While the United States is already engaged in an exciting presidential campaign, across the Atlantic, our British cousins are scheduled to vote in an important referendum, “Brexit”, on June 23rd, 2016.
The big question is whether to stay in or get out of the 28-country-member European Union.
No nation has ever withdrawn from the European Union. Should the United Kingdom (UK) successfully do so, it might actually inspire citizens of other member states to organize referendums also.
Needless to say, the Eurocrats and globalists are not keen on Brexit and are hoping it fails.
The election is scheduled to take place on June 23rd in the United Kingdom and the small British territory of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean.
Who is eligible to vote? According to a BBC article, eligible voters are “British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are a BBC article resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries – apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus – will not get a vote.”
For the voters on that fateful day, there is one simple question on the ballot: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
There are only two options: “Remain a member of the European Union” or “Leave the European Union”.
If the “Leave” option wins, that doesn’t mean that the UK will immediately exit the EU. There are issues to negotiate. And forces within both the UK and the European Union may still try to derail an exit.
But it would mean that the British electorate has spoken and wants out.
It’s controversial, and people are speaking out. And I don’t just mean British people, you know, the actual people who are supposed to be voting in this referendum.
The German Foreign Minister warned that such an exit could inflame relations between Britain and the Republic of Ireland (another EU member).
But Britain and the Republic of Ireland have their own relationship and even share a peaceful land border. British-Irish relations don’t depend upon the European Union at all. So that’s a red herring.
Not to be outdone, Donald Tusk, Polish-born president of the “European Council” has apocalyptically warned that by just voting on the issue, Britain is threatening “Western political civilisation”.
Wow. Just voting on an issue could destroy Western political civilisation? I thought that voting was part of Western political civilization!
(By the way, “civilisation” and “civilization” are variant spellings of the same word, going back to Oxford University’s preference for –z and Cambridge University’s preference for –s).
Here’s more of what President Tusk said, “As a historian I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilisation in its entirety.”
Douglas Carswell, British Member of Parliament belonging to UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, responded to Tusk by asking “Why hasn’t Western civilisation come to an end already seeing as how most countries are self governing?”
Minister of State for Employment Priri Patel (the first Hindu woman elected to the British parliament) said “This is extraordinary language from the EU president, and serves only to reveal his own desperation. The only thing that is destroying civilisations is the euro , which has ruined economies and led to youth unemployment soaring to nearly 50% in southern Europe.”
(The UK never adopted the euro currency and still has its own currency, the pound sterling).
Our own President Obama weighed in on Brexit, declaring in a visit that Britain shouldn’t leave the European Union.
Donald Trump thinks Britain would be better off leaving the EU, but hastened to add that “I want them to make their own decision.”
Hysterical warnings that a British departure would hurt the country’s international trade seem unlikely. After all, Britain was an international trading nation centuries before the EU even existed. There are plenty of countries Britain already trades with outside Europe.
A British exit from the EU could allow the country more of a say in its own future. For one thing, it could obtain better control of its immigration policy.
In one word, Brexit is about independence.
June 23rd – the big day for Brexit.
© 2016 Allan Wall – All Rights Reserved