Brexit For Americans

Article author: 
Rod Dreher
Article publisher: 
American Conservative
Article date: 
14 September 2019
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 
In the third item of his Friday column, Andrew Sullivan offers a pretty strong explainer on the psychological politics of Brexit, to help Americans understand it by analogy. He says that it’s frustrating to read about Brexit in the US media, because they never seem to explain to Americans why Brexit happened in the first place. They simply assume that it’s foolish and bad. Well, says Sullivan — who says he would have voted against Brexit — consider what it would have meant in American terms with this thought experiment:
The U.S. negotiated with Canada and Mexico to create a free trade zone called NAFTA, just as the U.K. negotiated entry to what was then a free trade zone called the “European Economic Community” in 1973. Now imagine further that NAFTA required complete freedom of movement for people across all three countries. Any Mexican or Canadian citizen would have the automatic right to live and work in the U.S., including access to public assistance, and every American could live and work in Mexico and Canada on the same grounds. This three-country grouping then establishes its own Supreme Court, which has a veto over the U.S. Supreme Court. And then there’s a new currency to replace the dollar, governed by a new central bank, located in Ottawa.
How many Americans would support this? How many votes would a candidate for president get if he or she proposed it? The questions answer themselves. It would be unimaginable for the U.S. to allow itself to be governed by an entity more authoritative than its own government. It would signify the end of the American experiment, because it would effectively be the end of the American nation-state. But this is precisely the position the U.K. has been in for most of my lifetime. The U.K. has no control over immigration from 27 other countries in Europe, and its less regulated economy has attracted hundreds of thousands of foreigners to work in the country, transforming its culture and stressing its hospitals, schools and transportation system. Its courts ultimately have to answer to the European Court. Most aspects of its economy are governed by rules set in Brussels. It cannot independently negotiate any aspect of its own trade agreements. I think the cost-benefit analysis still favors being a member of the E.U. But it is not crazy to come to the opposite conclusion.
Well, if you put it that way, Brexit is a no-brainer, at least to me. I cannot imagine non-elite Americans  accepting such a loss of sovereignty....