The United Kingdom heads to the voting booth next Thursday to determine the future of its membership in the European Union. A slate of recent polls suggest that they may well bid farewell to the EU. If it comes to pass, this will be a decision that will benefit Brits and one Americans should admire. That’s because England’s exit would be a victory for sovereignty and self-determination over centralization and collectivism.
The idea behind the European Union began after WWII. It focused on economic cooperation as a way to prevent the continent’s nations from going to war with each other once again. It has since moved toward becoming the United States of Europe but without the democracy. The EU superstate is largely governed by the unelected and unaccountable European Commission, European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union. These anti-democratic entities have grabbed huge amounts of political power and used it to redistribute wealth and dismantle its members’ national sovereignty.
Apart from the democratic justification for Brexit, the UK could reap economic and national security benefits as well.
Great Britain’s economy is the second largest in Europe behind Germany’s. No wonder its departure scares the EU officials in Brussels who will no longer have access to the nation’s deep pockets. Nor will they have Britain’s eight billion pound ($11.6 billion) membership fee, of which only four billion pounds comes back to Britain annually along with the addition of a whole host of directives on how it needs to be spent. And while trading friction in the EU would increase under a Brexit, it’s likely that what GDP might be lost would be gained in economic growth from the lifting of EU regulatory burdens and freer markets.
National security should not be ignored either. After the fall of the Soviet Union many of the nations in the EU cut military spending and let their armies dwindle. With the EU’s most powerful and largest army, Britain is called on disproportionately to defend the EU while ceding control of their borders and immigration policy to the EU. Perhaps good for the EU’s security but not for the UK’s. Given a resurgent Russia, the rise of global jihad, and their own experience with domestic terrorism, Britons would be much safer with British control over their own national security.
The EU promised peace and prosperity, but has delivered neither. Utopia has given way to impotence. Its peace is besieged not only by Vladimir Putin but also a migrant crisis and radical Islamic terrorism. And despite the EU’s single market and the extraordinarily accommodating monetary policy of the European Central Bank, the EU’s economy is in shambles. The EU lifeboat that was supposed to save Europe is in deep trouble and the UK has a chance to jump off before it sinks.
But it all goes back to the will of the people. The growing frustration with the EU’s encroachment on Brits’ lives came to a head in the last election when the people gave the UK Independence Party a big win. This put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to give the British people a say on whether to stay in the EU, last done in 1975.
The trend over the last decade has been increasing centralization, shrinking individual liberty, higher taxes, and growing government intervention in the economy. A yes vote next Thursday could signal the pendulum starting to swing back the other way. The impact could be a profound victory for liberty not seen since the days of Thatcher, Reagan, and Pope John Paul II.
Originally published at Newsmax.com on June 17, 2016.
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