Brexit Day

Why Britain should leave, why they probably won’t, and why it doesn’t matter.

When I were a wee lad, way back in 1973, Britain joined what was then called “The Common Market”. Over the years, it became the European Economic Community (“EEC”) and later the European Union (“EU”)

Today, Britain votes on whether we should leave.

Why Britain should leave.

I no longer live in the UK. I left in 1994, so I will not be voting. But if I was, my vote would be a firm unequivocal “NO”. Here’s why:

  • The EU is no longer an alliance of equals. It was actually founded in 1957. Britain was the 9th nation to join; when Britain joined in 1973, it consisted of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and Denmark. Twice, in 1963 and again in 1967, Britain tried to join. Both times, the application was vetoed by Charles De Gaulle (now there’s gratitude for you). At this point in time (mid-2016), the European Union (“EU”) is composed of twenty-eight members, including Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Greece. A union of equals results in an equal sharing of blessings and resources. An unequal union results in the net transfer of resources from the richer nations to the poorer ones.
  • It Costs Britain. Britain pays over three hundred million pounds (about half a billion dollars) a week. Other figures say this is 250M a week, due to “rebates” won by Margaret Thatcher. Either way, with or without rebates, it’s bloody huge.
  • Sovereignty? What Sovereignty? In the 1970s, Britain fought to defend her fishing grounds in the North Sea. Europe has taken those from her. British fishermen are told to stay in port while other members overfish those grounds into oblivion.
  • Britain is not Europe: The British are an insular people. They are not “European”. They have more in common with countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even the United States.
  • The game is rigged: Britain joined late, and as a result, “…we were entering a club whose rules were set long before we joined, without our involvement, and not necessarily in our favour. The terms of British membership were particularly poor.” (Source)
  • Immigration: Every time a new member joins the EU, its poorest citizens head west. Germany sends them on to France. France sends them on to England — and Britain cannot refuse them entry. And once they arrive, they are quick to maximize the opportunities afforded by a socialist system — at the taxpayer’s expense.
  • We’re already half-way there: In spite of Euro entreaties, Britain has successfully fought to keep their national currency (the pound Sterling) and their admittedly-archaic system of weights and measures (also, ironically, call the pound). And the sky has not fallen in.

Why they probably won’t

  • Fear-mongering: There is a lot of FUD being spread in the news about how the economy will collapse if Britain leaves — and there are plenty of people who are gullible enough to believe it.
  • Entrenched Interests. There are literally thousands of well-paid Government jobs that will disappear if Britain leaves the EU. One can hardly expect those folks to enthusiastically vote to leave – after all, it is impossible to make someone believe something if their paycheck depends on them not believing it.
  • Britain has changed: The British people I left behind more than twenty years ago were a bloody-minded, stubborn, independent bunch. With the large number of immigrant Europeans, “timid” Indians, and an increasingly Socialist younger generation, I’m not sure that the country has a whole has the testicular fortitude to leave.
  • It’s never been done. Even if Britain votes to leave, there is no guarantee as to how they would do it or whether they could. No country has ever successfully left the EU. There is a good chance that both the British and European Governments will do their best to disregard the clearly-stated will of the people.
  • Logistics: The day that Britain leaves the EU, millions of European Citizens living and working in the UK will suddenly be “strangers in a strange land”. And what will happen if they have children who are born in the UK? That mess will take years to fix. When all is said and done, leaving the EU will look more like an amputation than a divorce.

Why it doesn’t matter

  • Brussels marches on: Unless Britain gets mean, the European Government will probably simply ignore Britain’s entreaties to leave, or spin it out for years.
  • Europe won’t listen: Ireland voted against the Nice Treaty in 2001. Europe demanded that they voted again (in 2008) and again (in 2012) before they finally gave the “right” answer.
  • The damage is already done. Even if Britain votes to leave, even if the British Government goes to bat for the country against their own interest (dubious), and even if the European Government allows them to leave (unlikely), they are still bound by too many one-sided treaties and trade agreements for it to make any real difference.

My personal opinion is that they should never have joined in the first place.

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Comments

  • Lynette Outler (@Pianostudio78)  On June 27, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Stephen, I’m glad I ran across this. I’ve been wondering what yours and Lavona’s take on all this would be. I’d been wanting to ask, but with all that’s going on, just hadn’t the chance. Thanks for posting. Are you surprised with how the vote turned out? Sounds from this that you might be.

    • Wizard Prang  On June 28, 2016 at 8:33 AM

      Hello Lynette!

      I am delighted at the result, though I am not sure where it will lead. This is the third time in history that the British have annoyed Germany:).

      The British are the European equivalent of Texans. “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”.

      I will be putting up another post in a week or so once I have given it some thought.

  • James Rutherford  On July 13, 2016 at 3:16 AM

    We sure fooled you. At first I thought we were mad to have voted Brexit, but now I am beginning to see a glimmer of light in the distance. We are Brits always have been always will be and yes the Europeans “don’t like it up em.” Get ready World we are back!

    • Wizard Prang  On July 13, 2016 at 8:43 AM

      James, thank you for your commentary – always welcome. You have to remember that I left England over twenty years ago, and have only two sources of information — the media, and my Mum — neither of which is particularly reliable. I am old enough to remember what an Independent Britain looks like, unlike many of the younger “remain” folks, who *literally* don’t know any better.

      I have always maintained that Britain never really belonged in Europe; the British are far too insular a people to voluntarily assimilate themselves into what often seems like the Borg Collective.

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