by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
What a gift to the Republican Party. No sooner had Britons made their historic vote for independence than Donald Trump — already in Scotland — declared that they have “taken their country back” and called it a “great thing.”
The next move ought to be for Trump to set a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan to talk about moving Britain to the front of the queue. They need to make sure Britons know that America will not be punishing them for their vote.
A clear message from the GOP leadership on this would start to repair the damage of President Obama’s threat that if Britain voted to exit the European Union, it would land at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal with America. …
… No doubt the left more generally will write off Britain’s decision as a manifestation of xenophobia and racism. No one can gainsay that those evils exist in Britain (among many countries, including our own).
It’s unlikely, though, that the campaign for British independence would have succeeded were xenophobia the only, or even main, motive. It certainly wasn’t Margaret Thatcher’s motive when she lit this fuse.
Her famous speech at Bruges, Belgium, in 1988 had nothing to do with bigotry. It was about creeping socialism in the European Union and its transmogrification into an emerging supra-state.
“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels,” Thatcher warned.