EU Deletes UK from Official Map – Two Years Before Brexit

Britain hasn't brexited yet, but the EU has already scrapped it from its map

EU Deletes UK from Official Map – Two Years Before Brexit

This could be the first official map produced by the European Union to exclude the UK. But it is also an inaccurate one: the UK is still a member state of the EU. 


Brexit means Brexit: on 29 March, British Prime Minister Theresa May officially notified EU Council President Donald Tusk of Britain's intention to leave the European Union. 

But Britain hasn't left yet. By invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, May triggered a process that gives both sides two years to reach an agreement. Meaning that Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Until that time, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the European Union.

It is no secret that hardline brexiteers would rather leave today than tomorrow, and 'crash out' of the EU, even if that means falling back on the most rudimentary of agreements for trade and cooperation with 'EU27' – shorthand for the EU minus the UK. 

Now it seems that sentiment is reciprocated in the highest circles of the EU bureaucracy in Brussels. See the Reflection Paper on the Social Dimension of Europe (1), published by the European Commission on 26 April 2017. On page 9, it contains a telling map of the European Union. 

The map shows the unemployment rates of the member states – and the stark differences for those rates between member states in the north and south of the Union. But the eye is immediately drawn to the land mass of the United Kingdom: coloured not in the blues or oranges that indicate unemployment rates in the EU, but the grey of the non-member states that dot the map. 

Those non-members include the usual suspects: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Albania and five of the seven post-Yugoslav states (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia; Slovenia and Croatia have acceded to the EU). Squeezed between Poland and Lithuania is the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia proper and other countries in eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa are whited out.

The UK now joins the grey countries on the map. But this is not a map produced to satisfy the wishful thinking of those hardline Brexiteers who can't wait for 2019. This is an official publication of the European Commission, one of the highest institutions of the European Union. Despite the fact that, for almost two more years, the EU still includes Britain.

Map found on Bruno Waterfield's Twitter feed.

Strange Maps #836

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com

(1) As pointed out by a reader of this blog, the Reflection Paper deals explicitly with the future of the EU without the UK, hence the exclusion of Britain from the Union, both in the stats and on the map. This was not mentioned in an earlier version of this article – not to inflame sentiments against the EU, but to focus on the fact, remarkable in itself, that an official EU publication  has published a map of the Union without Britain, possibly for the first time, and almost two years before Brexit actually happens. 

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

Could muons point to new physics?

New data have set the particle physics community abuzz.

Credit: Stefano Garau / Adobe Stock and Trahko / Adobe Stock
13-8
  • The first question ever asked in Western philosophy, "What's the world made of?" continues to inspire high energy physicists.
  • New experimental results probing the magnetic properties of the muon, a heavier cousin of the electron, seem to indicate that new particles of nature may exist, potentially shedding light on the mystery of dark matter.
  • The results are a celebration of the human spirit and our insatiable curiosity to understand the world and our place in it.
Keep reading Show less
Credit: William Thomas Cain via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Benjamin Franklin wrote essays on a whole range of subjects, but one of his finest was on how to be a nice, likable person.
  • Franklin lists a whole series of common errors people make while in the company of others, like over-talking or storytelling.
  • His simple recipe for being good company is to be genuinely interested in others and to accept them for who they are.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast