Make Britain Great Again

BY: NICK SAWICKI, MANAGING EDITOR

 

Brexit means Brexit. The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum.

This is the definitive statement of 59 year old Theresa May, Britain’s newest and second ever female Prime Minister. Having quietly supported the “remain” group before Britain’s unexpected exit from the European Union, May finds herself in the difficult position of leading Britain down a pathway that will ultimately shape the character of the nation for decades to come. Without the EU, Britain is free to negotiate their own trade deals and reform immigration policies as they themselves deem appropriate.

One of the largest forces that drove Britain to exit the European Union was the massive immigration of refugees from unstable middle eastern nations, to Europe. Because of the European Union’s open border policies, immigrants who enter Europe through countries like Germany or Turkey can travel freely throughout the rest of Europe, including Britain, regardless of Britain’s unwillingness to accept refugees. This reality does not bode well with many legal British citizens, since increased immigration levels lead to population spikes that place strain on important infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Theresa May and the rest of the conservative party vehemently condemn refugee immigration and loose border policy. As home secretary, May tried to decrease the number of families immigrating to the UK by passing legislation that requires families immigrating to the UK to make at least £18,600 ($24,000). The income threshold was later increased to £35,000 ($45,000) with nurses exempt from this requirement, as there is a great deal demand for nurses in Britain. Many question the morality of this law and the effects it has on families, especially minority families since they are most directly affected. Families who have immigrated to Britain in the past five years and fail to show proof of a net annual income over £35,000 will face deportation.

Her actions are not blatantly obvious, but the former Home Secretary’s law is nothing short of what America’s republican nominee, Donald Trump, plans to do in America. By setting a rather lofty income threshold for immigrating families to meet (£8,000 above the average annual salary), immigrants coming from the middle east are pretty much denied British citizenship. Those who have immigrated to Britain in the last five years and fail to meet May’s lofty income threshold are out of luck, as they will face deportation. Such legislation is nothing more than a veiled attempt at mass deportation, under the pretext of “economic policy”. With such a pretext, May avoids creating all of the drama and the intense public backlash that Donald Trump has created with his anti-Mexico rhetoric. Though deportation and discrimination is probably not on the forefront of May’s intentions, the end result is still the same.

From an economic standpoint, May has already begun drawing up trade deals with foreign nations such as Australia and the United States, though these deals remain unofficial until the UK officially signs off to exit the EU. May hopes to sign a free trade deal with the United States which would be “highly beneficial to British business.” As of now, around 50% of the UK’s imports and exports are between other European Union countries, meaning not much of their resources are allocated to trade with stronger world powers that could have a more beneficial impact on stimulating the UK’s economy. While Britain does benefit from free trade between existing European Union nations, its economy is stifled by a lack of freedom to adjust and manipulate tariffs based off on their nation’s economic needs.

Many elite political figureheads, including former Prime Minister, David Cameron, condemned the UK’s exit from the European Union as foolish, believing that Europe is stronger united than apart. Even Mrs. May quietly supported the movement for Britain to remain in the EU. Yet despite her own inclinations, May continued what Cameron could not finish, promising to fight against “burning injustice” and that Britain’s government would “not be led by the interests of the privileged few.” May’s devotion and willingness to set aside her predispositions about Britain exiting the European Union is the key to putting the “great” back in “Great Britain.” It’s up to May to and her willing leadership to Make Britain Great Again.

 

Photo Credits: By Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery) [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/) or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons