Opposing Views: Brexit
Britain's ignorance about leaving the EU is dangerous
There is a slogan shoved down the throat of every student in a history class: “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”
This is a lesson those who voted to leave the European Union obviously missed.
Britain’s exit from the EU does an incredible job at showing this ignorance. This was an absolutely terrible move that no one was prepared for. This is yet another step down Europe’s path to total war. The history books show as much.
Using the example of the Congress of Vienna — which was almost the exact same situation, step by step — we can see what is likely to occur next. First, Russia wanted control of the Black Sea. This resulted in Russia mobilizing its army and attacking its neighbors. Next, the other European Nations responded to try and stem Russia’s aggression, as well as help those affected by the onslaught. The immigrants that entered Europe brought different values to the fold and, as a result, gave rise to nationalism. Gaining pride in their homelands caused what was left of the Congress of Vienna to splinter, since neighbors stopped trusting each other on the political stage. This splintering resulted in a series of alliances between nations as territories sought to break away from larger countries and govern themselves. It was not long before all of Europe was at war to stop these rebellions.
Now, let’s fast-forward to today. Russia invaded Crimea for access to the Black Sea. Armies were mobilized to counter an assortment of threats that got intensified by aggression from Russia. There are currently multiple immigration crises all over Europe, with people fleeing from war-torn countries in both the Middle East and parts of Europe. As a result, nationalism is at an all-time high compared to the last few decades; a nationalism which has been born out of cultures clashing across the globe. And, right now, we have areas of Europe and the Middle East that seek to govern themselves. These territories seek to break up the established borders and create new nations. Neighbors are already breaking into factions and, while it looks to be solely an immigration in the EU, this is only the most visible source of conflict between these nations.
Now that I have drawn parallels that foreshadow the future of Europe should the union fall — a situation I forsee once Britain formally severs ties with the EU — let’s look at what happens next. Weapons for war have never been deadlier. Forgetting the obvious, nuclear arsenals, many countries have sophisticated biological and chemical weapons that are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. These same nations also have working electromagnetic pulse weapons. Without electricity, chaos will ensue. War is absolutely the worst possible idea right now, and the breaking of the EU is a guaranteed pathway to such a situation.
But those are problems that affect all of Europe. I will close with the issues that will soon be plaguing Britain itself. This rise in nationalism has given way to a far more aggressive population. America has already shown what happens with a riled up populace. Economic failures are already happening in the country. As discontent grows, the most dangerous aspects of nationalism will grow in power. Going back to those same forgotten history books, when people think of World War II, they fixate on the word socialism. But socialism was not the deadly concept that led to countless lives being destroyed in Europe then. And the word nationalism, which happens to be what the “N” in a certain political movement of the time, Nazism, was the true cause of all the violence.
Europe is headed down a very dark road, and I fear to see the next dominoes fall.
Ross Ellison is a contributing columnist for the Central Florida Future.
Brexit decision will have long-term rewards
In a vote that shocked the world, 52 percent of British citizens wanted to leave the European Union. I was very happy about this decision to make a large government smaller, allowing for the people of the United Kingdom to rule themselves. While there will be some short term economic consequences, I believe the long term rewards are well worth it.
The body of the EU that proposes legislation, the European Commission, is unelected. There is no way for EU citizens to vote out those politicians, and there is no way for citizens to repeal legislation that has been enacted. The rise of right-wing ideology in Europe is evidence enough that the people of Europe no longer want to be a part of the super government that is the EU. The EU is undemocratic and, frankly, the legislation they pass is very damaging to the people of Europe. Not to mention that one-third of EU bureaucrats get paid more than British Prime Minister David Cameron. Countries such as England, Germany and France pay more than their fair share in tax money to these unelected EU officials, while countries such as Portugal, Spain and Greece pay a lot less.
To put this in perspective, let’s say all of North and South America were part of some super government called the American Union. Let’s say that the American Union Commission was located in Panama. Let’s say you had no say in what legislation they propose, but that legislation affects you directly all the same. Unelected law makers in Panama would effectively be able to tell the US who they can and can’t trade with and force us to bail out other countries in the AU. If you don’t believe me, look at the EU, which does just that. The UK tax payers are paying for the mistakes of Greece and cannot make their own trade deals without EU approval. Now, Britain will be able to directly negotiate with foreign countries like China and the US.
Let’s talk about immigration. EU law guarantees that citizens of one EU country have the right to travel, live, and take jobs in other EU countries. There are currently five countries listed as candidate countries to join the EU, one of which is Turkey. Turkey is the country where a Russian plane was shot down, where the annual gay pride parade was canceled, where president Erdoğan is quoted as saying, “It’s against nature and Islam to put women on an equal footing of men,” and where prominent Imams and Muslim leaders have said they will spread Islam throughout Europe through immigration. Turkey is almost guaranteed a spot in the EU.
There’s currently a refugee migrant crisis in Europe.The migrants are coming from countries where women’s rights are non-existent and homosexuality is illegal. Many places in Germany now have gender-segregated pools. Migrants that will not assimilate to European culture have no business being there and shouldn’t be accepted into Europe. The EU, however, does not seem to care about the increased crime rate due to the mass influx of uncontrolled migration. They have proposed to fine member countries 250,000 euros per refugee that they don’t accept. If the EU sets a quota of 100,000 refugees, but Britain decides to take in just 50,000, they will be fined 12.5 billion euros. The citizens of the UK are tired of people who will not assimilate or follow their rules only to be protected by officials who are in fear of looking like bigots for simply enforcing laws.
Ian Hunt is a contributing columnist for the Central Florida Future.