Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Plug English Channel

Improve UK's integration with EU by eliminating the English Channel
  (+5, -9)
(+5, -9)
  [vote for,

The existance of a body of water between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe is one of the main reasons why the UK citizens feel that they are not part of Europe. Cultural and Economic division is a direct result of poor land communications between the Uk and mainland Europe.

I propose that the elimination of the English Channel would remove the divide thus acceleratinf the UK's integration into Europe.

Several possibilities exist : 1) Build two large dams at either end and drain the Channel. The experience of Dutch engineers should be drawn upon which would help with the Anglo-Dutch relationships. 2) Plug the Channel with land taken from elsewhere. Again severaly possibilities exist : 2a) Move Scotland to the south to fill the Channel. Europe has always been inaccessible to the Scots due to their northerly position. They would benefit from improved climate and also more tourists from mainland Europe. 2b) Move Iceland - its in an awkward place anyway and they would be nearer their Norwegian origins. 2c) Move London. City life would improve tremendously : London to Paris would be reduced to just 2 hours by Eurostar; The River Thames could be made wider to accomodate not only Oxford and Cambridge but all the universities in the annual Boat Race. One disavantage here is that we are only moving the problem 100km north i.e. we would still have to move Scotland or Iceland to help bridge the newly widened Thames.

The plugging of the Channel would also benefit coastal towns such as Brighton and Hastings whose tourism and commercial catchment areas would double from 180 to 360 degrees.

farcrown, Apr 17 2002

(?) alternatively http://www.halfbake...Plug_20All_20Oceans
many apologies for rampant pisstaking. [sappho, Apr 18 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Pangaea Reunification http://www.halfbake...aea_20Reunification
Reunite the whole world in blessed harmony instead [-alx, Apr 24 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) The West Peir http://www.westpier...emon.co.uk/pier.htm
It's broken. [mcscotland, Apr 24 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The West Pier http://www.thisisbr...res/west_pier_fire/
Ha! It's even more broken now. And the sooner it disappears for good, the better. [DrBob, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Finally! A practical idea on the halfbakery.
bristolz, Apr 17 2002

       In return for donating the fill material we'll get more lakes and canoe paths? I like that.
reensure, Apr 17 2002

       2d) Instead of plugging the gap, just push Britain right up against France (or push the entire European continent up against Britain) and squish together till all the wrinkly bits are filled.   

       I like the simpler dam idea best, and suggest that once the water has been drained out the gap is turned into a forest stocked with boars, bears, wolves etc, so that someone standing on the cliffs of Dover will look out across a sea of green. Special tree-top hopping vessels could be hired (air-balloons, natch) for squirrel-fishing purposes.
Saveloy, Apr 18 2002

       I think that this idea is somewhat 'in the oven'. Africa is doing its best to squish Europe generally, although to date they have only managed to create the Alps etc. On the other hand, isn't Denmark about the right size to stick in the Channel? Then they would have less problem with Swedes coming over to take advantage of less prohibition-esque bar prices and opening hours.
sappho, Apr 18 2002

       The reason why this particular UK citizen feels that he is not part of Europe is more to do with a different language, different culture, different social organisation, and different outlook on subjects as diverse as warm beer, eating horses, and the design of public toilets. Furthermore, this particular UK citizen has no desire to become part of Europe, any more than some hypothetical Belgian wants to become British. Strange that the nation that invented the phrase 'Vive la difference' now attempts to eradicate it.
angel, Apr 18 2002

       Angel, I'm with you. Stuff Europe, I'm British and will do anything to stay that way.
LardyBloke, Apr 18 2002

       I picked up a discarded hi-fi from the street once. Turned out that the only thing wrong with it was that there was a Bluetones CD stuck in the cup holder and it wouldn't go in and out. Once we got it out the whole thing works fine.
sappho, Apr 18 2002

       [angel] Europe, as I'm sure you know, is made up of lots of countries, all of which speak different languages and have different cultures. It's not like there is one European monoculture and then British culture which is different as you seem to be insinuating. If you're being serious (and I'm not sure if you are or not) that's exactly the sort of English superiority complex that gets right up peoples noses.
stupop, Apr 18 2002

       // It's not like there is one European monoculture and then British culture which is different as you seem to be insinuating. //   

       stupop, I don't see where angel suggested any such thing. It appears to me he was only indicating his preference for the UK culture, which differs from _the other European cultures_. Nowhere does he refer to a single European culture.
waugsqueke, Apr 18 2002

       sappho, Dennis Bergkamp is Dutch. You may be thinking of Brian Laudrup. Then again you may not.   

       Anyway, the further integration of Europe is not about the absorbtion of disparate nations into one monocultured superstate. The purpose of the European Union is to create a single common market for the purposes of economic power. That a certain degree of national sovereignty has to be passed over to the administration of this common market is unavoidable.   

       If you oppose European integration, oppose it for it's implicit promotion of the capitalist ideal and the inherent free-market philosophy at the core of it's principles. Do not oppose it becuase of perceived cultural and social differences, as they are irrelevant.   

