by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Obama saw Britain’s continued membership in the European Union as a worthy enterprise: one that secured peace, freedom of movement, and a common market. But despite the best efforts of liberal globalists in the House of Commons, on Friday the process of Brexit officially began.
At the dawn of a decade, as Great Britain heaves its ancient head from east to west, we enter a new chapter of the Anglo–American alliance.
In one sense, it’s odd that this didn’t happen sooner. By the end of the First World War, New York had overtaken London as the financial capital of the world. Britain was still buoyed, however, by the embers of its empire. After the Second World War, its optimism seemed less credible. Britain’s strength, combined with the Soviet Union and the United States, was critical in stopping Europe from becoming a vast Nazi-German empire. And when Winston Churchill, prime minister, coined the term “the special relationship,” it was clear to him that America’s military support during the war, and its monetary bailouts after, were not merely “special” but essential for Britain’s survival. …
… Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he cannot wait to “get going with our friends” in the U.S., adding, “And I say to all the naïve and juvenile anti-Americans in this country if there are any — there seem to be some. I say grow up and get a grip.” Of course, from Huawei to protectionism, Johnson will face many challenges. But perhaps the biggest one is in turning 40 years of British self-identification as a virtual European state into a sovereign nation, whose key ally lies not east but west.