When I was growing up in the UK, I remember watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with very poor TV reception ~75% of the time (my parents' house has a gas storage silo that occluded the signal most of the time). Whilst I couldn't see or understand everything through the analogue interference, I understood the following clearly:

  • Replicators solve a lot of humanity's problems
  • Teleportation is an application of a replicator and a scanner
  • It's tragic I won't get to travel FTL
  • Everyone on Terra, and in the Federation, works together for the common good
  • Patrick Stewart is infinitely wise and insightful, and can tolerate having REMF admirals meddle with his business, and that I don't know where he stops and Jean Luc Picard starts

It's the penultimate bullet point that is most important to me now. When I was growing up, not only was I watching TNG, but the EU was becoming a thing. I remember ecus (French pronunciation: [eky]), which was one of the possible names for the currency that became the euro. I remember the switch from the franc to the euro, and how the different coins and notes displayed something special about one of the member states. Not countries, but memember states, working together despite not having a language, to make something better.

As an adult, working in the UK, Germany, France, and Ireland, I got the opportunity to appreciate the system first hand: for each country except the UK, I had one currency to manage (the euro). When I took time off, and went to Germany, or Italy, I still used the euro. When I went from the German office, to the French office, I didn't have to spend time in passport control, thanks to each member state (not, of course, the UK) having signed the Schengen Agreement.

People, working together, recognising the fact we are all "ugly giant bag(s) of mostly water," and not special because we were born on a different bit of dirt, or worship a different deity, or have a different colour skin or headshape.

Is the EU a the precursor to the federation? Yes. Is this an idealised view of the EU? Yes. Like every other human endeavour, it has its problems, but the only long-term solution to these problems is working through them together for mutual benefit. The strong helping the weak, instead of taking from them.

Today, unfortunately, the UK is trying to work through the process of leaving the Federation EU, in the limited capacity it was ever a member. Ingoring the stumbling trundling bumblefuck of a process that it's been, it seems ludicrous: the UK is a small island, and has a correspondingly small presence in the world. It no longer has an empire (thank goodness), and is under the misguided impression that it is somehow special. It is not. It's a group of ugly giant bags of mostly water, converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, just like the rest of the planet, and it is tragic that it doesn't see itself as that, and that it needs to work with, not against, the other organisms on this planet.

Why did I include the Castro Pride flag? For me, it celebrates diversity, working together as one, regardless of arbitrary human divisive lines, much like the European Union*.

*(And I didn't have a photo of the EU flag.)