Is June 23rd, 2016 one of the most important dates in this century thus far, possibly on par with 9-11 in historical significance? I think so.
The Citizens of Great Britain voted yesterday to leave the European Union by a margin of 51.9% (17,410,742 votes) to 48.1% (16,141,241 votes). I think this was a good move on their part. Here’s why.
1. Economics: The European Union never lived up to expectations. It was sold to Europeans as the means to band together to create an economic super power which could compete with Asian and North American rivals, much the same as five small lion robots combined to form one giant robot, Voltron, Defender of the Universe. In practice, it became more of a European wealth redistribution program. The taxpayers of donor states like Germany and Britain were forced to turn their hard-earned tax dollars over to Brussels bureaucrats who then gave it to receiver states such as Greece and others. After the Greek economy crashed, their government was bailed out by the E.U., whose only request was that Greece adopt austerity measures to ease the burden on the people paying their tab. Greece promptly refused. The first cracks in European unity appeared.
2. Immigration: This was the game changer. As I understand, it was this issue that really forced yesterday’s vote. A key facet of the E.U. system is open borders among member states. An open border in Germany constitutes open access to France, Belgium, Italy, and the rest of Europe. The Syrian immigrant crisis of 2015, which saw millions of Muslim refugees flood into Europe and continues as of this writing, exposed a key flaw in the open border system. If Britain can’t control German immigration, it can’t control its own immigration. I realize that some countries have enacted border security, but these are temporary measures and go against the spirit of the E.U. fraternal intent. In effect, no E.U. member state has the right to control its national borders on a permanent basis.
3. Politics: The best government is closest to the people. The idea of super states like a European Union, North American Union, or African Union, etc. is in direct opposition to this idea. When the E.U. decided a few years ago that European construction workers were no longer allowed to work with their shirts off due to skin cancer concerns, what recourse did these workers have? What if British workers and their E.U. representatives opposed the idea? Too bad. Majority rules. Now shut up and put your shirts or pay the fine. The fine goes directly to Brussels by the way. This does not take into account the rights and recourse of the individual citizen. What if a person’s property was adversely affected by an E.U. decree? If you can’t fight city hall, how can you fight all of Europe? Good luck with that, Nigel Six-pack.
4. National Sovereignty: It all comes to this. Britain was wise to keep the pound and not adopt the Euro. I believe the same instincts of self-preservation are what led to Brexit. Brits knew that the longer they remained in the E.U., the harder it would be to leave. After all, is a country which loses control of its borders and currency still a country? I don’t think so. According to yesterday’s vote, neither do the Brits. Good on ‘em.