Good News For Britain

Breitbart is reporting today:

The government’s bill implementing the withdrawal deal has passed through both Houses of Parliament, meaning the UK will finally be leaving the EU on January 31st, 2020.

On Wednesday evening, MPs in the House of Commons rejected the amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill proposed by the House of Lords.

…In a brief comment after the bill passed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Parliament has passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, meaning we will leave the EU on 31 January and move forwards as one United Kingdom.

“At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it.

“Now we can put the rancour and division of the past three years behind us and focus on delivering a bright, exciting future — with better hospitals and schools, safer streets and opportunity spread to every corner of our country.”

It has been 1,309 days since Britons voted to leave the European Union.

The article concludes:

Leaked plans for the narrative on Brexit Day seen by the Dail Mail reveal that Cabinet ministers will tell Britons that the nation can finally come together, saying: “We will mobilise the full breadth of our new freedoms – from encouraging technology and innovation, to signing new free trade deals around the world.

“As we maximise all the freedoms the British people voted to grasp, we must also work to heal divisions… and reunite our communities.”

Brexit Day will mark “the start of a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people”, the document said.

So what will this mean for Britain? I don’t claim to understand the British economy or be able to predict the future. However, a few things are obvious. The farther removed a government is from the people government, the less free the people are. Britain is regaining its national sovereignty and its economic freedom. I suspect there will be a rough patch for a bit, but I see the economy of Britain growing because of this move. One of the first things I believe will happen will be a trade deal with America that is designed to help both countries. Stay tuned.

In Britain, The People Are Winning

Fox News is reporting today that British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal Friday. The deal means that Britain will leave the European Union by January 31st.

The article reports:

Before Friday’s vote, Johnson painted it as a moment of closure for Britons, saying, “Brexit will be done, it will be over.”

“This is a time when we move on and discard the old labels of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’,’ he added. “Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation.”

He said passing the bill would end the “acrimony and anguish” that has consumed the country for the last three years.

…The bill commits Britain to leaving the EU on Jan. 31 and to concluding trade talks with the bloc by the end of 2020. Trade experts and EU officials say striking a free trade deal within 11 months will be a struggle, but Johnson insists he won’t agree to any more delays, The Brexit bill has been amended to bar ministers from agreeing to extend the transition period with the EU.

The new divorce bill needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, whose vice president, Pedro Silva Pereira said officials expect to happen by Jan. 29.

It took a referendum and another election, but the wishes of the people in Britain are finally being honored. The political elites who fought Brexit have now been defeated–at least temporarily.

The Search For Significance

This article has two sources–a New York Sun editorial posted today and an article by Scott Johnson posted at Power Line Blog today. Both articles deal with the ‘surprise’ overwhelming victory of Boris Johnson in the British election yesterday.

The New York Sun notes:

It’s hard to overstate how wonderful is the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a mandate to, after all these years of struggle, lead a restoration of British sovereignty and independence. We may have been in that fight from the early days, but we don’t mind saying that we’ve had moments of doubt, particularly during the past year, that Britain would prevail. All the sweeter the results being tallied this evening.

This is only partly in respect of Brexit. It was, certainly, the overriding issue in the election. It is the very reason why the election was called when it was. Once again, the polls got it wrong. On the eve of the vote, the gods of polling were predicting that the race had become too close to call. A hung parliament couldn’t be ruled out. Some hazarded that Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn might end up at 10 Downing Street.

In the event, the British people delivered a resounding “no” to all that Mr. Corbyn stood for — the resentment of Jews and Israel, the embrace of socialism, and another Brexit referendum. The result is that Labor’s drubbing stands as its worst since 1935. No less than Jonathan Chait rushed out a column to mark that American leftists thought Corbyn’s inevitable victory would be their model against Trumpism.

