British Embrace Sovereignty
The UK's exit from the EU has officially begun.
As the European Union celebrated its 60th anniversary, the United Kingdom was busy serving it with divorce papers. On Wednesday, the UK officially said goodbye, submitting a six-page letter triggering the EU’s Article 50 and the subsequent exit process, which is scheduled to take two years. While the Brexit vote may have been the first salvo in the western world’s populist uprising, followed by the U.S.‘s surprise election of Donald Trump, it will arguably hold a more significant and long-term impact than Trump’s presidency.
When the British people voted in favor of Brexit, they voted for what can best be described as an about-face with regard to the direction of governance. They voted in favor of self-determination and British rule as opposed to rule by an elitist group of foreign bureaucrats.
Over the next two years, Prime Minister Theresa May and the rest of Parliament will have their hands full as they seek to re-establish the British regulatory and administrative state. There will be both challenges and opportunities in building new foreign trade agreements, as well as struggles in determining the best means for dealing with those now-foreign EU citizens who live and work in the UK. There are bound to be mistakes, of course, but those mistakes will soon be able to be corrected by an autonomous UK.
It remains to be seen what becomes of the EU. Is this the beginning of the end? If one or more other members exits — as France, the Netherlands and others have hinted — it certainly could spell the end of the union. Revolutions occur when governments ignore the will of the governed.