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What the EU Election Result Means to Europe and to the World

by John Brian Shannon

The Emotional Context of the EU Election 2019

If you want to begin by discussing the result of the EU Parliament Election 2019 in an emotional context there’s certainly no problem with that here (I’ll try to keep the euphoria out of my voice!) as the political map in the European Union has changed dramatically in less than one week, causing panic among pundits throughout the EU.

It seems that some people in Europe are frightened by democratic elections and may lose enthusiasm for democracy when the election results don’t go their way — but when the results go their way they’re among democracy’s strongest proponents!

It’s the funniest thing to see when politicians, pundits, commentators and even normal citizens gloat about ‘how great and strong our democracy is’ when election results go in their favour — yet at the very next election when the result goes the other way, they shriek about ‘how our democracy is broken’ and those other parties need to be outlawed! Hehehehe!

You either have the courage of your convictions or you don’t. Hissy fits are uncool.

The one thing that adults must admit and understand is, that in a democratic system sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t. The peril of democracy.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” — Forrest Gump


Looking at the EU Parliamentary Election 2019 from a Practical Standpoint

Whether you’re pleased with the results of the EU election or not, one thing that must stand-out is that the EU runs a clean election. Not a word about election fraud, not one report of armed men taking over polling stations to prevent citizens from voting, and no candidate (to my knowledge) broke campaign laws.

A sincere ‘Well Done!’ to the European Union. That’s the way to do it.

On a related note, it’s another reason why EU election monitors are sought-after the world over particularly where elections are taking place in or near conflict zones, and in developing nations where democratic elections benefit from the assistance of a mature democracy to attain a clean (free from fraud) and safe election framework.

Even myself, as a Brexiteer (and notwithstanding that I hate the ‘black hole’ that is the EU budget, etc) admire the EU for being able to pull-off clean election after clean election, and it makes me happy to think that even after Brexit the European Union will continue to be the kind of neighbour any country would appreciate.

We all have neighbours we like and neighbours we don’t like, but in the post-Brexit world, the EU will remain a neighbour we like. May that ever be the case.


The Rise of Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party

In 1973, the UK joined the European Economic Community and a democratic referendum was held in the UK on June 5, 1975 that allowed Britons to approve/disapprove of that decision. British citizens voted to approve EEC membership by a comfortable margin. It must be noted that in joining the EEC the UK was not asked to give-up any amount of national sovereignty.

Subsequently, the UK was invited to join the European Union (the EU was a new entity as of January 1, 1993 and it replaced the old EC/EEC framework) and in 1998 the UK government did vote to join the then-recently formed EU. British citizens weren’t given an opportunity to vote on EU membership until 23-years later in June 2016, whereupon Britons voted to Leave the European Union. It’s important to note that in joining the EU, the UK did give-up some amount of sovereignty, and that under the UK constitutional framework that existed then (and now) it was (still is) something illegal that UK politicians approved.

At no time in all of this did the EU break any UK law. Rather, they merely asked the UK to join their union. Therefore, this is not an issue with the EU, this is an internal UK (House of Commons) matter.

In Summary

In summary, the UK joined the EEC legally in 1973 and with the benefit of a UK-wide referendum in 1975 — but the UK joined the European Union illegally in 1998 and without the benefit of a UK-wide referendum to approve it until 2016.

It wasn’t until 23-years later that Britons were offered a chance to vote on the issue, and the first chance they got to vote on EU membership (June 23, 2016) they rejected it.

Illegally joining in 1998, and then forcing Britons to wait 23-years to voice their opinion on joining the EU, isn’t democratic enough in the 21st-century, no matter how much we love our EU neighbours!

All of this is what has led to the Brexit referendum, to the hiring of a ‘Brexit Prime Minister’ (Theresa May) and an election win by Theresa May (June 8, 2017) in an election where all major UK parties campaigned on a pro-Brexit platform.

Further, the rise of UKIP, and now The Brexit Party and their astonishing success in last week’s EU election from a party that’s only weeks old at this point, have resulted from errors made by a previous UK Parliament.

The Brexit Party won 29-seats — and that, without running any candidates in Northern Ireland, nor did The Brexit Party run candidates in every constituency in England, Wales, or Scotland. Amazing!

Had The Brexit Party run candidates in all constituencies, they might’ve captured as many as 60 of the 74 seats available to the UK in the EU Parliamentary Elections 2019.


