In a historic move, the United Kingdom voted last week to leave the European Union. The outcome of the vote on the referendum of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union nicknamed “Brexit,” a play on “Britain” and “exit,” is a sign that global politics is shifting – with many lessons for the American people.
The only areas of Britain that voted to remain in the EU were London, which has a disproportionate share of wealth and power, and Scotland. Virtually every other area of Great Britain, including Wales, said enough is enough.
Under the European Union, more than fifty-five percent of the laws in Britain originate with unelected officials and judges in Brussels (EU capital) with no ties to Britain. The people of Britain were voting to remove themselves from under the thumb of the foreign elite who have become disconnected from the average citizen.
The vote represents a rejection of globalism and a rebirth of nationalism as the UK has decided to put Britain first. One of the biggest factors driving the Brexit vote was an increased concern over unlimited immigration into the UK. With no rules in place limiting immigration into the UK and the growing concern over global terror, the British want the freedom to implement laws and regulations to protect their borders and implement their own anti-terror policies.
Brexit is also an absolute rejection of the economic and intellectual elites who have profited from the existing system while remaining massively disconnected from the middle class that has seen their income shrink. By voting to leave the EU, Britain voted for a future in which the power of unelected elites is diminished and the power of everyday individuals is enhanced – I wonder where they got that idea!
Amplifying the rejection of foreign powers meddling with Britain’s politics, the vote also demonstrates a defiance of President Obama’s threat that Britain would be last on our priority list for a trade deal. Back in April, Obama said that despite the histories of America and Britain being intertwined, if Britain were successful in leaving the EU they would have to go to the “back of the queue” in regards to future trade deals with the United States. Way to treat our allies who simply want the same sovereignty we
take for granted enjoy!
There are several implications of this historic vote for us across the pond. Let’s take a look at some of the possible implications the Brexit vote could have on the United States.
As of 2am ET on Friday, June 24, mere hours after the results of the Brexit vote were finalized, the Dow was already down 700 points and the European market was down 11% at the opening bell — this is the largest single drop in its history.
The UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy and one of the United States’ largest trading partners, so there is concern that any economic pains felt in the UK might make their way here as well. To avoid disruption to their business in the EU, many big companies and banks might move staff to Germany or France. There’s also legitimate concern that increased unemployment coupled with the growing economic uncertainty could lead to a recession in the UK, which could trickle into the US economy as well.
Far-right politicians in the Netherlands and France have expressed interest for “Brexit” referendums in their countries as well. If enough countries decide they want out of the EU, there is a very real possibility that the EU could collapse. While the collapse of the EU may not be the most terrible thing in the world (the EU has been increasingly critical of Israel and is essentially the proto-type for a global, socialist government), there would be dramatic, far-reaching effects that would be felt around the world. There would certainly be economic collapse, political and social chaos, not to mention the unintended consequences on global security. If governments around the world are thrown into chaos, it would be the perfect distraction for terrorist groups to make a move.
Additionally, Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, is almost certain to once again push for its independence in order to join the EU as a sovereign nation. Leaders in Northern Ireland may push to reunite with Ireland – the fight for which has rarely been a peaceful one. All of this could leave the US and the world to face a volatile and unstable Europe.
Similarly, with the UK part of the EU, the US is currently able to exercise a certain degree of influence on the EU through its relationship with the UK. With the UK leaving the EU, the US will have to begin cultivating better political and economic relationships with other European countries in order to ensure we don’t lose any influence we might have within the EU.
The rally cry of Brits wanting to leave the EU this year have been slogans such as “make Britain Great again,” “let’s take back control” and “believe in Britain.” Sound familiar? These are the same slogans we are hearing in America in regards to the upcoming presidential election. No doubt presidential hopefuls will take a cue from the Brexit vote and vamp up their messages. Many of the concerns driving the Brexit vote are the same concerns facing Americans heading to the polls this November – immigration, global terrorism, the economy and international policy just to name a few.
Fears surrounding immigration, in particular, was a major factor in the decision of the thousands of Brits who voted to leave the EU. Expect both sides of the aisle to pay special attention to these points in the months leading up to the election.
Trump, in particular, who was showing signs of tempering down his positions somewhat, is expected to continue full steam ahead with his ideas on immigration, including building a wall along the Mexican border and his proposed Muslim ban.
But while Hillary may be behind the power curve with her stance on these issues, don’t be surprised if you see a sudden (slight) shift to the right on these issues. She
is would be an utterly incompetent politician if she didn’t recognize the temperature in Europe (which is typically quicker to adopt a more liberal position than America) as a sign of what is coming in America.
Though the Brexit movement involves issues of politics, immigration, economic concerns and global terror, at the heart of the movement, Brexit was a vote for personal freedom, national autonomy and a rejection of rule by a self-appointed oligarchy. Our founding fathers taught the world that lesson in 1776. Since then, we have taken our freedom and sovereignty for granted; but we can no longer afford to do so.
If we have learned anything from Brexit and the UK it should be that we have a duty to protect and defend our freedom and sovereignty before its too late; before we allow our laziness, disguised as liberal and tolerant thinking, to give way to corrupt and deceitful leaders quietly stealing away our liberties.
One of the many ways to keep this from happening is to thoughtfully vote. Don’t simply follow popular opinion; find out the facts and make your own decision based on them. I pray we never find ourselves in Britain’s position of having to vote for our own sovereignty.