Brexit Wins!

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‘We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.’

Winston Churchill, May 9, 1938





Well, this will send shock waves around the globe.  The voters of Great Britain have voted narrowly to leave the European Union:


Britain has voted to leave the European Union, with the Leave campaign securing around 51.8 per cent of the vote.

David Cameron, who will address the nation shortly, is now facing calls to resign as Prime Minister.

While England voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed Remain. Statements are expected to be made by Sinn Fein and the SNP later today calling for a breakaway from the Union. London backed Remain but the turnout was lower than expected because of bad weather.

The pound crashed to the lowest level since 1985 as sterling fell below $1.35. Complacency about a Brexit outcome will come clear this morning, as out of hours trading suggests that the FTSE 100 will drop by 8.8pc, or by some 560 points. The fall would be the third worst in history if stocks ended the day down as sharply.




Go here to read the rest.  If I lived in Great Britain I would have voted to leave the Union.  What began as a sensible reduction of trade barriers has morphed into a full on pretend government, something that I would have wanted no part of.  This is yet another sign of massive discontent that global elites ignore at their peril, and that is precisely what Donald Trump has tapped into.  Wild times ahead.

Update 1.:

David Cameron, who opposed Brexit, has resigned as British Prime Minister:

“The British people have voted to leave the EU and their will must be respected.

The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.

There can be no doubt about the result.

Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made.

This will require strong, determined and committed leadership.

I am very proud to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.

I have held nothing back. 

The british people have made a very clear decision to 

I think the country requires fresh leadership.

I do not think I can be the captain to take the country to its next destination.

In my view I think we should have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative conference in October.”

The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who also opposed Brexit, is facing calls within his party for his ouster.

Update 2.:

Donald Trump issued this statement:

The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.

Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.

Some years live in historical memory:  1776, 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989.  It is possible, just possible, that 2016 could mark the beginning of a new era in the West.

For each age is a dream that is dying,
  Or one that is coming to birth.

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy , from Ode (1873)

Update 3.:

Mark Shea gives his calm, rational take on this exercise in mass democracy:

When the biggest advocates for your course of action are Marine LePen and Donald Trump, you may find that you’ve made a boo boo.  Trump, of course, weighed in with his customary ignorance:

And this morning, millions of Britons were searching Google to find out what it was they just voted to leave.

Meanwhile, Scotland gets the message loud and clear and gets ready to apply to Britain what Britain just applied to the EU. And the Irish don’t see any reason why they need to belong to the dregs of an Empire either.

And the leader of the Brexit Movement makes clear that one of his core promises (to spend the money saved by dumping the EU on the NHS) is a total lie within hours of winning.

Russia and Iran are delighted, so there’s more proof of the brilliance.

Global markets are in chaos.  The pound has fallen through the floor.

And the nationalist impulse is spreading to the rest of the EU.  Smart.  Nationalism really paid off in the 20th Century for Europe.  If Trump is for it, how could it possibly be a bad idea?

For years, I have been assured that on matters of prudential judgment, conservatives should always be trusted, even when it means ignoring the guidance of the Church.  Far too late did it occur to me ask, “Shouldn’t conservatives demonstrate some kind of elementary prudence before trusting their prudential judgments?”  This is shaping up to be as big a dumb idea as the Iraq war.  Trump’s endorsement is just the kiss of death.

Meanwhile, in the back of my mind I recall a remark Scott Hahn once made, “Nationalism is to nations what the sin of pride is to persons.”  The tradition commends patriotism.  It does not have kind words for nationalism.

Poor Winston Churchill.  A “United States of Europe” was his idea and an honorable attempt to rein in the catastrophic nationalisms that slaughtered millions.  Now these voices are rising again and using him as their mascot.  Folly.

Go here to read the comments.  His citation of Churchill is hilarious under the circumstances since Churchill did not believe that Britain would be a member of this United States of Europe:

Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

The idea of course that uber British patriot Churchill would have put up for a second with having British sovereignty infringed upon in the slightest by edicts from Brussels is simply risible.  As usual Mark, without doing a second of true research, simply adopts a fallacious talking point of the side he decides to support.