The Future of Brexit

In the wake of EU Parliamentary elections, if UK Conservatives don’t now deliver a reasonable Brexit by October 31, 2019 they will lose the next election in the biggest political landslide in British history and may never form a government again.

The time for ‘talking about talking’ is over!

Likewise for Labour; If they’re seen to be obstructing Brexit, they’ll go down at the next election as never before. Other parties will simply take their place and both Conservatives and Labour will become unknown to a new generation of voters who demand responsive and accountable politicians in government. And that’s a fine thing.

Citizens Want Responsive and Accountable Politicians in the 21st-Century

At the next UK General Election the Brexit Party will run a full slate of candidates in the UK and win a majority government on a platform of delivering Brexit (and they will deliver Brexit!) while the Liberal Democrats will represent ‘Remainers’ and form the official opposition in the House of Commons. The Green Party is likely to make significant gains and take seats from the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.

British MP’s in 1998 pulled a fast one on Britons and then didn’t give British citizens a say on EU membership for 23-years — and having finally gotten a vote in EU membership they’re not about to give up their right to shape the country as they see fit.

Whether Brexiteers realize it or not, The Brexit Party exists merely to correct an historic mistake that hasn’t been corrected in all this time, and it will; Become the government; Fix the mistake once in power; And eventually merge with whatever is left of the Conservative Party in the post-Brexit era.

That is the way of things. And nothing can stop it short of an asteroid destroying the planet.

A wrong will be righted. And life will go on. Sans drama, one hopes!

Day 1042 of Theresa May’s premiership: Theresa May resigns

by John Brian Shannon

On Day 1042 of her premiership Theresa May resigns in an emotional speech in front of 10 Downing Street (her resignation to be effective June 07, 2019) thereby triggering a leadership race within the UK Conservative Party sometime in July 2019.


The Arc of Theresa May’s premiership

  1. Theresa May was hired by the Conservative Party to be ‘The Brexit Prime Minister’ and she no doubt (even her political enemies agree) tried her level-best to deliver a worthwhile Brexit but ultimately failed in that task.
  2. Her premiership excelled in fixing the economy, attained record employment levels, increased healthcare spending and healthcare rankings, and in many other ways she succeeded, yet failed to deliver Brexit.
  3. Conservatives will likely hire a Brexiteer Prime Minister who will now match the EU’s ‘businesslike’ approach in order to secure Brexit.

The Different Negotiating Strategies Between the UK and the EU Played a Significant Role in Theresa May’s Downfall

In the end, Brexit was Theresa May’s nemesis because she employed a ‘diplomatic’ approach (which put her on the moral high ground) while the EU used a ‘businesslike’ approach to Brexit (which allowed them a better chance to ‘Win’).

And now that they’ve ‘Won’ (thus far) by preventing Brexit in 2016, 2017, 2018 and now well into 2019, I wonder how they feel about the prospect of a possible WTO Brexit being directed by one of the Conservative candidates for the PM’s position who will almost certainly be a Brexiteer.

EU negotiators and their (hard-nosed) ‘business tactics’ have surely contributed to or caused Theresa May’s fall from Conservative Party grace and subsequent resignation and they must now deal with the fallout of their approach. Good luck!


Thumbnail image courtesy of euractiv EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

Day 1041 of Theresa May’s premiership: Andrea Leadsom resigns & The Brexit Party hits 37% support in YouGov poll

by John Brian Shannon

Well, it finally happened! The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom — one of the classiest ladies in politics anywhere, has had enough! Andrea Leadsom has resigned from the government.

That means she will sit as a backbench MP in the meantime, presumably until there is a leadership contest and a new leader is chosen, as she’s too experienced for any Prime Minister to leave sitting on the sidelines. Theresa May, what were you thinking?!?!

Perhaps the UK will be lucky enough to find Andrea Leadsom as the next Prime Minister, even if she acts as interim PM until such times as the Conservative Party can hold a proper leadership contest.

If she does become interim leader I’d be thrilled — as long as she delivers Brexit by October 31, 2019 — even if it means a WTO-style Brexit.

Visit Andrea Leadsom’s website here.


The Brexit Party sprints from 34% to 37% in the space of one week

European Parliament elections 2019

Image courtesy of Statista

As you can see, Labour has fallen from 21% to 13% since last week, while the Conservatives fell from 11% to 7% since last week, in the latest (YouGov) poll.