On Jan. 31, 2020 following 1,316 days of political upheaval, the now remaining 27-nation European Union bloc lost its second-largest member economy — the world’s fifth-largest — along with a major military force with nuclear weapons and a first-class intelligence network.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who won a landslide campaign election last year over the matter, acknowledged the painful sense of public disquietude and polarizing disunity surrounding the action, saying, "For many people, this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come.
"And there are many, of course, who feel a sense of anxiety and loss . . . I understand those feelings, and our job as the government — my job — is to bring the country together now and take us forward."
Long-awaited Brexit enactment portends significant, but as-yet entirely uncertain, geopolitical ramifications.
Key among these is the question of whether the U.K. will continue to stick with its European neighbors to enhance their globalist multilateral worldviews, or drift across the Atlantic to team up with America’s Trump administration foreign policies.
In an ideal world, Britain will now be free to forge new economic relations with both the E.U. and the U.S., while maintaining a diplomatic equilibrium that allows it to be a power broker between the two.
President Trump has promised a big U.S. trade opportunity for Britain after it leaves the European Union, which he said had been a drag on Britain’s ability to cut a good deal.
Accordingly, America’s 2020 election outcome is a potentially important factor in determining the U.K.’s post-Brexit future at a time when the Trump administration is working to renegotiate the transatlantic relationship that pivots attention away from Europe and the Mideast to focus more upon competition with China and Asia.
The stakes for Johnson and the U.K. are high.
A trade deal with Washington can ease the pain of breaking with Europe, Britain’s largest trade partner. Conversely, that political victory can also be expected to extract a big cost in weakened relationships with traditional EU allies.
Johnson must carefully navigate a dangerous China minefield that stretches across Europe.
On one hand, stagnating EU economies welcome Chinese investment.
On the other, that investment comes with recognized privacy risks attached to allowing state-owned Chinese information technology companies to operate in Europe.
Last month, despite serious security concerns, Johnson’s government decided to allow the giant Chinese telecom firm Huawei to build non-core parts of the U.K.’s 5G network. That determination was premised upon a disturbingly implausible claim that Huawei’s role in the project would be restricted to areas that "don’t present risks."
Meanwhile, the U.S. is continuing to pressure allies to block Huawei from their next-generation wireless networks.
The U.K. and its EU allies are also engaged in difficult and complicated relationships with Russia. They continue to depend heavily upon Russia for investments and natural resources, while at the same time, are sanctioning them for illegal annexation of Crimea.
In addition, Russia is held in great disfavor over alleged state-sanctioned attacks on Russian dissidents living in Europe. Arguably the most high-profile of these cases was the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal in England.
While serving as British foreign secretary at that time, Boris Johnson drove a push to expel Russian diplomats over the matter.
Once again, Johnson is expected to stick to a hard line with Russia which will raise problematic concerns in Eastern Europe for Ukraine, whose independence from Russia is an EU priority.
Immigration and border control concerns have presented contentious economic and public safety issues since 2004 when Poland and other Eastern European nations joined the EU. Lax border laws and free labor movement rules soon began to strain Britain’s generosity.
Here, Brexit evacuees, along with many Americans, share common alarm about unaccountable open border politics and policies that enable, and even encourage, uncontrolled numbers of non-vetted immigrants to compete for jobs, overburden school and social service budgets, and in worst cases, exacerbate violent crime and terrorism threats.
Add to this, that EU overregulation has cost the British economy dearly. Freed from Brussels red tape, the U.K. now embraces potentials to thrive like Norway and Switzerland – two highly successful independent European states.
While recognizing big differences between U.S. and continental EU circumstances, let’s also remember to give due credit to Britain as the country that gave us the Magna Carta and resisted previous continental threats to their sovereignty by Spain’s King Philip II, France’s Napoleon, and Germany’s Hitler.
People on both sides of the big pond have strong reasons to be concerned about ever-expanding government encroachments upon long-cherished and hard-earned self-governance and liberties.
Perhaps in this 2020 election year, Americans and Brits alike will continue to demand common freedom from government oppression — just as our wise and brave predecessors did in 1776 to secure independence from them.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including “The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives” (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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