Like a man who long ago checked himself into an institution voluntarily, Britain is trying to leave.
The institution he admitted himself into appeared to offer answers to the problems that plagued him, but during his stay his problems have diminished and the institution has deteriorated markedly.
As a result, it no longer offers him much of value.
But having told the warden his intention to leave, to his surprise he was ushered into a room where the warden explained what a mistake it would be to do so, and what great benefits would be available to him if he stayed.
He was also told to ignore the evidence of his eyes as he looked out the window at the blue sky, gentle breeze and warm sea, and to ignore the letters from his friends and family encouraging him to join them back in the world outside the institution.
He was instead told about how cold and bleak it was outside, and how his family and friends no longer wished to see him.
By those who ran the institution and stood to lose a great deal of money if he departed.
Recently, he politely rejected their blandishments and stood up to go, and since that time the guards have been relentlessly browbeating him to stay.
Even some of the other patients (some of them committed, not voluntary) have been hooting and writhing and smearing themselves with faeces as they try to prevent the man from leaving.
He has been threatened in a number of unpleasant ways, and now even some of the other patients are secretly starting to doubt the wisdom of staying – the institution is starting to feel like a prison.
He has now been shown to a room never seen before. The ceiling is painted blue, and there is a fan in the corner blowing warm air, and the sound of the sea appears to be emerging from speakers, but where his old room had a door to which he had the key, this new room is clearly a cell. The only key is in the hands of the warden, and once he is ushered inside and the door locked, the man knows he will never again leave this place.
While the warden, the guards and the other patients all scream at him to enter the room and allow the door to close behind him forever, he musters the courage to turn away and instead walk out into the sunshine. And his new life.
Before the door closes behind him, we hear the howls of rage and loss as the deserted occupants turn on each other and begin to insanely tear at each other’s flesh.
The EU is an asylum.