Two Years On – The Speak Freely Brexit Special
In celebration (perhaps for want of a better word) of the Brexit referendum’s two year anniversary, we asked some of our editorial board for their two-pence on the state of affairs as Britain tries it’s hardest to leave the EU!
Kai Weiss – Assistant Editor
I will admit it: Two years ago, when Brits went to the polling booth, I was in favour of Brexit. I was in favour of Brexit after that. I was in favour of it when I worked in Brussels, in the Death Star of Europe (perhaps you notice why I was so happy about the vote). I’m still in favour of it today. And I will always think that it was the right decision, a great opportunity not only for Brits, who could finally escape the Eurocracy, but also for other member states, who may follow after the UK sets an example, or who may implement a realist vision of the European Union.
Nonetheless, it would be naïve to think that everything is going well. From the moment Theresa May was voted in as Prime Minister, doubts started to arise what the real intentions of the UK government truly are. It’s even worse than I initially thought. If Brussels is right about anything, it is that London is embarrassing itself by simply not knowing itself what they actually want. In the customs union? Or outside? A hard Brexit? Or a soft? One would think that Theresa May has figured it out over the last months, but it doesn’t seem so. It’s not too surprising, after all, May was a cautious Remainer herself.
What the UK needs instead is a positive vision of Brexit, their government needs to realise that it is an opportunity for all freedom-loving people in Britain, but also around the world. The problem that is becoming ever clearer is that perhaps the UK would have actually needed a Brexiteer government for that – not a woman (and a Chancellor of the Exchequer) who is actually fighting against what the British people voted on.
Michael Way – Assistant Editor
As we approach the two-year mark of the referendum result, one thing seems clear: Brexit does not mean Brexit. With the government’s current trajectory, it seems likely that by March 2019 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be in the customs union, and in the single market, under the yoke of EU judges, and EU regulations.
For this pleasure the UK will pay a substantial divorce bill, and in return will lose any part it previously had in shaping the nature of any of those institutions. We’ll have paid the piper, and not had any say in the tune. What is the point? The UK’s decision to leave the European Union had the potential to become one of the greatest acts of globalism of the 21st Century.
By leaving the ever-diminishing 28-country protectionist zone of the EU, we could have opened our borders to the new frontiers of the global economy, to Asia, to Africa, to the new renaissance of the American economy. Instead, like violinists on a sinking unsinkable ship, we are doomed to go down with the Union. Doomed to the high prices, and limited consumer choice, of this enemy of free trade. Brexit means nothing.
Richard Mason – Editor-in-Chief
Two years ago I tentatively voted to remain in the European Union. Faced with simply two choices, it seemed the most rational thing to do; the EU is indeed heavily flawed, but is it so broken that we have to hit the reset button? At the time I thought not, and in many ways I think the same today.
This is because, so far, Brexit has meant little more than a bargaining card for would-be politicians, a topic for op-ed writers to get miffed about, and another reason for tories and labourites to hate one another. Brexit hasn’t done anything to reform the EU of its wicked ways, nor has it given Britain the chance to reclaim former glories and prosper. Like a sewing kit in a biscuit tin, Brexit has been a huge let down.
But then, what else was it going to be? As I say, the EU is deeply flawed, but it’s still a great framework for free trade and free movement across the continent – values any liberty lover holds dear. As politicians gripe and moan and take your votes over Brexit, we have to ask ourselves: has it really been worth it?
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organisation as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, click here to submit a guest post!