Since the vote to leave the European Union is done, and Great Britain is out, I suppose I will give my opinion about it. This undoubtedly will not be shared by all. First, let me say—again—that I strongly favor free trade among nations. Having said that, the EU is very much more than an economic association. And even its s0-called free trade is far from free. It really amounts to protectionism by cartel. Right there then goes much of the benefit an EU membership would have for me. But there is more. The “Eurocrats” have been busy as little bees doing two things: (1) lining their pockets and their friends’ pockets with lots of money and (2) worse still, imposing or trying to impose on the citizens of Europe onerous regulations and EU court decisions that not only seek to take away state sovereignty but (seemingly) to make each member subservient to what appears to be an aspiring super-government. It looks quite a bit like what has been happening in the United States for some time, as the Federal government has effectively taken authority from the states and centralized more power at that level.
As an aside, it also appears that most of the EU leaders are flaming liberals (using our American definition of that term). Their policies therefore reflect that ideology. They favor completely open borders, they desire severe limitations on gun ownership, they love high taxes and apparently also, high spending levels, they sought even to regulate the relationships between parents and children, and they have in general constructed a giant and unaccountable bureaucratic apparatus that aims to exercise greater “expert” rule over the rest of Europe’s citizens, and more.
In an article in the National Review of June 24, David Pryce-Jones writes,
The EU was a good idea in 1945, but it has long outlived its initial purpose of reconciling Germany and France. What stands out is that heads of state and politicians in Europe have been surreptitiously building a much wider political entity. Voters are not asked for their consent. Absence of legitimacy is the EU’s main feature. Since there is no procedure for the democratic right to throw out the [expletive deleted], the EU has developed into something never seen before in the world, an oligarchy with soft totalitarian symptoms. Conflicting national interests and global economic factors lead inexorably to the hardening of these totalitarian symptoms.
I have to say he is basically correct. Now does the “Brexit” portend what may happen here in America. And did it resemble what is happening here? I am a bit hesitant to draw too many parallels. European politics is different than American, as are European political ideas and even the views of the average person. In one sense, the British voters may have been saying something similar to the voters here with respect to Donald Trump: They may have viewed themselves as overthrowing the “establishment,” “blowing it all up.” And certainly some of this was based on a backlash against the immigration policies foisted on Britain by the EU (and on other nations as well). The threat and the reality of terrorism don’t mix well with those policies, and the Eurocrats have never seemed to get it—or care.
I have never believed the EU would survive in the long run anyway. The tendency of all such supranational organizations, no matter how well-intentioned at their beginning, is to seek to amass more power and to care less for the common good and more for their own aggrandizement as time passes. Nations don’t like to lose sovereignty and at some point they will say “enough.”
Will the Brexit stick? I presume it will, though some are saying it is not a done deal. Time will tell. In fact, other nations may well follow Great Britain, as we are seeing already. That’s fine with me. And if the Europeans want really free trade, let’s see them do it instead of promising it and then never really doing it. You don’t need an EU to get free trade. You need a simple agreement that is enforceable and addresses only trade, not allowing for “mission creep.” Finally, I am not at all convinced that this vote will bring economic chaos. In fact, I think that was a ruse. We may see some temporary ripples, but nothing catastrophic. So I have given my opinion. I am interested in what others think.