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Brexit: Americans Must Be Concerned Too

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The eyes of the world are turned toward London and the ongoing showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and lawmakers who would oppose his commitment to leave the European Union on October 31, 2019. Positioned as, at best, an effort led by those who oppose global trade and order, and at worst, a confused nationalist movement, the Brexit movement is largely misunderstood by those who live outside of the UK.

The crux of the issue lies in the dissatisfaction with the UK’s membership to the EU. While wealthy elitists and large international corporations may benefit, everyday citizens have seen their laws, trade and economic policies, and immigration guidelines subjugated to what they view as unelected bureaucrats. In short, they believe that the loss of national sovereignty to the EU has been harmful not only to the well-being of everyday citizens, but also to their country in general.

In June of 2016, in the largest vote in British history, UK citizens decided to leave the EU.  They fully expected their democratically elected representatives in Parliament to follow their wishes and to expeditiously move to de-couple from the European Union.  Instead, for three full years in what looks remarkably like the US “resistance,” British lawmakers have stalled, equivocated and actively attempted to block Brexit.

Elitists will have you believe that the people who voted for Brexit in 2016 really didn’t understand what they voted for.  This is the height of condescension by those who always default to a position of false moral and intellectual superiority.  No, the Brexit issue should be seen by all free people for what it is.  The power of citizens for self-determination against an elitist global minority who purport to know what’s best for everybody.

The other misconception about Brexit is that it will only impact the UK, but in reality the implications are far broader reaching. America in particular should be interested in the outcome.  An untethered UK will be free to pursue the economic and social well-being of its own citizens.  The special historical relationship between our two countries can be restored and expanded in a truly mutually beneficial way.  And even more importantly, it is essential that free people everywhere support democratic institutions in all countries and demand that they be responsive to the will of the people. 

A definite break by the October 31, 2019 deadline is supported by the majority of Johnson’s conservative party members, as well as Nigel Farage’s fast rising Brexit Party. However, Labor Party leaders and rebel conservatives have hatched a plan to once again kick the can down the road by extending the deadline to January 31, 2020 and proposing legislation that would effectively prohibit a “clean break” exit.  The great majority of Brexit supporters simply want their country back and their rights restored. They want their elected officials to truly represent their interests on laws, regulations and immigration.

The UK is bravely leading the charge for other nations to follow suit. Brexit is in line with much of what we’re seeing here in the United States – the middle classes demanding their country, and their rights, be returned to them. We need to empower everyday citizens, not suppress them. We need to reinvigorate the American dream.

The time of reckoning for the UK is at hand.  The citizens of one of the world’s greatest democracies have spoken.  It is time for their elected representatives in Parliament to stop stalling and comply with their wishes.

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