June 24, 2016

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS:

The biggest threat of Brexit is not to the UK but to the rest of Europe (Simon Jenkins, 24 June 2016, The Guardian)

A silly question was asked and a silly answer was given. That is democracy. But so is leadership. As the good ship Tory government smashes on to rocks of its own devising, David Cameron has, perhaps inevitably, decided to desert the bridge for any refloat. He made a massive misjudgment, but it was one in which almost the entire British establishment has colluded.

They must all now perform a U-turn. They must behave as if Project Fear was overstated. Every muscle must be strained for a new relationship with Europe. Other leaders of the EU, fearing similar disintegrating pressures, must know they all have a vested interest in minimising the damage. The idea of "punishing" Britain will merely compound the stupidity and risk to European stability.

The immediate job is not to reflect on causes but to get down to work. The referendum is consultative. Procedures must be followed. For the time being, Britain remains a member of the European Union, but parliament must honour the government's commitment to the British people to adhere to their decision. Officially that takes two years, though in Europe anything can happen. The French government in 2005 contrived to disregard a popular rejection of the Lisbon treaty.

As some advocates of leave claimed, leave can mean many things. No one has an interest in exaggerating the harm. Britain will have to reach a deal, on trade and other things, that will be novel and peculiar whatever the cost. It is Cameron's parting duty to negotiate it. No one can have the slightest interest in his past threats of closed borders, collapsing trade and punishment budgets. The slate is wiped clean.

The biggest threat from this referendum is, in truth, not to Britain but to the rest of Europe, which is why the EU should think carefully about how to respond. It has been judged by this referendum and found wanting. Britain will not be the last to tell it so. Polls have shown between a quarter and third of people across Europe are now deeply hostile to the European project. The economies of southern Europe are in a Germany-induced lock-down. Brussels, and its German paymasters, are in trouble.



Brexit Will Be Britain's Fourth of July : The Leave campaign is winning, and it's obvious why. People are rebelling against the consolidation and concentration of state power. (Joel Kotkin, 6/22/16, Daily Beast)

The campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, widely known as "Brexit," is potentially on the verge of a huge victory Thursday despite overwhelming opposition in the media and among the corporate and political establishment. The outcome matters not just as an expression of arcane British insularity, but as evidence of a growing rebellion against the ever greater consolidation and concentration of power now occurring across all of Europe, as well as here in the United States.

In many ways, this rebellion's antecedents include our own revolution, which sought to overturn a distant, and largely unaccountable, bureaucracy. Like Lord North, George III's prime minister, today's Eurocratic elites spoke of obligations and fealty to the wisdom of the central imperium. What shocked the centralizers then, and once again today, was the temerity of the governed to challenge the precepts of their betters.

England is Anglospheric, not European.  




Posted by at June 24, 2016 4:45 AM

  

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