“Remain” or “Leave.”
That is the choice for British voters Thursday in a referendum on the European Union.
Ripples from vote’s impact will be felt for years to come. If Britain pulls out, trade and financial agreements will have to be rewritten. Social compacts will be revisited. If Britain stays in, the restiveness will not abate. Irritation about being subjected to policies from Brussels will only grow. Thursday’s murder of Jo Cox, a pro-“remain” member of parliament, put a quiver in the British stiff upper lip.
Two months ago in London, President Barack Obama said the U.K. “is at its best when it’s helping to lead a strong Europe.”
Many of the themes and positions of the Brexit campaign echoes in the U.S. presidential election campaign: immigration, border security, trade, manufacturing jobs, “Britain First.”
Betting odds shifted over the weekend from “Leave” to “Remain.” But most experts still say the vote is too close to predict.
Britain and Europe’s Fate
Editorial Board – The Wall Street Journal
America’s interests lie in a free and prosperous Europe, and we’ve long thought this is best served with Britain as part of the European Union to balance France and Germany. The British look west across the Atlantic more than continentals, and the Brits have largely been a voice of reason in Europe’s councils.
Even less persuasive is the pro-Brexit anxiety over immigration…But young Europeans are flocking to London for economic opportunity, and the U.K. economy needs them. End all benefits and they’d still come. If the Brexiteers think shutting down immigration is a competitive advantage, consider Japan’s stagnation with its aging population.
The Best Argument Against Brexit: In Europe, only Britain Balances Germany’s Economic and Political Weight
Andrew Peek – Daily News
[I]t is better for Americans, 3,000 glorious miles away, if they stay. The reason is Germany….
Germany’s preeminence in Europe has always been accompanied by a strategic restlessness. It has historically tacked between Russia and the West, playing one off against the other, creating turmoil and insecurity among its smaller neighbors….
In the end, a Britain that stays in the E.U. is a better safety valve on both German and Russian power than it could be on its own. With Britain remaining, endangered E.U. members would have a strong friend in their councils. Absent Britain, they would have to rely on Germany, which is not nearly as reliable. So would America.
Why Britain Should leave the E.U.
Michael Brendan Dougherty – The Week
I sincerely hope that my British friends, former colleagues, and relations in Ireland vote to leave the European Union in the so-called “Brexit” vote on Thursday. Why? Because Britain is the only country large, powerful, and confident enough to give the EU the shock of recognition that could lead it to reform….
Europe is a tangled failure of undemocratic bureaucracy. The European Commission, which makes an alarming number of laws Britons must abide by (perhaps as much as 60 percent of them in recent years), is an unelected body. The European Parliament has no mechanism for repealing laws, no properly organized opposition at all.
Brexit Matters to America, not Just the European Union
Editorial Board – San Jose Mercury News
Market economies despise instability — especially in America. These would be the same markets in which your IRAs, 401(k)s and pension funds are heavily invested…. Remember the first two months of this year when financial uncertainty in China sent markets spiraling? That was a hiccup. Great Britain choosing to leave the European Union? That would be a financial volcano erupting….
Janet Yellen, the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve and arguably the second-most influential figure in the American economy, reinforced Brexit’s global import when she specifically cited it last week in announcing the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates.
British E.U. Exit Would Warn of Coming Trump Disaster
Neil Steinberg – Chicago Sun-Times
Americans generally believe in “exceptionalism.” We are not just another country on a planet chocked with other countries. Instead we are the best country, maybe even the only country. A mythical city on a hill. The storms that rock lesser places mean nothing here. That others do things differently and perhaps better doesn’t even merit a shrug.That most of the civilized world has national health care or greater restrictions on guns is meaningless. It’s like suggesting that soccer has interest as a professional sport.Like much self-flattery, it just isn’t true. We are part of the world, and the same shifts that occur elsewhere are at work here, too, whether we know it or not.