Brexit: One-Way Ticket to 'Atlanticism'?


UK voters on June 23 opted to leave the European Union in the much-anticipated “Brexit” referendum. Or so it seems.

Now-former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who’s been a “remain” supporter to the core, begrudgingly allowed the Brexit vote in order to appease certain members of the Conservative Party who demanded the referendum due to their desire to restore British autonomy.

While on the surface Cameron kept his promise, he met with several European leaders well before June 23 to “re-negotiate” Britain’s relationship with the UK.

These meetings quietly produced a report, “The Best of Both Worlds,” whose essence is that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) lies at the heart of British trade policy—meaning that a massive trade deal designed to fasten together the EU, Britain and the US is at the core of the British government’s economic outlook. That does not bode well for Brexit.

Besides, the Brexit vote was simply a form of filing for divorce. And Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — which contains the guidelines under which EU member states can leave the bloc — is no cakewalk for finalizing that divorce.

Article 50 says that leaving the EU will take at least two years and could take longer. Furthermore, the overall exit process is at the mercy of the EU apparatus. Britain can activate Article 50 but cannot go a step further. concurred: “It will take about two years to officially ‘leave’ the EU, however, most experts predict a longer period. During this negotiation process, EU laws will still apply to the UK — it will continue to participate in other EU business but will not participate in internal EU discussions or decisions on its own withdrawal (emphasis added).

And, as many expected, Cameron promptly resigned upon Brexit’s approval, while calling for a “period of stability” — seen by some as a delaying tactic. He added: “It should be up to the next Prime Minister to decide when to activate Article 50.”

Several other factors come into play, strongly suggesting that unless pro-Brexit voters apply sustained, concerted pressure to firmly finalize this “divorce” under acceptable political and economic terms, then Brexit either won’t be consummated or it won’t make enough difference if it is.

Meanwhile, internationalist scribblers have been scouring Brexit from every conceivable angle. Several such writers, under the auspices of the Johns-Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), just published a flurry of Brexit articles in various outlets, ranging from the Council on Foreign Relations’ stuffy journal Foreign Affairs to the snobbish Washington Post etc.

In the Post, though, Matthias Matthijs, assistant professor of international political economy at SAIS, noticed some of the deception, including that former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who had been the Conservative Party’s likely replacement for Cameron, is a closet ‘remainer’ [i.e., a fake friend of Brexit].

Given Johnson’s “cosmopolitan outlook and embrace of economic openness and globalization,” he “opportunistically chose to put his weight behind the ‘leave’ camp,” Matthijs stated.

That left Theresa May, the former UK home secretary, to be appointed as the new PM, which happened on July 13. She’s been accused of having deliberately kept a low profile during the Brexit campaign when she loyally supported Cameron’s “remain” camp, despite her assumed Eurosceptic leanings.

Not to mention:

• Britain remains part of a pending EU army and has been involved in its development since the 1990s. That keeps Britain tied to the EU in a big way.

• Longtime, outspoken UK Independence Party “heroic” leader Nigel Farage suddenly stepped down, claiming that now that his Brexit goal is “done,” he wants his “life” back. This could force UKIP to expend valuable time and resources finding its next leader instead of influencing Article 50 progress toward a full Brexit.

Skeptics see Farage as a weakling or even as a conman who “threw the fight” at an ultra-critical point in time.

Amid all of these factors, the central thing to remember is that super-rich trans-nationalists from the US, Britain and Europe have long sought an Atlantic Union — in addition to the EU, the African Union and Pacific Union — political groupings that go hand in hand with actual or planned free-trade blocs.

Thus, Britain “leaving” the EU actually may be a shift toward the “Atlanticism” that’s been peddled in elite think tanks for decades. If that’s correct, Britain is entering an even large bloc than the EU, where its sovereignty will be the cost of entry.

Mark Anderson is a veteran journalist who divides his time between Texas and Michigan. Email him at

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2016

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