Once upon a time, there was a street; and in the middle of the street, there was a tree. And the name of the tree was the EU Tree.
The EU Tree wasn’t perfect. Parts of it were a bit rotten, it cost quite a lot of money to prune and water, and its roots were starting to scrape against the foundations of some of the nearby houses. But by and large, people loved the EU Tree. It produced fruit for those too poor to buy food, its low branches allowed people to climb from one garden to the next, and it held the soil together when it rained.
But some people did not love the EU Tree. The people on the far west of the street were nostalgic for the days before the tree, when it was just a big field, and they said it starved smaller seedlings of light. And the people on the far east of the street … well, they just hated trees.
So the people from the west and the people from the east got together, and hatched a plan. They started talking loudly about the bad points of the tree, and telling fairy stories about how much better the street would be if it was gone. And then one day, in the middle of the night, they sneaked into the park in the middle of the street, and chopped the EU Tree down.
When the rest of the people in the street woke up to find a charred stump where the EU Tree used to be, they were sad and angry. The far westerners looked the other way and whistled; the far easterners laughed. As the people who loved the tree trudged miserably back to their homes, the westerners turned to the easterners and said: “We’re just going to go and get some new seedlings, to plant in the space where the EU Tree used to stand.”
And so the westerners left to find some seedlings to plant on the lot. And when they returned, they found that the easterners had built a fucking Starbucks on it.