The vote to Brexit—a hard-fought campaign by nationalist populists in the United Kingdom—puts the world elite on their heels, as a similar but bigger and stronger such movement is brewing right here in the United States.
Now it’s our time. The period of the nation state has not ended. No far off global government or union can command the loyalty of a people like their own country. Vague unions have no ability to call on the people to sacrifice for the common good. They seem incapable of making decisions and when they do, they have difficulty executing the decision.
The Chattering Class
The loss of Britain is an enormous blow to the credibility of a bloc already under pressure from slow growth, high unemployment, the migrant crisis, Greece’s debt woes and the conflict in Ukraine.
“The main impact will be massive disorder in the E.U. system for the next two years,” said Thierry de Montbrial, founder and executive chairman of the French Institute of International Relations. “There will be huge political transition costs, on how to solve the British exit, and the risk of a domino effect or bank run from other countries that think of leaving.”
Europe will have to “reorganize itself in a system of different degrees of association,” said Karl Kaiser, a Harvard professor and former director of the German Council on Foreign Relations. “Europe does have an interest in keeping Britain in the single market, if possible, and in an ad hoc security relationship.”
While leaders of the Leave campaign spoke earnestly about sovereignty and the supremacy of Parliament or in honeyed tones about “the bright sunlit uplands” of Britain’s future free of Brussels, it was anxiety about immigration that defined and probably swung the campaign.
The campaign run by one of the loudest proponents of leaving, the U.K. Independence Party, flirted with xenophobia, nativism and what some of its critics considered racism. But the official, more mainstream Leave campaign also invoked immigration as an issue, and its slogan, “Take control,” resonated with voters who feel that the government is failing to regulate the inflow of people from Europe and beyond.
Other anti-establishment and far-right parties in Europe, like the National Front of Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders’s party in the Netherlands and the Alternative for Germany party will celebrate the outcome. The depth of anti-Europe sentiment could be a key factor in national elections scheduled next year in the other two most important countries of the European Union, France and Germany.
The British campaign featured assertions and allegations tossed around with little regard to the facts. Both sides played to emotion, and the most common emotion played upon was fear.
Nigel Farage today called for a new bank holiday in Britain to mark its 'Independence Day' from Brussels.
The Ukip leader was celebrating 'a new dawn' for Britain after his 25-year campaign for the UK to leave the EU came to an extraordinary conclusion.
But it came hours after he admitted that he believed Remain had won the referendum during a sombre interview an hour after the polls closed at 11pm last night.
It was a bitter blow for a man who admitted he had dedicated his life to cutting Britain's ties with Brussels.
But by 12.30pm after a huge win for the Leave campaign Mr Farage was back in jubilant mood and grinning widely when the battle lurched back towards Brexit.
He looked jubilant after the vote, despite the fact that it could mean the end of his political career after 25 years of campaigning as he would lose his job as an MEP and does not have a Westminster seat.
However, he said today that the next step for Britain is a 'pro-Brexit' Prime Minister and after the vote, David Cameron announced he will stand aside in October.
After losing the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU, Cameron could now face a snap election which may leave the door open for Farage to finally win a seat in the Commons.
After the result was confirmed this morning, he said: 'Today, the sun has risen on an independent Britain, and look at it, even the weather has improved.'
He said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that the next step is choosing the right leader, and suggested June 23 - 'independence day' - should be made a public holiday.
Late last night, the Ukip leader looked crestfallen as he publicly admitted defeat when the exit polls gave Remain a slim lead.