“It’s morning again in America”. These words were the backdrop to President Reagan’s successful re-election campaign in 1984. Today it’s morning again in Britain.
43 years after joining the then European Economic Community (which has since transmorphed into the European Union), the people of the United Kingdom have decided by a margin of 52% to 48% to reclaim our nationhood and to proclaim our independence.
Of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom, England and Wales chose Brexit. Scotland and Northern Ireland did not. This presents its own challenges. The Scottish National Party, which governs the devolved Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, lost the Scottish referendum in 2014 but its leadership has already made it clear that a second referendum is on the cards.
Likewise in Northern Ireland, the political wing of the IRA terrorist movement that attempted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher in 1984, Sinn Fein, has made it clear that Brexit puts the peace process at risk.
The British Pound has tumbled overnight from $1.50 to $1.35 and there will no doubt be turmoil in the financial markets as the global financial system adjusts to the new reality. But what a wonderful day it is for democracy in the home of the mother of parliaments that gave birth to freedom in so many countries around the world.
When I first attended CPAC in 2001, few conservatives understood why people like me wanted Britain to leave the European Union. Newt Gingrich and Donald Rumsfeld helped to explain how the EU was often not a true friend to the United States and Israel or even such elementary notions as free trade or liberty but it was only since President Obama entered the White House that our American cousins began to understand why it was that the Brits needed to leave the EU. You began to see what a social democratic technocracy is like and feared that America was about to make the same mistake that Britain made in 1973.
No American President would ever agree to a foreign court being able to overrule the Supreme Court. No American President would ever agree to anyone from the Americas being able freely to live, work and claim social security benefits in the United States. No American President would agree to being governed from Mexico City by a technocratic elite instead of by a legislature and executive who can readily be removed from power at the ballot box every two or four years.
And yet that is what we have endured for 43 years. But no more. We can now rejoin the world, rightfully reclaiming our place at the top table. We have always been a global nation. We are still the fifth largest economy in the world. We have the fourth largest army in the world and retain our seat on the UN Security Council. English is now the lingua franca. And we are blessed by both history, geography and temperament to be at the heart of world trade with a trusted, reliable and impartial legal system that guarantees the rights of those who do business in Britain.
When I founded YAF’s sister organisation, the Young Britons’ Foundation, in 2003, I dreamt of the day that Britain would once more be free. I resolved to dedicate myself to achieving my nation’s independence, whatever the cost. It has cost me over $750,000 of my own money and had an adverse impact upon my business, my health and even my reputation. The media and their allies on the radical left have gone out of their way to denigrate my motives and to try to destroy me. But they failed. Yesterday hundreds and hundreds of activists that we trained formed the foot soldiers of the revolution that resulted in our freedom. Many are YAF alumni too. They are the heroes. They won this great victory.
Today I could not be happier, or prouder, to be British and free. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr: “Free at last; free at last; thank God almighty, we’re free at last”.
Donal Blaney is an attorney and the founder of the Margaret Thatcher Centre (www.thatchercentre.com). He lives in England and Florida.