By Jim Sullivan
Brexit has been preying on my mind as another incredibly stupid piece of politics for a while now, so I have put down some facts and ideas on that topic in the following note:
The European Union (EU), which started out in 1957 as the European Coal and Steel Community, was created primarily to reduce the reasons for warfare between European countries through economic cooperation, and has succeeded admirably (though not perfectly) in that respect. The wars that tore Europe apart in the 20th century testify darkly to the importance of the EU. So I think Brexit is a colossal bad idea in that it would reduce economic cooperation and raise immigration barriers between the U.K. and the rest of Europe. By reducing cooperation between themselves and Europe, the U.K. could well increase the chance of war between them. And if the U.K. exits Europe, other states may think that an attractive precedent and will surely find things they don’t like about their membership in the EU (no institution is perfect) and vote for leaving too.
There are a number of theses about what caused the Brexit movement in the U.K. Suffice to say they are many and varied. The fact remains, however, that the Conservative Party of the U.K. established the legal basis for a referendum on EU membership through the European Union Referendum Act of 2015. The referendum itself occurred in June of 2016 and the so-called “leavers” (those in favor of Brexit) won with 51.9% of the vote. And in 2017 a conservative, Theresa May, though originally against leaving the EU, triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which was required for the split to take place within two years.
Conservatives thus brought about the undermining of a most fundamental economic and political institution, seemingly forgetting the raison d’etre of the EU. Whatever the real reason for Brexit, it cannot outweigh the many advantages conferred by membership in the EU. The Conservative Party did their country and Europe a major, if not destructive, disservice by passing the European Union Referendum Act of 2015, calling the 2016 Brexit referendum and triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in 2017.
What’s the matter with conservatives?
Jim Sullivan is a Citizen Journalist and retired businessman with graduate degrees in political science and business. He lives in Ventura with his wife Juliette and two family cats.