       Certain social and cultural matters will be affected by the actions of the European Union (and not always negatively - consider the European Convention of Human Rights) but the level of interference to which member states are subjected is far lower than the level of latitude ensured for member states by the principle of subsidiarity, a principle entrenched in all European Treaties.
calum, Apr 18 2002

       The Channel happens to be the busiest shipping lane in the world so maritime chaos would be certain. What gave you the preposterous idea that Britain wants anything to do with those bungling bureaucrats in Brussels?
brewmaster, Apr 18 2002

       //The reason why this particular UK citizen feels that he is not part of Europe is more to do with a different language, different culture,.....//   

       To me that statement implies that British culture is distinct and different to European culture. As Britain is part of Europe, British culture is a constituent part of European culture. It's like someone from Peru saying that they don't really feel part of South America. There is a snobbish tendency over here to distance ourselves from the idea of being a 'European country' when in fact that is exactly what we are, like it or not. [angel] Feel free to clarify your annotation. If I have misunderstood it, I apologise.
stupop, Apr 18 2002

       angel: European union is only an excercise designed to erradicate individual, diverse coutries' cultures if you believe the Daily Star. European union is not ethnic cleansing.
mcscotland, Apr 18 2002

       Well, stupop, whatever. I still think you're seeing things to grumble about where they don't exist.   

       I've never understood why Britian should consider itself part of Europe, really, anyway.
waugsqueke, Apr 18 2002

       I don't regard Britain as part of europe. Britain is more international. Our language is spoken in as a first language in at least one country in every continent on the world. Our economic cycles are closer to that of North America and so is our culture. In european countries because of the land border, the cultures tend to get blurred a bit and meld together. Just look at the culture snatching by England and Scotland from each other. Even the scandinavian countries don't want to be part of europe. They feel that economic union leads to political union, leads to loss of self government. I for one don't want to part of europe and loose control of my own country just when we got our parliament up and running. plus something about commonwealth, international obligations etc.
[ sctld ], Apr 18 2002

       [UnaBubba] That was one of the funniest things I've read in a long time.
phoenix, Apr 18 2002

       [stupop]: I don't remember saying that England was superior to any country in Europe, or to Europe as a whole. Indeed, there are certain aspects of the collective mindsets of some European countries which I admire. I *did* suggest that England is *different*, which is certainly the case. Snobbery need not enter the equation. You say that we *are* a European country, without specifying what you mean by that. If you mean simply that we are, de facto, a member of the EU, then obviously you're correct, but you're also missing the point, which is that, aside from the (debatable) convenience of a free trade area, England has little in common with other European states, collectively or individually.
[calum]: //Anyway, the further integration of Europe is not about the absorbtion of disparate nations into one monocultured superstate.//
No, but the differences in culture between England and, for example, Germany explain why regulations which may work perfectly well in Germany work very badly in England. They may also work very badly in Greece; that is for the Greeks to argue. I'm not suggesting that there is only one 'European' culture. (It could be argued, however, that many of the individual nations of Europe are far more culturally similar to each other than they are to England.)
[mcscotland]: //European union is only an excercise designed to erradicate individual, diverse coutries' cultures if you believe the Daily Star.//
Or if you believe the British traders who were prosecuted, convicted and fined for selling British produce in (British) Imperial measures, as preferred by their British customers.
[UnaBubba]: The EU, as a body, derives more benefit from England's membership than England does.
angel, Apr 19 2002

       angel, I should have explained the principle of subsidiarity. It requires that, as far as is appropriate, decisions be taken as close to the people as possible As a result of the liberal application of this principle throught Community legislation and jurisprudence, only those measures which, by their nature, require and merit Community-level legislation are legislated in that manner. As a result, far less power is relinquished directly to the Comminity institutions than the UK media would have you beleive.   

       There are two main types of Community legislation. Firstly, there are regulations, which are roughly equivalent to our statutes - they are binding in terms what what they acheive and how they acheive it. The majority of Community legislation, however, is in the form of Directives, which are binding only in terms of the effect theyare to produce. The domestic legislatures of each member state have to produce their own Acts of Parliament to acheive the desired effect, but are free to use whatever mechanisms they wish. This means that there is harmonization of laws across Europe and that this harmonization is tailored for the individual needs of each memeber state.   

       Through subsidiarity and the use of Directives, Community wide aims can be acheived without supplanting the culture-specific legislative styles and preferences of member states.
calum, Apr 19 2002

       In answer to your first question, yes. Your second question doesn't really make sense. The common law system doesn't come into it. If your point is that European nations have different legal cultures, then yes. However, the fact that directives are only implementable through acts of the legislature (and not through the interpretative function of the judiciary) means that the processes each member state has to follow through to implement the requirements of any given directive are substantiallly similar.
calum, Apr 19 2002

       A landbridge would never work. If there were a road across it there would have to be some sort of complex lane overpass to change the sides of the road the traffic was on!
dare99, Apr 19 2002

       Sounds like an idea, dare99 - "Moebius Strip Road From England To France"
sappho, Apr 19 2002

