Article 50: May signs letter that will trigger Brexit – BBC News

[British Prime Minister] Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the UK’s departure from the European Union. The letter will be delivered to the EU on Wednesday, marking formal notice of the UK’s exit.

Source: Article 50: May signs letter that will trigger Brexit – BBC News

“In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks ‘the moment for the country to come together.’ It follows June’s referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU. Mrs May’s letter will be delivered at 12:30 BST on Wednesday by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow. The prime minister, who will chair a cabinet meeting in the morning, will then make a statement to MPs confirming the countdown to the UK’s departure from the EU is under way.”

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Brexit Bill – Royal Central

Her Majesty The Queen has given Royal Assent to the bill authorising a British exit from the European Union. The Queen’s signature allows Prime Minister Theresa May to formally start the process of leaving the EU.

Source: The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Brexit Bill – Royal Central

I mentioned a few days ago that Her Majesty The Queen was expected to grant Royal Assent to the bill authorizing (American spelling!) “Brexit.” This did in fact occur, albeit a bit later than originally anticipated: Thursday, March 16th, 2017.

The European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill was accepted by MPs and the House of Lords on Monday, and The Queen had been expected to sign the Bill on Tuesday. There is speculation that Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, caused such a media furore by calling for a second independence referendum that The Queen postponed the law until today.

Those who believe that Her Majesty is powerless, a mere figurehead, should take note:

Royal Assent is required to make legislation in the United Kingdom law and The Queen has the power to make and repeal laws. Laws usually originate from the Houses of Parliament, either the Commons or the Lords, and experience a lengthy process of debate and review. Once the legislation has been passed by both houses of Parliament, it is then sent to The Queen in Her daily red boxes of state papers. There can be a slight delay here as Her Majesty has a great deal of papers to work through. It remains the case, however, that no bill can become law without The Queen’s approval.

Royal Assent, granted after a bill has been passed by Peers and MPs, is different from Queen’s Consent. Queen’s Consent is required for members of Parliament to debate a bill and has to be granted on issues which affect interests of The Crown.  The Queen has been asked to grant permission for a whole multitude of debates, covering everything from higher education, civil partnerships and identity cards to animal welfare and pensions.

In at least three cases since 1990, The Queen has refused Consent. This happened in 1999, when The Queen refused to allow plans to transfer command of the Armed Forces to the Prime Minister to be discussed in Parliament. The Bill would have effectively meant that The Queen would no longer be Commander-in-Chief. She has also jettisoned bills referring to House of Lords reform and the removal of Crown immunity. Some critics of the monarchy argue that The Queen should not have such a powerful veto, but it is generally accepted that Her Majesty acts in the best interests of the kingdom.

 

Queen set to approve Brexit Bill at breakfast tomorrow | London Evening Standard

Buckingham Palace

The Queen is set to give royal assent to the historic Bill authorising Britain’s exit from the European Union at breakfast time tomorrow, it was revealed today. A copy of the legislation will be rushed to Buckingham Palace in the sovereign’s red box to await her signature after final showdowns in the Commons and the Lords tonight.

Source: Queen set to approve Brexit Bill at breakfast tomorrow | London Evening Standard

The Brexit/Trump effect | MelaniePhillips.com

Source: The Brexit/Trump effect | MelaniePhillips.com

The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit Speech
Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her Brexit speech of 17 January 2017.

I have neither posted on this blog regarding the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, nor updated the Brexit situation recently – let this stand for both!

On Brexit:

Last June’s Brexit vote to leave the EU triggered unstoppable rage amongst those who wanted Britain to remain. For months they issued bloodcurdling warnings about “hard Brexit” – leaving the EU’s single market which they claimed would produce an economic apocalypse. Yet this week the prime minister, Theresa May, suddenly came out for precisely that.

Remaining in the single market, she said, was simply incompatible with leaving the EU. And she issued a not-so-veiled threat that if the EU tried to punish Britain for leaving, the UK would block EU access to its economic supply chains, the City of London financial center and even British intelligence.

This speech provoked apoplexy among both Remainers and European leaders, who furiously denounced what they claimed were unwarranted and destructive threats. But for months the EU has been threatening Britain that it will punish it severely for Brexit. All Mrs. May has now done is state that Britain will defend itself against such aggression.

There is a great difference between making a threat and defending yourself against an aggressor who is threatening you. The first is reprehensible, the second essential. Mrs. May’s threat to hit back hard was intended as a deterrent to defend her country’s interests.

On President Trump:

The incoming president has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign of vilification. His remarks, which have sometimes been truly off-color and often inconsistent, have nevertheless been twisted to turn him from someone about whom one might reasonably have anxieties into a monster.

This onslaught culminated in BuzzFeed’s dossier of character assassination against him, which it published even though its editor-in-chief Ben Smith admitted that it “contained errors” and there was “serious reason to doubt the allegations.”

At his first press conference Mr. Trump denounced CNN, which had run with the dossier, for producing “fake news” – the very charge leveled by the Left against his own supporters. Since publishing this dossier was clearly a journalistic travesty, Mr. Trump turned the Left’s weapon into a boomerang and thus rendered it worse than useless.

Among the media and anti-Trump commentators, this provoked outrage. There was no acknowledgment of the wholesale breach of journalistic ethics by a hostile and biased media. Instead, Mr. Trump was said to be riding roughshod over democracy. But he was just fighting back against the media’s abuse of its power. This was in fact a moral response. People doing bad things need to be held to account in order to stop them doing more bad things.

The distinction between aggression and self-defense, however, is simply not understood by the post-moral Left. But Mr. Trump’s strategy of hitting back very hard against aggression suggests a crucial change for the better in the way America will deal with the world.

‘Nuff said.