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  1. This is what I thought was desireable, and what I thought would happen. NZ has been in a fairly unique relationship with Britain right from it’s initial foundation as a colony of the Empire – governed from New South Wales in Australia up to the year 1900 – then as a staunch member of the Empire, and subsequently the British Commonwealth – much the same as Australia and Canada – even the Republican South Africa, and other such as India, Malaysia , Fiji and a number of other countries. We actually declared war on Germany in 1939 a couple of hours before Great Britain did, because of the international time differences.
    In 1972? when Britain joined the EEC, the economic union and trade block, which morphed into the political EU, this had serious economic implications for NZ, which relied totally on th UK as our principal exprt market, and reciprocally, all our imports that Britain made we gave preferential treatment = like a small tariff on UK cars – 30% I think – to a massive tarriff of – from memory 120% on American cars. Mind you, many people were prepared – those who could afford – to pay the extra for the American cars. 🙂
    This, in the lon term as good for NZ, because it forced us to go out immediately and seek new markets for our primary produce – still the backbone of our economy – and innovate to meed the requirements of our new markets. NZ was the first country in the world in about 1986 to eliminate ALL import tariffs, and now puts us at the cutting edge of market econonomies and innovation – which makes us now a major test market for many new products in the world.
    The UK will now get its shit together and do the same – they are , I think, the fifth largest economy in the world, and we will see the nation of traders and shop keepers come to the fore again.

  2. AT any rate, what exactly a Brexit means will only be clear in the coming month, if not year or two, as Parliament actually goes about legislating and enforcing it.

    Will they be like Norway, or like Switzerland, or something in between their current status and Norway?

    We shall see whether this is for good or evil. Time will tell.

  3. With a 56% remain vote in Northern Ireland (the only part of the UK with a land border with another EU country, Sinn Fein will obviously see this as a boost to their campaign for a united Ireland.

    Here in Scotland, the vote to remain was overwhelming at 62% Once again, we see what happens when one of the most enlightened countries in Europe – the country of David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith – remains shackled to the most backward.

  4. “Here in Scotland, the vote to remain was overwhelming at 62% Once again, we see what happens when one of the most enlightened countries in Europe – the country of David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith – remains shackled to the most backward.”

    Scotland shares a border with France? Who knew?

    Don’t take it so hard MPS, if Scotland now wishes to split from the UK, I am sure that Brussels would gladly pick up the tab of Scotland’s socialist-utopia-using-other-peoples’-money. Sure.

  5. Ouch say we in the stock market….and that’s every 401 pension in America. Drubbing today. Big losses…hopefully fleeting. We should have bought tvix as a hedge. It does double the inverse of the vix volatility index and is slated to go up 43% at the open as the market itself seems to be going down 4%. Wisemen will be selling tvix at 9:31 AM. And we must do Friday penance today still to boot. And mow the lawn. And in my case, work on an oil painting half the day ….of crashing beach foam….one of the hardest items in painting to render exactly. But the sun is out and we have health…and a Saviour who suffered the worst crucifixion in history for us according to Aquinas due to His perfect sensitive nature and Divinity. Yes…multiply the pain of the good thief by about a million and you’re getting into the Christ pain.

  6. I predicted that the results would probably mirror the Scots independence referendum with about a 55-45% margin in favor of Remain. Right from the start of voting returns, however, Leave was showing much wider margins of victory than expected in key constituencies, while in those areas seen as Remain strongholds, the margin of victory was much less than anticipated. Some believe heavy rains in London kept voter turnout down there, thereby decreasing the Remain vote. On this side of the pond, watching the vote returns, reactions on Facebook and Twitter, and the resulting stock market turmoil made great practice for November 8 🙂

  7. Elaine…whoa…great Nov.8 thought. Must read opinion from the volatility traders. One can, sans much risk, buy tvix on c. Nov.1 and sell on the 7th if polls have them very close at the time.

