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.
As BigThink.com's Frank Jacobs writes, 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.
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