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Thomas Gallatin / January 16, 2019

Is May’s Brexit-Deal Defeat Really a Win for the UK?

The British now face the prospect of exiting the EU without having secured any economic agreements.

As many predicted, British Prime Minster Theresa May’s Brexit deal she had long worked to secure with Brussels went down in flames Tuesday. Members of Parliament from both major parties soundly rejected the deal by a whopping 230 votes, a margin of defeat not seen in the UK in over a century. The immediate fallout raised questions over whether May’s days as PM are numbered and, more significantly, if a new Brexit agreement with the European Union is even possible as the March 29 deadline for avoiding a “hard” Brexit approaches.

For the time being, it appears that May retains majority support, much of which is likely due to the fact that the alternative would be the far-left socialist Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party. That said, May’s massive failure is a severe political wound from which she is unlikely to recover. She was voted in as PM specifically to work out a Brexit deal. But she was given the near-impossible task of negotiating an international divorce settlement, which almost half of UK voters never wanted in the first place and for which a vindictive EU bureaucracy demanded its pound of flesh.

Many are now wringing their hands as the Brexit “crash-out” date nears, warning that a “hard” Brexit — exiting the EU without securing any economic agreements — would spell disaster for the British economy. Some UK political leaders are now floating the idea of calling for a second referendum, hoping for a do-over that would end Brexit and keep the UK within the EU. However, that idea has garnered considerable criticism as it suggests that the people’s vote will only be accepted when it aligns with the politically correct sensibilities of the governing elites. In other words, it makes a sham of the democratic process.

But the real question is whether a hard Brexit would be as big an economic disaster as many of the political elites are warning. There would likely be some immediate pain as new trade and economic agreements would have to made, but it also would open up vast new opportunities for global trade agreements free from Brussels’ bureaucratic controls. It would mean a return to greater national sovereignty for the British people.

And finally, what few are acknowledging is the sinking ship that is the EU. As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “The EU is a disaster in slow motion. Its laughable rules, regulations and endlessly detailed directions for its member nations on how to run their economies — instructing them on everything from immigration policy to the size and shape of bananas allowed in markets — represent a massive loss of sovereignty and economic self-rule for its 27 members. Despite all the dire prognostications by pundits, politicians and punters of various stripes, Britain doesn’t have much to lose by leaving the EU. … Nearly everyone expected disaster if the Brexit vote won. It didn’t happen. Instead, Britain did better than the rest of Europe.”

So, as our neighbors across the pond struggle with fears over venturing out as a sovereign nation uncertain about their economic future, we here in America say: Welcome, we’re open for business.

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