Everything that follows is written from the point of view that a) I still have a great fondness for my country of birth and the people I know there, and b) I am firmly of the opinion that leaving the EU is an enormous mistake that will be regretted no matter how it comes about.
First, contrary to much that is written about jolly old England coming to the assistance of Johnny Foreigner in 1939, Britain (not just England) didn't act against Hitler purely out of a sense of 'doing the right thing'; quite correctly it was believed that the mad Austrian would one day try to invade Britain as well, despite his platitudes. Britain declared war just in time to be able to hold his forces at bay (with amazing bravery and fortitude) long enough to make useful strategic alliances. The courage of that generation should not be forgotten, but let's be honest about what happened, and why. Let’s also remind ourselves of just how long ago all that was, and how different the world is today.
The Germans have never lost sight of the horrors caused by that generation, and they have created a mighty economic machine from the rubble of their decimated country, even when it was so cruelly physically and culturally divided. They deserve credit for the reformation of their culture and economy, and for doing so as part of a greater, inclusive Europe. The war was over nearly 75 years ago; let it be.
Third, it's interesting to be reminded that the UK tried for ten years to join the EEC - I wonder why that was? Britain was bankrupted following the war, and genuinely needed to be part of the union in order to get the economic engines running again. The politicians of the time - flawed as they clearly were - understood the sense of that, and tried very hard to bring it about. Had that not happened, I suspect that Britain may today have ended up far lower down on the list of global economic powers. As things stand, it retains a seat within the G7. At least for now.
Next: the Brexit mess is one entirely of Britain's own making. The power-greedy right wing of the Tory party - and others - have propagated and encouraged xenophobia in order for individuals to satisfy their own desires. Myths about Britain’s might have been taken out of storage, burnished and presented as truth. History has been distorted to justify reasoning (always a disturbing tactic). Many of the 'Leave' arguments have been discredited along with the principles of how that campaign was conducted. The upshot of that was that voters did not get the chance to make a decision based upon truth, and instead did so having had their more base instincts - chiefly, fear of difference - well and truly agitated. How very sad. 1930s political strategies still have some uses, so it seems.
European countries do not, in my opinion, owe Britain any more favours. The war was a very long time ago, and the lessons of it (principally that fighting and division are in nobody’s best interest) are obvious to anyone willing to open their eyes. To keep Europe beholden to Britain's actions in 1939 would, I suggest, negate the essence of that mythical 'doing the right thing' for the sake of it (even if that was the case). You don't, after all, do the right thing just so you can - for ever and a day - remind others that they owe you.
There are calmer, sensible and even conciliatory arguments out there in Europe, but those voices tend not to be shouting when others are yelling from rooftops. The EU doesn't have to keep trying to pull its errant child along with it; let the tantrum happen and let's see what comes of it. Hopefully, a learning opportunity will arise from these particular ashes. Personally, I wish that more sensible heads would prevail and that the vote would be held again, with more facts to hand and a more clear vision of the consequences available to voters. I doubt that will happen, so as they say over here, it's probably time to suck it up, buttercup! I just hope that the British economy -and the well being of my family and friends still in Britain - can survive this whole sorry episode.