One word, with two syllables, which strikes fear into the hearts of British politicians. The aftermath of the 2016 referendum, where 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union, seems to have brought the United Kingdom to its knees. Constantly described with terrifying apocalyptic language, it has become an increasingly divisive subject. With MPs set to vote upon Theresa May’s “Withdrawal Agreement” on January 15th, the Brexit theater of combat is ablaze with final arguments. Politicians jump erratically from topic to topic, whether it be the economy, the Irish border, or immigration, in a desperate attempt to rally support or garner opposition.
Unsurprisingly, the result of this political pandemonium is that Brexit appears to be deeply confusing. With March 29th, the current date of Britain’s official exit from the EU, drawing ever closer, politicians continue to disagree on whether Brexit will be successful or disastrous.
The truth is, however, that despite the heavy doses of confusion, aimlessness, and ineptitude that politicians have demonstrated since the referendum, Brexit is actually phenomenally simple. Unfortunately, until politicians begin to treat British citizens with respect rather than condescension, this level of simplicity will remain obfuscated by fearful and deceptive rhetoric.
The simple fact is that Brexit is a rejection of the undemocratic power of the European Union in favor of a return to complete British sovereignty, where every British law is wholly defined by British government and wholly enforced by British authorities. Any laws decided by external entities, such as the European Union, or any jurisdiction of external courts, such as the European courts, undermines British sovereignty.
Accepting sovereignty as a fundamental principle, and communicating this to the British citizenry, would mean that the success or failure of subsequent issues, such as the short-term economy, would become comparatively irrelevant. Sovereignty trumps all, and in the unlikely event that the apocalyptic predictions of the Remain campaign turn out to be true, sovereignty would still be the ultimate objective - “I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.”.
Unfortunately, rather than embracing reality with the return of sovereignty as the primary ideological objective, British politicians are driven by the desire to tell their citizens what they believe they want to hear, with promises regarding economic growth or the certainty of trade agreements. Promises are easy. The truth is hard.
Winston Churchill, the legendary wartime Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 2, stated that “Things are not always right because they are hard, but if they are right one must not mind if they are also hard.”. Until every law enforced in or upon the United Kingdom is entirely supported by a British democratic process, the simple fact is that sovereignty does not exist. British politicians are afraid because obtaining true sovereignty by escaping the EU will be very difficult, with short-term consequences which they find unpalatable.
Theresa May warned that failure to support her deal, which violates the essence of sovereignty, would result in the United Kingdom entering “uncharted territory”. Viewing this as a terrifying scenario, and one which should be avoided at all costs, is completely at odds with the core British spirit. If the price of regaining ultimate and complete sovereignty is that we must enter unchartered territory, then Britain should enter that territory with glee. Britain has forged into the unknown throughout its history, and to reject the desire to seek what is right over what is difficult would be to reject what it means to be British.
British politicians have a historical duty to deliver sovereignty for the citizens of the United Kingdom. We were once the country who was unafraid to stand alone in support of our principles. We are the country of Elizabeth I, who repelled the Spanish Armada. We are the country of Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, who prevented the Napoleonic Empire from engulfing Britain and the rest of Europe. Finally, we are the country of Winston Churchill, whose famous speech epitomized the British determination to fight for what is right in the face of an ultimate evil:
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,”
Instead of willingly living under the economic, legislative and judicial rule of an unelected political monster in the European Union (through which Germany has carefully secured unrivaled economic dominance), British politicians need to remember what made Britain great, and never surrender the fight for what is right over what is difficult.