       Culturally specific legislation which achieves a defined outcome is nonsense. It is the outcome itself which is most likely to be at odds with a nation's culture. To achieve a Germano-centric outcome by Anglo-centric means does not meet the needs (or desires) of England.
Further, the fact that "the domestic legislatures of each member state have to produce their own Acts of Parliament to acheive the desired effect, but are free to use whatever mechanisms they wish" actually reinforces the notion that the UK legislature is at the beck and call of the European. "Do this however you want, but do it." In any event, I nowhere stated that England's continued absorption into Europe was being achieved solely by the actions of the EU; I am fully aware that our own politicians are conspiring. I am merely stating that I am opposed to it.
angel, Apr 19 2002

       angel, my apologies. It was never my intention to get into an ideological argument about European intergation, especially as my interest in the topic is purely academic. I was not advocating integration and I was not attacking your political views, I was just attempting to allay the fears (I perceived) you have about the surrender of soveriegnty by outlining the mechanisms designed to ensure regionally-appropriate legislation.
calum, Apr 19 2002

       [calum]: No problem, and no apology necessary.
[UnaB]: If I may reply in [calum]'s lieu (so to speak), the answer to your first question is no, it's principally political, and to the others, yes, but keep in mind that the interpretation of such may be influenced by political viewpoint (or possibly paranoia).
angel, Apr 19 2002

angel, Apr 19 2002

       In light of recent political events in France, I would like to widen "La Manche" to keep the racists at bay. Wonder what the French for "Send 'em all back" is?
brewmaster, Apr 24 2002

       brewmaster, professional ironist.
calum, Apr 24 2002

       I wonder whether, given M. Le Pen's proclaimed policy of ending immigration, he may wish to take back those who immigrated to UK *from* France.
angel, Apr 24 2002

       Didn't the Franks come from central Europe in the dark ages anyway? Asterix the Gaul is the only true Frenchman.
pottedstu, Apr 24 2002

       "The plugging of the Channel would also benefit coastal towns such as Brighton and Hastings"   

       But then I'd lose my (arguably) lovely beach.
-alx, Apr 24 2002

       ...but it would stop the sea water damage which is destroying the West Pier. Result!
mcscotland, Apr 24 2002

       Le Penn graciously shows us what side of the European integration argument that neo-natzis take. As someone who has lived in France for two years I'm all for European integration as I know those foreigner chaps are distinctive but are still more akin to us than those people, who look nerviously across the channel for people to demonise, care to admit.   

       I not only think we should dam the channel but we should bio-engineer giant Dutch sea monsters to do the job ...
Aristotle, Apr 24 2002

       Amusingly, Le Pen has been ridiculed in the past for dying his hair blonde in order to make him look more "Ayrian". [UnaBubba]Talk about "Germanic roots".
brewmaster, Apr 25 2002

       The Finns are further away from Brussels than the UK and have far worse communications with france etc.   

       They don't seem to have much of a problem integrating with the rest of the EU.   

       It's just Britian's silly traditions and pride etc.
ferret, May 09 2002

       What can I say? As a Dutch Business culture student finding this information was like heaven to me (haha.. brilliant 'joke' about heaven and hell). I am doing research on what the British overal opinion about the 'Mainland' is. Do the British really feel like Europeans? (Do they feel like Europeans at all?) I got quite some insights! Intercultural differences seem to be as important as I read in my college books. Thanks :)
Jso84, Feb 26 2004

       This might also be accomplished by encouraging volcanism in the channel floor. This would be done using nuclear moles. The resultant lava should nicely fill the channel. It would be valuable real estate as well.
bungston, Dec 29 2006

       I'm picturing one of those "Clean Fill Wanted" signs on top of the Dover cliffs, with an arrow pointing over the side.   

       Apart from using Dutch dikes and polders, you could use a floating bridge and leave the Channel open to whales and submarines.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2006

       So fifteen years on and it seems my idea is dead in the water now.   

       Thanks to everyone who commented. I have returned to this post many times over the years for amusement and, pre-Brexit Referendum, guidance and enlightenment. I'm humbled by the experts and serious contributors who added so much.   

       I would still like to see Plugging The English Channel become a reality (mainly so I can go squirrel-fishing!) so either I need to live for several million years until Africa finishes the job or hope everyone comes to their senses and puts community and collaboration before fear and empire building.   

       I'm pretty sure my idea would have been easier and cheaper than the messy divorce of Brexit now looming on the horizon. If only I'd studied to be a constitutional lawyer 15 years ago.   

       Maybe I need a new half-baked idea for some sort of floating wall with customs and border crossings?
farcrown, Apr 22 2017

       The only merit of this idea, as far as I can see, is that we could declare France to be under the authority of Southampton. The continental European nations have known for decades - if not centuries - that they would be far better off under English administration, for the simple reason that England is the better country, filled with better people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 22 2017

       The french came over for the usual reasons they go anywhere - to rob helpless old ladies, molest domestic animals, and urinate in the street.   

       Or maybe they had a resurgence of their perverse compulsion to endure massive humiliation and ridicule via a major sporting event.   


       // better //   

       Sp. "best " ...
8th of 7, May 07 2017


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