In a couple of recent long-form articles, I explained what led to Brexit, and what might await Brexit. In sum, we’re stuck in this purgatory until Brexit is either diluted beyond recognition or revoked after a second, or possibly a third, referendum.
The nationalist-conservative reaction that started against a borderless, transnational, technocratic union is being stealthily stifled by a bunch of craven technocrats. Sadly, that it is happening under a “nominally” conservative government, the same party of Winston Churchill, Viscount Palmerston, and the Duke of Wellington, after what was arguably the biggest ever mass voting in entire British history. Accusations of racism and xenophobia followed, as well as another Russian collusion narrative. Of course, it’s not proven. But the “resistance” was in motion.
Brexit provided Britain a historic opportunity. Those in the United Kingdom have always viewed the European Union skeptically. Margaret Thatcher outlined British skepticism of the European project in 1988, even when idealists in the Euro-Atlantic were looking for an end of history.
Speaking to the European who’s who in Bruges, she said, “To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the centre of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve. Europe will be stronger precisely because it has France as France, Spain as Spain, Britain as Britain, each with its own customs, traditions and identity. It would be folly to try to fit them into some sort of identikit European personality.”
She was farsighted. For all the idealism in the world, Thatcher understood that open borders in Europe would inevitably mean the erosion of sovereignty, and the end of nation-states in favor of a European Empire ruled by technocratic elites.
In 2016, Britons were given a choice: to leave the EU or remain in the EU. Despite the overwhelming elite interest in remaining in the European Union, Britons voted leave. But as Michael Brendan Dougherty summarized, there was no intention for anyone among the ruling elites in the United Kingdom to implement that result.
There was no Leave party, and an overwhelming majority of the parliamentarians favored economic stability over aspirations of independence. The bank of England, liberal media, majority of the academia, and almost all the bureaucrats favored remaining in the EU. They simply chose to ignore the result, and slowly and subtly erode the voters’ mandate.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was a Remainer during the Leave EU referendum, with no wish to follow the referendum’s verdict, and too myopic to understand that the British might choose to leave, and consider sovereignty and independence to be of higher importance than a steady supply of French cheese. One of the hearsay anecdotes concerns when May headed to India to secure a bilateral deal immediately after Brexit.
The fifth-largest world economy, an allied country with deep historical ties with Britain, welcomed May, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met her. May started with the complaint that some Indian students at British universities are under the wrong visa. Imagine that for a moment: an embattled PM visiting a bigger economy asking for a trade deal, in front of a circle of bemused and flabbergasted foreign policy makers of an allied nation, started a small talk about students overstaying visas.
If that was not the first clue of her remarkable consensus-building prowess, May started with a “novel negotiating strategy” of giving the EU everything before even their negotiation started. The Parliament essentially took the “No Deal” option off the table, thereby removing any incentive of a deal from the EU.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently tweeted that he was willing to give the UK a bilateral deal. Rightfully pouring scorn on the idea of another, second Brexit referendum, Trump said, “We can do a very big trade deal with the UK. We are also re-negotiating our trade deal with the European groups and literally individual nations.”
There’s no other way of poetically phrasing it, no other form of academic nuance, no obfuscating the fact, no traditional British politeness about it: Trump is right about Brexit, and the current British “conservative” PM is wrong. She’s disastrously wrong, possibly deliberately so. And if Trump were in charge of negotiations, maybe things would be different in the UK.
During their first meeting, Trump offered May a bilateral deal then and there. May, of course, started gabbing about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Having lived and succeeded in London, a completely sclerotic political atmosphere, for the last 20 years, she who was once compared to Margaret Thatcher was simply unprepared to realize that Trump was actually an ally and leverage against the EU.
A cynic would not hesitate to explain her meager small talk capabilities, euarthropodian charisma, and phenomenally atrocious political acumen via anything other than clinical reasons. Now the elites of the country and the Remain backing institutions—the liberal media, and the left-wing activists—have decided to delay Brexit until a deal is reached.
There are of course strong arguments against shooting oneself in the foot, like Brexit could arguably be for Britain. Direct democracy is not good, and plebiscitary instincts are guided by emotions and therefore should be rejected. But that was never the choice once the vote was over.
The credibility of any democracy relies on the acceptance of a result. Otherwise, the whole process turns farcical. What we saw in the last two years in the United States, with a section of sore losers attempting to deny the legitimacy of the 2016 election, is in exact replay in the UK with regards to the legitimacy of the 2016 referendum. Only in Britain it is far more successful.
As it now stands, Parliament has decided that it will seek an extension from the European Union and extend the deadline for leaving. The No Deal option is taken off the table preemptively. Therefore under no circumstances will Britain just walk away, which essentially means surrendering to the EU, as the EU has the upper hand knowing that Brits will continue to extend, as no British parliament would have the guts to go to the World Trade Organization. It also means diluting Brexit up until a possible eventual cancellation. The largest mandate in British electoral history is being just completely ignored.
In London there is a statue of St George slaying the dragon in front of the Lords stadium, with nothing other than 1914-1919 and 1939-1945 encrypted in the grey stone. For a land that once saw off the Spanish Armada, Napoleon, and Hitler to not manage to walk away from this televised humiliation is worse than shameful—it is perplexing. This is what happens to any civilization that has forgotten its own history, is full of narcissistic elites fixated on only the economy, for whom sovereign aspiration is the ultimate curse.