The parallel to the United States is uncanny.
“Brexit” is the term used to express Britain exiting the European Union (EU), which was passed by referendum on Thursday, June 23rd. This was a hard fought issue with British Prime Minister David Cameron leading the effort to remain in the EU, and former London mayor Boris Johnson leading the Brexit effort. Both sides used scare tactics in their campaigns. The Cameron group claimed it would lead to a recession and a drop in employment in the UK.
From afar, it doesn’t seem this issue will effect America, but it most certainly will as it represents a preview of our presidential election in November.
The two key issues in the UK referendum are the economy, and immigration, which also happens to be the two biggest concerns in this country as well. Native Brits are angry about the influx of Muslims immigrating into the country, thereby changing its culture and its political future. They are also concerned about having Brussels dictate economic terms and regulations for the British. This has all resulted in a backlash much like the supporters of Donald Trump who do not like the direction the United States is moving towards. Like Trump, many see this as the last chance to save the country.
The passage of Brexit marks the end of Cameron’s term as PM, who will probably be replaced by Johnson. Interestingly, both men are conservatives, but Johnson is a critic of the Obama administration and has been compared to Donald Trump in terms of political direction.
Brexit should embolden Trump supporters who are also tired of the current immigration and economic policies of the Obama administration. To Brexit followers, the withdrawal from the EU represents an “Independence Day,” an analogy that is not lost on Trump supporters, nor to independent voters in the States.
46.5 million British voters were said to have registered to vote in the referendum, a record. The voter turnout in the United States will also likely be historic. The campaign tactics in the referendum were bitter and the rhetoric vicious, as I’m sure it will be in our November election. The parallel is simply uncanny.
It is also worth noting, Brexit is supported by the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a group that is surging as voters are losing faith with establishment politics, including both Liberal and Conservative parties.
Keep the Faith!