by Rod D. Martin
June 28, 2016
The naysayers are just wrong. The markets are wrong too. And even if they weren’t, what price liberty?
Brexit was an historic reassertion of Britain’s ancient liberties. It was also a monumental repudiation of the left and its ever-growing nightmare of government by remote, unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies and the subversion of all democratic process. Thomas Sowell has described this elitist trainwreck as “the vision of the anointed.” It is everywhere and always the same, give or take a gulag or two.
Brexit was Lady Thatcher’s dying hope, having come to understand that the EU was “fundamentally unreformable.” Her dream has finally been fulfilled.
An independent Britain, free to set its own course and determine its own future — as it has done for a thousand years before the Brussels behemoth was even a thought — will preserve and extend its heritage of liberty and innovation. The Continent will fall deeper into its increasingly despotic quagmire, unless it breaks up well before that.
You should take none of this as opposition to free trade, or to a European free trade area. But why anyone thinks free trade (or a common defense, to wit, the Atlantic Alliance and NATO) requires an unaccountable superstate simply floors me. As Jefferson said, the government closest to the people serves the people best. Brussels is simply a thousand faceless, distant kings.
Immediate market disruption aside, some are concerned about the long term economic impact of Brexit. They shouldn’t be.
For 25 years I have advocated Britain’s departure from the EU and joining of NAFTA (newly christened an Atlantic Free Trade Area, or even better, an Anglosphere Free Trade Area, no offense intended toward Mexico). It’s a better deal for all involved (except the socialists left behind on the Continent). Here’s why.
The U.S. — entirely by itself — has a larger economy than the combined 28 members of the EU. (Yea America!) Britain, despite all the propaganda you keep hearing, is actually the world’s 5th largest economy all by itself (which is the main reason the mooches in Brussels want it around: someone has to pay all the bills). Our other NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico, are 10th and 15th respectively.
NAFTA’s combined GDP is already 25% larger than the EU’s. Add Britain and our new AFTA is suddenly almost 50% bigger than the EU as-is, almost double the EU post-Brexit.
Now let’s really go crazy and add a few Commonwealth countries (say, Australia at 12th, New Zealand at 54th), plus a few with whom the U.S. currently has a bilateral free trade agreement (say, South Korea at 11th, Israel at 34th, Singapore at 35th, Colombia at 39th, Chile at 41st, Peru at 51st, a list which is by no means exhaustive).
All of a sudden, this combined Free Trade Area is 2.3X the GDP of the EU, even assuming no Frexit, Grexit, Swexit, Departugal, Italeave or Finish (yes, a couple of those are just funny to say).
It’s a big world. Freedom-loving Europeans are in the wrong club. They should come join us! And the beauty of it? No supranational institutions; and the more of this sort of country we add to what is currently NAFTA, the more certain there never will be.
So with all that said, let’s look at this from another direction. We keep hearing about how Scotland and Northern Ireland are “certain” to leave the UK now, and that this will cripple poor tiny England.
So here’s some helpful perspective.
As I just mentioned, the United Kingdom is the world’s 5th largest economy quite without Europe, at $2.85 trillion. It has 65,000,000 people, making it 21st in size by population. It also has a potent nuclear force, almost the equal of China’s, and the world’s 4th best navy and 6th best armed forces overall. It has virtually no rivals in Europe — or elsewhere — by these measures.
Would a Scottish departure shatter this? Surely you jest.
England by itself has 55,000,000 of those 65,000,000 people; adding Wales (which voted Remain) gets you to 58,000,000. If abandoned by the rest of the UK, it would still be the world’s 24th largest country, down a scant three places. Moreover, its GDP would still be $2.68 trillion, which is another way of saying that 94% of Britain’s economy is in England.
By contrast, Scotland — composed almost entirely of incorrigible socialists who nationalize English industry and siphon off English earnings — has just 5.3 million people, less than similarly-empty Colorado. Its economy is a mere $245 billion, and that includes oil and gas revenues from the North Sea, much of which it would not get to keep in a split. It would also lose nearly all of that military, and 100% of the nukes.
Northern Ireland? Even worse: just 1.8 million people (smaller than West Virginia and 37 other states). It’s entire economy is $45 billion, barely more than what the state government spends in Arkansas. Indeed, Northern Ireland’s GDP is just 18% of Scotland’s, only 1.7% of England’s.
Oh, and one more thing: if Scotland left the UK, it would be virtually impossible for the socialists ever to form a government in London again.
I think secession is a lot less likely than some think. First, the EU is in no hurry to encourage similar secessionist movements in Catalonia and elsewhere: the circumstances are different, but it’s a genie many want kept bottled. But second, I think even crazed kilt-wearing socialists are likely to discover that they place more stock in a 400-year-old nation than a 40-year-old trade area. I also doubt Germany wants to start paying Scotland’s bills.
Still, even if I’m wrong, it won’t make that much difference to England. They’ll lose some people (and a decent number of sheep) who didn’t want to remain part of one of the greatest nations in human history; but they’ll mostly lose a lot of dead weight. And shorn of that, they’ll be nimbler, richer, more innovative and more competitive than they’ve been in at least a century.
With a top-ranked military. And nukes.
So #BeLEAVEinBritain! It is a glorious day for all lovers of liberty and of that fair and noble isle. And may God save the Queen.
— This article originally appeared as part of “Rod Martin’s ‘The Week’ – June 27, 2016”.