‘No Deal’ Would Be the Best Brexit
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
As the Mother of Parliaments prepares for what the newspapers are calling a critical vote on Prime Minister May’s plan to leave the European Union, The New York Sun endorses Britain leaving Europe without a deal. At some bookmakers the odds for such an outcome are lengthening. All the more reason to state our view not only that a “hard Brexit” would be acceptable but that it’s the best option.
We tend to look at Brexit through the prism of the patriots of the American Revolution. Those avatars of independence dissolved the political bonds with Britain and, as they put it, assumed “among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” They did it without any such deal as Mrs. May is pursuing.
First came their Brexit, so to speak, and then, and only then, did they send the chief justice of the United States, John Jay, to Britain to work out the terms of amity. That is, they waited until 1794. Just to mark the point, we operated on what might be likened to “no deal” terms for nearly a generation, and still in the long-term, America rapidly became a great power in its own right.
We comprehend that the analogy between the American Revolution and Brexit isn’t perfectly analogous. For one thing, as crazy as King George III no doubt was, and as clearly counter-revolutionary, he wasn’t a socialist. Nor was he as tyrannical, nor even as haughty, or at the same time as oleaginous, as some of these European Union types.
Then again, too, the list of enumerated grievances we presented against George III includes features that are startlingly similar to those Britons adduced against the the EU — that George III had refused assent to our laws and “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
It’s no small thing that the blogger who, from the rock of Nova Scotia, burnishes the brass of liberty via the Disraeli-Macdonald Institute — named for the British and Canadian conservatives — should seek to encourage the Brexiteers by quoting Thos. Paine’s “The American Crisis.” Reminds us of Sam’l Adams: “Is not America already independent? Why then not declare it?”
That seems to be the spirit of the pro-Brexit Britons the Wall Street Journal interviewed for its report this morning. It cites what many fear as the disruptions that could follow a Brexit without a deal. The Journal quotes participants in two panels convened for it by a research firm. It runs the results out under the headline, “Pro-Brexit Britons Calm as Risks Rise.”
It quotes a 21-year-old teacher trainee in math as concerned about unchecked immigration. She wants the U.K. to “accommodate its citizens first.” A business consultant reckons Britain should “just motor on”; and a 43-year-old biology teacher, Angus Dobson, says it was “all about sovereignty,” and adds: “What we will gain by coming out of the EU long term is worth the economic downturn.”
Our sentiments exactly. Particularly if America strikes with a newly independent Britain a trade deal that marks the principles of English, Scottish, and American liberty, rather than sets up a so-called free trade area that is, like Europe, protectionist with the rest of the world. President Trump could take a tip from President Washington and send Chief Justice John Roberts to negotiate the terms.
This editorial has been updated from an earlier edition.