  8. I personally now believe that Trump will perform significantly better in the final popular vote than he does in most or any pre-election polls. For example, if polls consistently show him behind by 5% or less, he will actually win the popular vote by 1-5%; if he polls 5-10% behind, he will either win by 1-2% or lose by the same margin; if Trump is down 10% or more in the polls, he will still lose the popular vote but by less than 5%.

    The caveat here, of course, is that the POTUS election is by electoral vote and not direct popular vote as was the Brexit referendum. It would be interesting to analyze (if anyone is enough of a political geek to take time to run the numbers) how the Brexit referendum would have turned out had the UK decided it on an electoral-vote style system in which each parlimentary constituency (roughly equivalent to a US Congressional district) got 1 vote for either Leave or Remain, based on the outcome of the popular vote in that constituency. Would the results have been the same?

  9. “Scotland shares a border with France? Who knew?”

    Dammit Maister McC you beat me to the punch! 🙂

    Regarding France. Anti – EU sentiment over by is way more toxic than here in Britain. When the end comes over there they will riot.

    Leave ran a lackluster campaign in Scotland. Mere competence and significantly more enthusiasm would have earned them another five percentage points.

  10. With all the elites talking gloom and doom for the UK now, one wonders how that nation existed for a thousand years without being helped by bureaucrats in Brussels?

  11. Tom,

    As our host has previously observed, such is the result of generations of failure/refusal to properly teach history..

    I can’t readily find the exact quotes online but C S Lewis more than once observed that a people ignorant of history is like a military unit isolated and cut off from support. Fodder for defeat in detail…

  12. Sorry for my ignorance- was that quote from Churchill part of wanting to stay out of the fight?

  13. Brexit and WWII are not comparable. Islam has invaded England. Sadly, many English are perturbed by the number of Poles living there, likely because the Poles are Catholic and attend Church in greater numbers than the English do. Having said that, good for England telling Brussels to shove off. Brussels was going after Ireland’s abortion ban, calling it a crime against women (or was it the UN, another entity that needs to go away).

  14. “the elites talking gloom and doom for the UK now, one wonders how that nation existed for a thousand years without being helped by bureaucrats in Brussels?”

    Borrowing!! ?

  15. “Having said that, good for England telling Brussels to shove off. Brussels was going after Ireland’s abortion ban, calling it a crime against women (or was it the UN, another entity that needs to go away).”

    Probably both Brussels & the UN!!

  16. Bloody good show! New World Order takes a hit. Globalism must be controlled if we don’t want to die in the poor house or as martyrs to Islam.

  17. I don’t know why you bother with Mark Shea. He’s a hissy-fit machine. Everything becomes histrionic and contentious in his mind. Can’t take that. I like my analysis cold, or at least slightly chilled.
    The nonsense about nationalism is a tune we will hear more about. It came out of post war Europe and silently seeped into the social fabric. We see now one of the unforeseen stops on that trajectory to globalism is this massive migration. No borders, no countries, no nations, no nationalism, no patriotism, no citizenship or multiple, no allegiance. It’s a multi-culti freeforall.
    Boris Johnson, Trump’s British cousin, may be the next PM.
    I saw an exhibit in the fall at the Vatican Museum on the Cd Kominek- The Founding Father of Europe. As I had never heard of him, but want to learn more about the fate of Poland during and after WWII, I went through the exhibit, full of artifacts, letters, posters, explanatory maps, some sculptures and other art works celebrating ‘reconciliation’ and forgiveness etc. One of the ideas that astounded me was that of transcending nationalism, as something to overcome. I found a quote from Cd Kominek in a note to Cd Wyszyński: calling for…’the organization of a federal solution for all peoples of Europe, including through a gradual abandonment of national sovereignty in matters of security, economy and foreign affairs.’ Unfortunately later on down the road when the EU made its constitution there was no mention of its Christian roots despite the repeated advisements from JPII. I don’t understand nationalism as a bad thing. I do understand the omission of Christian roots as a bad thing

  18. Christine –
    several history buff friends (half of whom don’t even know eachother) describe the whole “blame nationalism” thing as the hangover from WWII.
    WWII was horrible, so they need something to blame– and “nationalism” got drawn. It couldn’t be dehumanizing “scientific” theory, it couldn’t be divorcing choices from those who are most intimately involved in them– it’s got to be “nationalism” and the solution is to be one HUGE group that’s run by “the right people.”

