Britain to Leave the EU

The people of the United Kingdom have declared their independence from the European Union.  This victory for the people of Great Britain is also a significant loss for the Obama Administration and Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation shortly after the election was called.  President Obama’s unprecedented threat (“the UK is going to be in the back of the queue” in any trade deal if they leave the EU) clearly backfired as the British voted 52% to 48% in favor of sovereignty and in essence refuted President Obama.

At the American Conservative Union Foundation’s (ACU) Brexit Policy Forum on June 13, a panel of conservative experts agreed that leaving the EU would be more beneficial for Britain than staying in.  Click here to watch a summary (or here for the entire program) of our forum attended by several hundred concerned Americans.

  • Nile Gardiner, Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said the EU is “the Titanic on a path to a massive iceberg” and that belonging to the EU has meant British subservience to European courts when it comes to trade, immigration and all sorts of regulations.
  • Steve Hilton, a former senior advisor to Cameron, said a vote to leave would be a blow to centralized bureaucracy everywhere.
  • KT McFarland, ACU Foundation Senior Fellow and a Fox News National Security Analyst, added that Europe’s policies are tantamount to committing mass suicide and the “Brexit” vote was an opportunity for Britain to “leave a sinking lifeboat.”

We can look to the UK to see whether a public groundswell can effectively send a message to entrenched interests.  As we determine how to better protect our borders, we look to Europe to get a sense of the potential risks and rewards.

There is no question that Americans, particularly those in businesses that deal in international trade, will be affected by the change and those that attended our forum became well informed of the short term financial risks, as evidenced by the sharp selloff in stocks today.

But what will happen next? Two things are already clear.  First, the Brits will no longer allow the Eurocrats to control their laws and they will be able to chart a new path forward.  Second, in democracies, the voice of the people still matters. Together, common citizens can chart a different course and reject the status quo.  If voters across an ocean can reject President Obama’s disdainful fearmongering approach of threatening to put the UK at the “back of the queue” when the US works on the next set of trade deals, then there’s hope for us Americans to reject Obama’s approach as well.  We think that that would be a sensible and appropriate thing to do.

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