In just a few weeks, the United Kingdom will have a referendum on whether or not to stay in the European Union. I believe that this so-called "Brexit" is in the best interest of Britain, Europe, Israel, and the world in general. What began as a great "project" after the horrors of World War Two, designed to keep the bloody Old Continent from being plunged into war yet again, is now little more than a hypocritical and undemocratic forum that has hollowed out the economies of Europe's "banana republics" in the south of the continent, while recklessly allowing for mass migration from countries hostile to the Western World. At a time of surging populism and nationalist rhetoric, it should come as no surprise that many polls in Great Britain show that the "Leave" campaign is ahead of the "Remain" camp. 

The European Union emerged initially as the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 with the BeNeLux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) countries, West Germany, France and Italy establishing a customs union. Over time, more countries entered and eventually the EEC become the EU, while also expanding its focus not just on trade deals but also on political issues. The EU urged "ever closer union" between the member-states, such that the euro was adopted as a common currency by a number of countries within the union. This idea of an "ever closer union" likely stems from two core beliefs: the first one is quite obvious: that if the European countries merge within a supranational organization, the chances of repeating the wars of the 20th Century--or prior--significantly lessen. The second is that it would merge Europe into something similar to the United States--where each state or region has its unique identity, history, and culture, but is proudly part of a larger entity from which it receives something and to which it gives something in return. In its earliest years, the EU looked to be a beautiful entity that could promote peace and human rights while creating huge economic growth-- this was particularly important for the newer, poorer, eastern members of the EU, which had been under Soviet dominance or were riddled with corruption. But no more. Instead of preventing conflict in Europe, the EU has stoked newfound friction between North and South (the Eurozone crisis, particularly in regard to Greece) as well as East and West (the refugee/migrant crisis). 

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The Great Recession of 2008 proved why the Eurozone was a bad idea. Even though the United States struggled during this time, the unemployment rate was below that of much of the EU--besides Britain, which had a similar unemployment rate a lot of the time as the States. Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, along with Ireland, suffered immensely, certainly more so than the wealthier, northern countries of the EU. This financial crisis also caused great tensions within Europe (mostly between the wealthier, northwestern countries of the EU and the poorer ones of the southeast) by giving voice to anti-free trade groups and political parties. In Spain, the far-left Podemos Party grew immensely more popular. In Greece, Podemos' counterpart, Syriza, also became greatly popular, but so did the far-right Golden Dawn Party. The PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) group of Germany went from being a fringe faction to a political group that wooed thousands of Germans with its pro-Russian, anti-Obama, and anti-Muslim immigrant rhetoric. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has also risen to prominence in Britain, as has the National Front in France. And some recent polls indicate that as Brexit's referendum approaches, other Europeans want a similar vote on membership. 


There have been a number of mistakes made by the EU's leaders, as well as the Remain camp within Britain, in terms of promoting their message of "ever closer union". The first is that they prefer to stick to a messy status quo that greatly displeases a lot of Europeans--one of economic failure and migrant recklessness. The other is the idea that such an "ever closer union" could ever occur to begin with. While the USA is comprised of states that differ in their populations, experiences, and histories, the peoples of the states share a common first identity: American. In the EU, the member-states have populations with vastly different languages, histories, religious practices, cultures, and so on. There is no common "European" identity, but a Greek, or Spanish, or British, or Danish identity. And there is nothing wrong with this--not every country can or should be a melting pot or a mosaic the way that Britain and America are--the EU needs to realize this.  And finally, the Remain Camp--like many other leftist campaigns or organizations in modern times--calls for hope & unity and against fear mongering, but they themselves engage in such fear mongering. David Cameron, Barack Obama, and others have claimed relentlessly that a Brexit would lead to a worse relationship with America, a more dangerous Britain (and Europe), a less stable Western World, and economic decline. They have also claimed that the EU would seek to punish Britain (and be reluctant to accept Britain back into the club if it soon "regretted its mistake") in order to dissuade other member-states from leaving. But, much like political attacks by the opponents of Donald Trump, it only seems to solidify the nationalist base that rejects this New World Order. National pride, sovereignty, and identity in itself is not a bad thing--nationalism, like most things, is only bad when brought to its extreme, as we saw with Hitler. Unfortunately, extreme nationalism is more likely to emerge due to numerous terrible decisions by the leaders of the EU. 

Many Brexiteers have seen through the shallowness, lies, and hypocrisy of the European Union, at least in modern times. On one hand, when attacked, it pushes for an aggressive response to terrorism. On the other, when Israel faces daily stabbings by terrorists, Brussels condemns Israel for defending itself and decides it would be better to boycott goods from Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, as if this would somehow appease terrorists and stop them from attacking the West. Northern European countries call for bringing in more migrants for "humanitarian reasons", but are slow or loth to help the Greeks, Italians, and other burdened by recession and facing a surge of refugees. And while the EU claims to support human rights and blasts Israel for its "occupation of "Palestine", it's acceptable for them to break international law by signing a deal with Turkey--an authoritarian Islamist country infamous for jailing journalists--to stop refugees from entering the Old Continent. As Angela Merkel calls for tolerance and kindness towards refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other such places, German cops and media ignore the rapes, abuse, and hatred directed towards women, gays, Jews, and others by many of these refugees--not to mention the Christian refugees that are harassed by some Muslim ones. 

In short, the European project began as something beautiful, but has more than fallen short. It's undermined the notion of sovereignty and national identity in favor of a reckless "multiculturalism" where peoples from the Third World aren't integrated properly to adopt Western liberal values--this often leads to terrorism and a bigoted backlash. It's economic vision and plans are incoherent and failing. In 1973, when the UK entered the Union, Brussel accounted for 37% of the world's economy, but by 2025, it will account for just 22%. The club has been extremely hypocritical in terms of foreign policy and human rights (look no further than its imposition of sanctions on Russia for war in Ukraine, but being fine with making business deals with Iran, the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism). Its people have very little say over policy enacted by the European Commission or European Council, or choosing its leaders and officials--leaving them at the mercy of an out-of-touch, morally bankrupt leadership. But if the UK chooses Brexit on June 23rd, it may be able to change all of this by opening a door to other European countries to leave. While many "experts" and pundits claim that Britain would be economically damaged and relies heavily on the EU, the UK's economic recovery since 2009 has more in common with America than it does with the rest of Europe. Compared to the EU's sluggish recovery--with 11.1% unemployment--Britain's is 5.5%.  Shortly before the Second World War, the Ottoman Empire was "the sick man of Europe". Now, it's Europe itself that is ill. While the battle is not yet over---and Remain is a formidable foe for Leave in the UK--it seems that the cure to this is to disassemble the EU and for the European countries to take back their sovereignty and bring sanity back to their society.

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