By Mark Burkhalter –
LONDON – As I witnessed one of the biggest political upsets of the 21st Century unfold here in London last week, British citizens took the boldest step toward freedom and self-governance since the fall of the Berlin Wall by voting to Brexit.
With 52 percent voting to depart the failed experiment known as the European Union, the notion of a march toward globalization hit its own wall. Just as the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher predicted after the Maastricht Treaty which created this unholy union, the EU morphed into a big-government system of unelected bureaucrats.
These unelected rule makers and courts created new regulations the British didn’t want or overruled laws and policies enacted by Parliament and local councils. On Thursday, the people said they had enough.
Just as we have seen with American voters decrying out-of-touch mandates from Washington, the people of Devonshire, Yorkshire and Sussex resent rule by a faceless class in Brussels that don’t share their values.
Eventually all people recognize government closest to the people works best no matter what continent you call home.
But if you listen to the doomsayers and their co-conspirators in the media, a return to a pre-EU world will mean the sky is falling and economic collapse will ensue. Their denial of the will of the people is so great that some are seeking a second vote. But if we look at how Britain and the rest of Europe operated for centuries prior to the launch of the EU in 1993, there is no doubt the UK will be just fine.
The pound may be unstable in the coming months as markets adjust to change. But a weaker pound will also create new economic incentives.
Just hours after the vote, realtors in London and elsewhere throughout the country were fielding an amazing amount of interest in buyers seeking real estate in the United Kingdom. A flat in London suddenly becomes more affordable when British Sterling drops compared to the dollar. Commercial development will likely also spike beyond its already steady growth.
Tourism in the UK will certainly see a boost as the pound drops in value. For Americans it may be much more affordable to visit London or take that vacation to Scotland. British imports will become more affordable.
As the Brexit evolves, Atlanta-based, multi-national corporations with offices in London such as Coca-Cola, UPS and Newell Rubbermaid will continue to trade goods and services just as they have prior to the creation of the EU. Actually, we could see an easing of regulations on companies as Brussels now has incentive to loosen its regulatory grip or risk exit votes by other nations.
As the details of the departure evolve in the coming weeks, some officials may try to drag their feet; others in the EU may try to expedite the process to punish the UK. But whatever the process, British voters are vastly ahead of the political class in recognizing what is best for their nation.
UK voters are tired of the elites who make ridiculous policies that inhibit the creation of jobs, that make it difficult to earn a decent wage, obtain health care, educate their children and most important of all – remain safe.
Severing ties with the EU also allows Britain, a responsible economic partner, to stop enabling the failures of member countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal. They understand that responsible nations that pay their bills, and Britain and Germany shouldn’t have to bail out those that won’t enact get their fiscal house in order.
Twenty four years after the creation of the European experiment, we now may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the EU. Even when it launched, Britain knew deep down the EU couldn’t succeed as it never joined the common currency – the Euro. Britons have always stood for sovereignty in some form or another.
From here forward, the British people can celebrate June 23, 2016 as their Independence Day and a restoration of control.
Burkhalter, the former Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Georgia House of Representatives, is a Senior Advisor in Public Policy and Regulation for Dentons who shares his time between London and Atlanta.