All of this has historical reasons. The UK was not occupied in WW2. It considers itself as the winner of WW2. It does not realise that there is no such thing as a winner in a war.
Meanwhile I grew up in family with a nan who told me about being bombed out of her home by allied forces, her parents getting trapped in their cellar for days.
About marching for food and milk to feed her small children; she had to witness German soldiers drink the milk she had marched 40 miles for.
And about the 14-year old German soldiers she found in her garden crying for their mothers. As for my grandad: he fought at the Grebbeberg, ended up in a German factory, and suffered nightmares for his entire life.
The continental European stories about WW2 are rather different to the British ones In the continental stories, there are no winners. Only misery, at both ends. That’s why most of us realise we in Europe need to closely cooperate, why we need to unify, no matter how forced, flawed, or complicated that union is, it’s always better than no union whatsoever.
It’s also why many of us on the continent feel betrayed by Brexit. My grandad used to organise victory parades, hosting the veteran Scots Guards who liberated our city.
I discussed with them at length about how far we’ve come, in a united Europe. I’m pretty sure these veterans too would be disgusted about Brexit. It is perhaps fortunate that only a few of them live today to bear witness of this mess.
The phrase “United States of Europe” is like a red rag to a bull for pink-faced Empire-reminiscing, Blitz spirit-invoking members of the older generation, but many younger people would shrug their shoulders and say what’s so bad about being able to travel around Europe as easily as travelling around the USA? Or phoning for a plumber and, horror of horrors, a Polish man shows up?
Or an “EU army” that is actually run by grown-ups who would decline to participate in the USA’s next ill-advised invasion of a Middle Eastern country?
With more young people reaching voting age and those who still despise “Jerry” leaving this mortal coil, this is quite possibly the last chance for Brexit to take place.