Let’s be clear: Brexit was much more important than leaving the European Union. These were core values. Patriotism versus globalism. Nation versus supranational confederation. In fact, one of Britain’s eminent historians, Dr David Starkey, shared with me on Brexit Day (January 31): “It was a deeply irrational vote, not about what would make us better, but rather:” We might be poorer, but we will be free. Values are central. “Somewhere”, rather than “anywhere”. independence and autonomy.
If you need further convincing, consider the divide between left-wing and right-wing media headlines surrounding the final divorce. The UK Telegraph: “The strength of the UK economy defies forecasts of post-Brexit doom.” The Spectator: ‘Ignore the Brexit party poos – it’s time to celebrate.’ Fox Business: ‘Brexit is over, paves the way for deeper US-UK ties.’
Compare them with a CNN analysis: “Britain needs a big trade deal with Europe and wants one with America. It could end 2020 with neither. The Guardian: ‘Boris Johnson’s government is waging a war of words not against the EU but against the British people.’ And MSNBC: “Boris Johnson Brexit push threatens to upend British democracy.”
Similar to our own young fans of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), seemingly wooed by his sweet talk and fables about free healthcare and student loan forgiveness, Britain’s Remainer youngsters believe good things come socialism and Europe. They believe, like those who attend our liberal universities, that their freedoms do not come from the battles and efforts of a nation’s ancestors, but rather from multicultural and globalist Europe. Our young people’s freedoms were designed here, and theirs were designed in Britain. This group seems to hate history. As Starkey says, “They think you can rewrite the world from scratch.”
So how will history judge Brexit? The 2016 election year was as unique in Britain as it was here. The Democratic votes were declared invalid. Although President Trump won the White House, his critics never accepted this and they followed a number of failed attempts – the latest, his impeachment which resulted in his acquittal in the Senate – to overturn the will. people’s election. Similarly, Remainers in the UK, the day after the initial democratic referendum in favor of Brexit, called for a “reshuffle”. And then there was the problem of Parliament during Theresa May’s weak tenure as Prime Minister which likewise became an obstruction to the wishes of the people, until Boris Johnson cleaned the house during the landslide of December 2019.
Indeed, this is how and why we have come to Brexit Day. But now let’s move on. For the first time since the British people voted in favor of leaving the European Union, a government is now in place, with an impressive majority, able to achieve the objectives of the exit: to free itself from the influence of unelected bureaucrats and instead become self-governing again.
As it stands, now that the divorce is official, there will be a transition period during which Britain will continue to pay dues and obey the rules. Meanwhile, a rough deal is expected to emerge this summer, then legal verbiage will be drafted over the next few months while trying to avoid anything that ends in a stalemate – the ominous “hard Brexit”.
Also during this period, Britain will be very focused on starting to negotiate new independent trading relationships. Although it remained a member of the EU, it was prevented from leading such efforts. Contrary to fears expressed by Europhiles and some business circles, it is the hope of Brexiteers and the government that the UK economy will best maximize its potential by setting its own trade policy.
If history is any indication, their bet on self-determination will win out. Since the American Revolution, Britain’s most dynamic trading relationship has been transatlantic. According to the US-UK Business Council, the United Kingdom and the United States are each other’s biggest investors. In addition, our common language, corporate culture, ethics, legal systems and information sharing unite us like no other nation.
During his visit to the United Kingdom to discuss, among other things, the friction between the two countries over Huawei and Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “We intend to put the Kingdom United on the front line” for a free trade agreement. . “…We intend to continue to take the relationship, which we believe is in a fantastic place today, and put it in an even better place in the weeks, months and years to come. .”
The poet Virgil said: “Success smiles on the daring. When it comes to the future of the UK, it looks like the stars are aligning to favor Johnson and his government, who are boldly pledging to lead the way towards British self-government.
Lee Cohen is a member of the Danube Institute. He served as Europe adviser to the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and founded the Congressional United Kingdom Caucus.