Once upon a time in another time and country, which was actually an island, people knew where they belonged. Actually it was four countries but they were together: had the same laws, the same money (although perhaps different designs) and they were all happy to be what they were. They also spoke the same language, although a little different.
One day they noticed the world was shrinking and you could go to other countries. This was a good thing, especially as everyone spoke your language, at least that was the general opinion. They did not eat the same food and had different money, but the weather was better, you could take photos and show everyone back home what a lovely suntan you had.
One day the country leader decided it would be perhaps a good idea to join the other countries, just a loose connection, but there would be advantages. People discovered that if this happed they could travel easier and even enjoy the benefits of other countries, mainly buying duty free wine and so the deed was done. Day trips were organised to the wine countries and there were supermarkets installed as the ships arrived in the harbour across the sea that divided them where they could buy their stocks of wine. This country was learning and now instead of the pint of beer with the meal you were being offered Beaujolais or Sauterne, although the white wine was most popular because you could drink it cold from the refrigerator.
As the years passed they even built a tunnel beneath the strip of sea which technically meant it was no longer an island. There were new ideas, new country leaders and things changed. The ministers on the island were no longer and it was decided that the laws should be for everyone. The island people said yes in a democratic vote, but many were not so happy because they were no longer what they were: they belonged to the masses that were over the strip of sea, although they now had a tunnel. Many were unhappy and the cheap tax free wine was also no longer as cheap and manifold as it was.
The island people were unhappy, they were losing their identity, after already losing their cheap wine and they were expected to eat foreign food and learn languages. Did they really want to stay with the foreigners? They had a vote and decided no, although this was not foreseen. No-one said no to such a union of countries.
The “no” happened a few years ago and in between some said yes again, although others still said no which seemed to confuse the matter. They organised marches, protests, and they are still talking about it.
And me – no problem. My country never belonged, although we are in the middle. We have our own money, our own laws and ur own passport and have no problem with food from spaghetti to sauerkraut and crepe suzette. And I am now too old to bother with such paltry problems.