  19. Let’s talk about Globalism as it was rejected in part by Brexit.

    My opinion: It is a combination of progressive politics combined with the economic clout of major corporations. It’s goal is to control the world thru a socialist structure governed by elites. Brexit was a rebellion against this idea. Large corporations now basically control the world to their benefit. They need globalism to insure increasing profitability via an ability to seek low cost labor, unlimited mechanization along with various schemes to avoid taxes. They manage to accomplish this via political contributions, employment of politicians and outright bribes ala’ Hillary.

    I think we should explore the long term impact of globalization, the methods it uses to succeed and the good as well as the harmful effects. My bottom line is that it needs to be controlled.

  20. “Internationalism” seems to point to globalism without doing away with nations.
    Foxfire makes a good point about other factors besides nationalism that made nations in the search for security want to band together with other European nations – she mentions ‘dehumanizing “scientific” theory … divorcing choices from those who are most intimately involved in them…’
    Globalism, top down, is not the answer. Subsidiarity is more like it.
    Respect for the individual life, for the family, for the integrity/oneness of the community, local/regional control, These tThings can not just be cast aside.

  21. “Nationalism” and “patriotism” are NOT the same thing, as C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton understood very well. Lewis has some good reflections on patriotism in “The Four Loves”. Patriotism, at its root, is simply an entirely natural love for the country one belongs to (whether by birth or by naturalization); its root word is “patria” or “fatherland” — in essence, an extension of one’s family. There is nothing wrong or unjust about loving one’s country and putting its welfare first any more than there is is loving one’s own immediate family and putting THEIR welfare first; it only becomes wrong when one uses that love to justify actual injustice, aggression, or hatred toward others outside the family or nation.

    Chesterton said that not wanting your country to be ruled by foreigners was like not wanting your home to be burned down or otherwise destroyed — your country and its culture are part of your “home” and your identity, and you don’t want to lose that against your will. To extend the family home analogy, it’s one thing to welcome temporary houseguests, or to permanently add new members to your family by marriage or adoption; it’s another thing to be forced to open your doors to burglars, to people who insist on rearranging everything to suit them, or worst of all, to people who may want to kill you. The Brexit voters, by and large, were those who had become concerned that the EU was essentially telling them “So what if these ‘guests” burn down your “house’?”

  22. Anzlyne wrote, “”Internationalism” seems to point to globalism without doing away with nations.”

    Indeed. Here in Scotland, the Scottish National Party is a staunch supporter of the European Union, as are a number of nationalist movements across Europe, such as Basques and Catalans and would like to see a “Europe of the regions.”

    It is, perhaps, worth recalling that three of the main architects of the EU were from marginal German-speaking areas: West German Chancellor Adenauer (Rhineland), French Prime Minister Robert Schumann (born in Luxembourg of parents from Lorraine) and Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi (Trentino Alto Adige). De Gasperi actually sat in the Vienna parliament pre-1914.

  23. Or Michael, loosely paraphrasing Pierre Manent, it is a project motivated by a “hatred of bodies” for post-political European nations looking to delegitimize and rid themselves of politics; while simultaneously constructing something to fill in the hole left by the Catholic Church. And if it were not the case, you’d not be promoting the SNP as anything but a frivolous party well aware that it cannot afford separation due to the instabilities associated with natural-resource dependency, but savvy enough to complain about Westminster and kvetch about Brussels in order to pay the bills. It agitates for a nationhood it does not want (and may very well despise,) without having a practical or discernible way to achieve it.

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