May 17, 2019

YES: The Best Brexit Strategy Is To Leave First, And Then Deal.

The next prime minister should first affirm Britain’s decision to leave. He or she can do so either under the terms of Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union or, better yet, by abrogating the treaty altogether.

Although Clause 1 of the Treaty of the European Union affirms that member countries may decide to leave the European Union unilaterally “in accord with their own constitutional requirements,” the fine print in subsequent clauses complicates that process. In particular, Clause 2 requires the leaving nation to negotiate an exit deal with the European Council of Ministers or with whichever EU entity the council designates to represent it.

In Britain’s case, that has meant dealing with the unelected European Commission, whose sole interest has long been advancing the project of European political integration. The exit deal May negotiated with the commission reflects those priorities and May’s tepid support for a genuine Brexit that restores British Parliamentary democracy. (Since 1973 when Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC), the EEC and the EU, its courts, and various agencies have imposed more than 20,000 laws on the British public with the British Parliament powerless to stop them.)

The point of Brexit wasn’t to reduce trade, but to reduce EU interference in British sovereignty. The whole purpose of the EU (as opposed to the earlier EEC) is to reduce member states’ sovereignty. That’s why negotiating a good “out” was always an impossibility, and why May — a reluctant Brexiteer at best — was the wrong person trying to do the wrong job the wrong way.

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