Britain is on the verge of leaving the European Union. Or is it?
On June 23, 2016 at the United Kingdom’s European Union membership referendum, also known as the ‘EU referendum’/the ‘European referendum’ and the ‘Brexit referendum’, was held. Britons were called on to vote, on whether they wished to remain in the European Union or exit the union - hence the term Brexit. 72.2% of the total electorate voted at the referendum, and by a slim majority, 52% ‘Leave’ to 48% ‘Remain’, the UK voted to leave the EU. Those voting ‘Leave’ won the majority of votes in England and Wales, while all councils in Scotland saw ‘Remain’ majorities.
It is said that large sections of young voters who were in the ‘Remain’ camp were lackadaisical and did not vote, believing a majority of Britons supported remaining in the union. The pro-leave lobby campaign was based on a largely false premise that Britain had lost its sovereignty to European Union and bureaucrats in Brussels. The campaign was to take back British sovereignty.
The slogan of the Brexiteers, ‘Take Back Control’ expressed in three words the inaccurate description of decision-making in the EU. The leadership of the pro Brexit lobby provided no evidence to back their charges, and masked from the rank and file, the fact that the British economy is largely dependent on trade with the EU - Britain’s main trading partner.
Instead they spoke in vague terms of possible better deals they could draw up with the Commonwealth countries and the ‘special friendship’ Britain had with the US with whom it (Britain) could negotiate better trade deals if Britain was not part of the EU.
The Brexiteers conveniently ignored the fact that Britain dumped the Commonwealth in favour of the EU because of the fact that the Commonwealth did NOT provide benefits Britain stood to gain through EU membership.
Former Australian Premier Kevin Rudd, writing in the ‘Guardian’ said “...Much as any Australian, Canadian and New Zealand governments of whichever persuasion would do whatever they could to frame new free-trade agreements with the UK, the bottom line is that 65 million of us do not come within a bull’s roar of Britain’s adjacent market of 450 million Europeans...
“...As for India, good luck! India’s trade and commerce bureaucracy is the most mercantilist and outright protectionist in the world. They virtually single-handedly sank the Doha round in 2009. In the same year, as Prime Minister of Australia, I launched a free-trade negotiation with Delhi. But a decade later, those negotiations remain at a standstill”.
Prime Minister David Cameron who called the referendum and led the ‘Remain’ camp resigned after his defeat at the referendum. His successor Theresa May suffered a similar fate.
And it is now increasingly beginning to look as if the incumbent -Johnson- is also in danger of losing the premiership. The Opposition has threatened to bring a motion of no confidence against him when parliament reconvenes, to prevent him taking Britain out of the EU without a deal - a No Deal Brexit.
Given that Boris Johnson enjoys a parliamentary majority of one vote in parliament; that large numbers of his Conservative Party MPs are against Britain leaving the EU without a deal, and Scotland is demanding a new referendum on breaking ties with UK/Britain, because of its decision to leave the EU; it looks as if Brexit is about to claim another British Prime Minister and dismember the UK itself.
To make matters even worse, the US is now directly meddling in Britain’s internal affairs. President Trump has called on the UK to exit the EU with or without a deal, pledging a “...very good deal” if Britain should leave the EU... But with conditions.
The BBC reported Zippy Duvall, head of the American Farm Bureau, saying “US farmers were keen to trade with their British “friends” but... The UK must accept US food standards as part of any future trade deal. US farmers are now dictating policy to the British government.
The wheel has turned full circle, the former colonial master is now being dictated to by US farmers.
God save the Queen and whatever.