By John Tiffany —
The United Kingdom is scheduled to hold a historic referendum June 23 as to whether to drop out of the European Union—and a recent poll by the Daily Mail newspaper showed 51% of Brits want the UK to leave the supranational outfit.
Brits have long tended to be Euroskeptics, being an island nation with a proud heritage of ruling not only the waves but also a large empire until relatively recently. In history, they have had many wars with their neighbors such as France, and more recently Germany, making it puzzling why any Briton would even consider giving up the UK’s sovereignty to amalgamate with these other lands. Of course, Britain, although it did join the European Union (EU) in 1973, never did give up its pound currency in favor of the so-called euro.
What is really triggering the desire to distance themselves from the EU—either change the terms of their membership or divorce the international outfit entirely—is the notorious “refugee crisis”—the artificially brought-about invasion of the European heartland by mostly military-age men who are either Muslims or Muslims in name only.
The idea of Britain exiting the EU is called “Brexit” for short. Prime Minister David Cameron says his cabinet ministers support his goal of keeping Britain within the bloc, which now has 28 subject nations. He claims Britain will be safer and stronger by staying in the EU with a deal he made recently with other EU lands that would give the UK “special status” within the bloc.
Already Britain doesn’t use the euro, and has opted out of the Schengen Area—a zone within the EU where residents can travel passport-free—and many areas of police and judicial cooperation.
Claims Cameron: “We’ve secured vital protections for our economy and a full say over the rules of the free trade single market.” He added there will be “tough new restrictions on access” to the UK welfare system for EU migrants and refugees.
No country has so far chosen to leave the EU, but no empire lasts forever, either. A Brexit could lead to a stampede out of the EU and away from the increasingly wobbly euro and a return to national currencies.
Critics of the EU argue that only a few wealthy UK bureaucrats would be put out of work if the Brexit were to happen.
Says Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party, Cameron cannot deliver on his deal because the EU Parliament can strike down the shaky package of promises at any time.
“Some people would lose their jobs [in the event of a Brexit],” he noted in a February 16 interview. “Our 73 MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] would lose their jobs. Our European commissioner—by the way . . . his name is Lord Hill—you [British citizens] have never heard of him, you can’t vote for him, you can’t remove him—he would lose his job, and a few highly paid bureaucrats in the European Commission would lose their jobs. Beyond that, absolutely nobody would lose their jobs, because we’ll go on buying and selling motorcars and goods and services with the European marketplace but be free, crucially, to make our own trade deals with the rest of the world. . . .
“My belief is . . . there is no fundamental debate going on [in Brussels] about Britain’s relationship with the European Union—only about a tiny aspect of it.”
There are several different factions contending for designation by the UK Electoral Commission as the official Brexit group. Leave.EU is one of them, Vote Leave another, while a third is Farage’s favorite, Grassroots Out (GO).
But, says Farage, Vote Leave, which refuses to meet with him, does not really want Britain to exit the EU.
GO, which includes people of the right, left and center of the political spectrum, is really where it is at, he says, and he invites Leave.EU to join his group—and “even Vote Leave” if they are willing.
Showing the broad base of support for Britain leaving the EU, George Galloway, a left-wing populist Scottish politician who agrees with Farage on almost nothing, has spoken at a GO meeting in favor of a return to full sovereignty for the UK.
“If we don’t take this opportunity of a lifetime,” he said, “our children and our children’s children will lament and regret it.”
John Tiffany is copy editor for AMERICAN FREE PRESS and assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and has done postgraduate studies in law, biology and computer science. He is devoted to the truth and lets the chips fall where they may.