We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.—British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, “Speech to the College of Europe”, Bruges, September 20, 1988.
In a previous issue, I recommended Lady Thatcher’s book, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World, particularly its chapters on the European Union. It appears that large numbers of British voters shared her sentiments in the winning Brexit vote.
Count me as one who, on balance, applauds this result. It is a positive for the longer term, however, this will not be an easy transition and Britain has made its share of the mistakes that led them here, but it will not result in a “lesser Britain” as some have asserted. Most importantly, the U. S. must pay close attention to the support that will be needed to maintain the important “special relationship” between the U. S. and the U. K., which is so critical to world order, and cut this nonsensical “go to the back of the queue” talk.
The European Community was a good idea at the outset as an economic community, particularly for a continent coming out of two devastating world wars over a thirty-year period, but as it evolved into the EU after the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 , as usual, the natural inclination of the state in its arrogance is to more centralization and more aggrandizement, eventually leading to tyranny. And Lady Thatcher told them so, for after initially supporting the so-called “European Idea”, she came to realize that “the drive to create a European super-state” is “perhaps the greatest folly of the modern era”.
So the EU elites (some of whom govern at Westminster) brought this on themselves, and dismissive, condescending, over-reaching progressivism has been overthrown by populist ethnic nationalism yelling Stop! And this is primarily not the bigotry of the masses as many observers would have us believe, but mainly a healthy nationalism proud of the good things in its heritage. Can it happen here? Is Brexit a form of Trumpism? Stay tuned.