I received this letter written by someone named "Mike," whom I do not know, other than he lives in the UK
Thoughts on this subject have been asked for, so here goes!
Brexit -- where do I start? Some background first.- Advertisement -
When the UK joined in the early 70s and voted to remain in 1975, the organization was called the European Economic Community (EEC) or Common Market. There were no political connotations, it was simply a free trade area.
Over the years since then, the EEC morphed into the European Union (EU) which created a European Parliament, a European Court, a European Currency (the Euro) with a European Central Bank, a European Foreign Service and many other institutions and trappings of a sovereign state.
On the stocks at the moment is a proposal to create a European Armed Force in 'opposition' to NATO.- Advertisement -
Many of us (52% as it turns out) were deeply disturbed by this as we found that our laws, passed by Parliament, were being overturned by the EU; that the decisions of our courts were being overruled by the European Court and by the European Court of Human Rights; and that we were powerless to prevent anybody with "European Citizenship" from travelling to the UK and, if they could not find work, from drawing Welfare Benefits.
In fact, because Britain is more prosperous than any other country in the EU (yes, even Germany), many hundreds of thousands did come here from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Greece and, amazingly, France -- a net 300,000 last year alone -- causing great strain on our housing stock, schools and hospitals.
We attempted to negotiate with the other EU countries a deal which would alleviate our difficulties, however concessions were derisory and we could see further problems arising if the flood of refugees from the Middle East and Africa were eventually granted EU citizenship as Germany, in particular, was suggesting.
There was also on the table a proposal that Turkey would join the EU which would eventually add a further large population entitled to travel here.
These issues have been a festering problem in British politics ever since the premiership of Margaret Thatcher, but they came to prominence when the financial crash provoked problems within the Euro Zone.
The weakest economies -- mainly in the south of Europe and, principally, Greece -- collapsed and became reliant on the strongest economy, Germany. The EU economy faltered and stagnated and calls to free the UK from all this became louder.- Advertisement -
In an attempt to stifle these calls, David Cameron said that he would make a further effort to negotiate a deal and, once these negotiations were over, we would have an In/Out Referendum. We've had it and you know the result -- we want out.
It's a result that Pam and I voted for -- principally on the constitutional issue. We didn't vote for a European Union in 1975 and we don't like what the Common Market has turned into. The nearest analogy that I can think of in US terms is States' Rights and we didn't like our rights being surreptitiously removed.
Incidentally, and I hate to have to say this, but President Obama did the Remain in Europe campaign, himself and the US no favours by saying that we would have to go to the end of the line for a trade deal with the USA if we left the EU.