Brexit: The Morning After – The New York Times

“Keep calm and grieve for Europe.” ~ Paul Krugman

Source: Brexit: The Morning After – The New York Times

Contra Krugman, I don’t see any good reason to “grieve for Europe”: as a historical and geophysical entity, Europe hasn’t changed, and from the perspective of cultural survival, it may have taken a turn for the better, especially if “exit” fervor spreads. What has taken a hit is the European Union project, attempting to, as Krugman points out, mandate political unity among historically and culturally diverse countries without giving much if any though to how — or whether — that would work out.

But that aside, this is a surprisingly (because “liberal” these days often equals “globalist,” and Brexit is an axe-stroke at the root of globalism as presently conceived: oligarchical, non-representative, bureaucratic, and top-down) cogent analysis of the UK’s “Brexit” from the European Union. Now it is true that, as Krugman (inter alia) points out, this vote has pointed to fault-lines within the UK itself, which could be problematic for the future of that Union. But that does not at all mean that Brexit itself was a bad idea! Krugman writes:

“It seems clear that the European project — the whole effort to promote peace and growing political union through economic integration — is in deep, deep trouble. Brexit is probably just the beginning, as populist/separatist/xenophobic movements gain influence across the continent. Add to this the underlying weakness of the European economy, which is a prime candidate for ‘secular stagnation’ — persistent low-grade depression driven by things like demographic decline that deters investment. Lots of people are now very pessimistic about Europe’s future, and I share their worries.

“But those worries wouldn’t have gone away even if Remain had won. The big mistakes were the adoption of the euro without careful thought about how a single currency would work without a unified government; the disastrous framing of the euro crisis as a morality play brought on by irresponsible southerners; the establishment of free labor mobility among culturally diverse countries with very different income levels, without careful thought about how that would work. Brexit is mainly a symptom of those problems, and the loss of official credibility that came with them.”

The EU has, simply put, gotten too big for its britches. It has expanded far beyond its original vision and mandate, to become oppressive: economically, politically, and socially. A majority — granted only 52 to 48%, but more than 17 million people — have said, “No. Enough. We will not follow where you want to go. We insist on our own sovereignty; we will not give it up into the hands of un-elected, un-accountable bureaucrats in Brussels.” And I, for one, applaud them for it!

One final point, before I close: I said Krugman’s analysis was cogent, and by and large that is true. But he does fall into certain traps common to folks on his side of the political aisle, and one of them is equating concern for the preservation of one’s culture and heritage with “xenophobia.” “Phobia,” like “racism” and “hate,” is a code-word and a political tactic used by the left to shut down dissent. Accuse someone of one of these, and you’ve (at least in your own mind) assumed the moral high ground, consigned your opponent to the “dust-bin of history,” and won the argument.

That, however, is a load of malarky.

While there may indeed be genuine racists, haters, and xenophobes (the word means “fear of the different”) among those who wish to protect, preserve, and pass down to their posterity the ethnic and cultural heritage they have received from their forebears, accusing every such person of one (or more) of these is both inaccurate and deeply offensive. You do not have to hate others to love your own.

As a popular meme puts it, “I lock the door not because I hate those outside, but because I love those inside.” If you feel under threat — and irrespective of whether that threat is actual or exaggerated — locking the door is neither racism, nor hatred, nor xenophobia, but common sense.

And of course it is ironic, to say no more, that Europeans (and those of European heritage, wherever they may live) — a group which is drastically on the decline, from 30% of the world’s population in 1900 to an estimated 8-10% by 2050, according to some projections — are the only group for whom pride in their heritage is considered, by the political and intellectual elite, to be blameworthy. By daring to point this out, I may also be opening myself to accusations of hatred, racism, or xenophobia! So be it. See “malarky,” above…

At any rate, it seems likely that although Britain was the first to leave the EU, it will not be the last — unless, of course, the existing power structure is able to quash the aspirations of the people, in which case they will only be postponing the inevitable and ensuring that the eventual explosion is that much larger and more damaging for having been contained. France, Holland, Italy, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia are all calling for referenda; it will be interesting indeed to see how things work out!

The Anglophilic Anglican on Brexit

Tom and the  Union Jack

Yes, that’s me behind that Union Jack overlay!

With respect to “Brexit,” it’s not my place to suggest a particular course of action to my British friends; I’m just an American of British ancestry and Anglophilic inclination watching this struggle from afar. (With, it must be said, acute interest, given that background!)

But for what little my opinion may be worth, it seems to me that the choice is very clear-cut: do you want to remain British, or do you want to become some new and nebulous thing called “European,” in the EU sense? (Obviously Britain is and will remain part of Europe in a geophysical and historical-cultural sense, I don’t think anyone’s arguing that point.)

If you want to become “European,” then vote “Remain.” If you want to stay British, vote “LEAVE.” There is certainly no shadow of a doubt in my mind what I’d do, if I were a Briton… there! I gave it away.

*whistles a few bars of “Rule Britannia,” and returns to my vantage-point on the sidelines*

Why leave the European Union?

“The moment of destiny has finally arrived.”

Source: Vote Leave today in EU Referendum – Brexit can make Britain greater | Express Comment | Comment | Daily Express

“The EU is not just undemocratic. It is an unaccountable, self-serving oligarchy that ruthlessly ignores or crushes the popular will in its drive to achieve political unification. None of the five EU Presidents is elected, nor are any of the 28 commissioners. The EU executive is so powerful that it can remove the democratically elected governments of Greece and Italy, yet its Parliament is so feeble that it cannot initiate any legislation.”

This infographic does a good job of breaking it down:

Democracy and Freedom Under Law 1Democracy and Freedom Under Law 2Democracy and Freedom Under Law 3Democracy and Freedom Under Law 4