Russian ship, Mikhail Lermontov, to La Hague, and then through France and northern Italy to Ispra. For almost 2.5 years, I worked in the Joint Research Centre of the European Communities (EURATOM).* 

In late 1978, we arrived back in Los Alamos after taking three months driving through Europe, mainly France; taking a ferry to England; then another ferry to Dún Laoghaire; driving a week through Ireland; back to London; taking a Polish ship, Stefan Batory, to Montreal; and then by way of Maine and Pennsylvania to Los Alamos.

The EU in 1975 had just been joined by the UK, Ireland and Denmark; this increased the members to nine. Having been born on 1 September1942, the third anniversary of the beginning of WWII when the Wehrmacht marched into Poland, I’d learned much about the wars of the first half of the 20th century. I was proud to work for an organization (idea) that many still believe attempts to end the horrors of the European wars. I first visited the headquarters of the IAEA in Vienna while we were living in Italy. In a way, I felt similar to how I later felt about working for the IAEA, i.e. I believe in the United Nations.

I feel the citizens of England, plus a few from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, made a mistake that as Dotty says ‘will be the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom.’ 

* The 1964 Treaties of Rome created three communities: Iron and Coal, Economic (Common Market), and Atomic (EURATOM) Communities.

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