June 24, 2016

The Shock Heard Round the World

The British declared independence from the 28-nation European Union.

The British declared independence from the 28-nation European Union Thursday in a surprise outcome to the referendum known as “Brexit.” Prime Minister David Cameron, who supported the “Remain” side but took a gamble in calling for a referendum, made his own Brexit. He announced his resignation saying, “The country requires fresh leadership.” Global markets collapsed and the British pound fell to a 30-year low.

There are now many questions. How long until markets recover? How will Great Britain’s fifth-largest-in-the-world economy fare on its own? How will this affect the EU, now that Germany is clearly the strongest nation remaining? Will Scotland hold another referendum on leaving the UK two years after the last one failed? That referendum failed largely because the Scots wanted to remain in the EU. How will the U.S. relationship with Britain change? After all, Barack Obama pushed for the UK to remain in the EU and even threated our best ally with back-of-the-queue status on trade if they left.

A couple of observations. After a pro-Remain member of Parliament was politically murdered last week, it appeared Remain would prevail. But Leave pulled away in what is perhaps a sign that voters don’t always share politically incorrect sentiments with pollsters. They said one thing and then voted according to what they really thought — and that was to tell the EU and its leftist bureaucrat-run “utopia” where to go.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Nile Gardiner put it, “The vote for Brexit is a vote for sovereignty and self-determination. Britain will no longer be subject to European legislation, with Britain’s Parliament retaking control. British judges will no longer be overruled by the European Court of Justice, and British businesses will be liberated from mountains of EU regulations, which have undermined economic liberty.”

How might that affect our own election this year?

Indeed, that brings us to the other thought: Let’s hope Obama does for Hillary Clinton what he did for the Remain vote. There is a powerful and growing sentiment against centralized control, whether it be among our British cousins or our fellow Americans. Elites beware.

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