Which is one way to mark a phenomenon that has been glimpsed throughout this battle since 2016. The phenomenon can be put this way: “As goes Brexit, so goes Trump.” In a way, the Brexit referendum turned out to be a predictor, or even a precursor, of Mr. Trump’s triumph in the election. The victory by Mr. Johnson and the Conservative Party today could well be a precursor of Mr. Trump in 2020. On verra.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog notes:

The election has already produced a ruling cliche to describe the results: Labour’s “red wall” crumbled. (In the UK, the colors are reversed: blue represents the Tories, red Labour.) Among the many seats in its “red wall” that has now crumbled, for example, is Tony Blair’s Sedgefield constituency. The Tories picked up a shocking number of seats that historically belonged to Labour in the industrial and rural north. It overstates the results to observe that Labour is contracting to a metropolitan party, but the tendency seems to be implicit in the outcome.

From a distance, at least, Boris proved himself an ebullient and optimistic campaigner, and not just by contrast with the dour and deceitful Corbyn. Boris staked the election campaign on the theme of getting Brexit done. His performance made me think of Steve Hayward’s observation in Churchill on Leadership: “[F]rom time to time, and especially in a crisis, the genuine leader must simply exert his personal force and summon up his willfulness.” Boris seems to me to have met the moment with some part of this quality in leading his party to its remarkable victory yesterday.

The British people voted for Brexit years ago. The ruling elite chose to ignore that vote. The people removed the blockage. I suspect we are going to see similar things in America next year–those who have blocked the immigration and economic policies of President Trump might find themselves on the unemployment line.

The Deep State Doesn’t Go Down Easily–In Any Country

The American Thinker posted an article today about Boris Johnson and his efforts to follow the will of the British voters and exit the European Union. Although I don’t fully understand the procedures involved in the British Parliament, I can see that there is a massive effort to block the exit the people of Britain voted for.

The article reports:

Yes, if thing stand as they do now, delays will go on into eternity, each deadline pushed back, and an exit from the European Union impossible.  The E.U. will notice this and just keep throwing up a wall of resistance to a deal to ensure that Britain stays, like it or not, or else keep moving the goalposts — into eternity.  When delays are endless, what an opportunity.  These useless satraps have nothing better to do, after all.  They like the pounds flowing in.  And such a coincidence: the parliamentary betrayal happened on the 80th anniversary of France and Germany declaring war on Britain.  Plus ça change…

What happened Tuesday certainly involves complicated parliamentary maneuvers, and the people writing of such disappointment do understand how these stakes work.

That said, it seems that the worst that can happen is that the country will be forced into a general election — very soon.  Johnson says that’s what he wants.  There’s actually reason to think Labor may just try to stop him.  But it’s likely he’ll succeed.

Advantage Boris.

After all, how was it that Johnson, instead of the eminently more reasonable-seeming Theresa May, ended up in his position?  He’s only there at all, and not too long ago, because of a powerful groundswell of public support for respecting the will of the majority on leaving the European Union.  Three years of dithering and delays by the inept May kowtowing to the wishes of the European Union and its endless delays is precisely why the Tories decided to take a chance on Boris, someone they rejected earlier as too wild and crazy.

The article concludes:

Johnson, meanwhile, is weathering the storm like a sea captain, tweeting his stance copiously, and coming up with excellent summations of what’s at stake. 

…He’s showing courage.  He’s not losing his nerve.  Voters will take note.  And while nothing is certain, it seems more than a little likely that with his gutsiness and steady hand, he will win this election, sweeping out the weaklings in his party, and then steam full speed ahead toward Brexit, which is what the British really voted for, deal or no deal.  The E.U. in such conditions, unlike now, is going to really, really, really want a deal.

I love the fact that he is using Twitter to bypass the media and speak directly to the people. That reminds me of another world leader. Please follow the link and read the entire article. Even though this is occurring in Britain, it matters to America. Boris Johnson is a leader with the courage to take on the deep state. We need more of that sort of leadership around the world.

Remembering Who Our Friends Are

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a recent foreign policy decision by President Trump.

The article reports:

On Wednesday, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has for the first time approved the commercial sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. The Obama administration had refused to issue export licenses for lethal weapons.

Initial reports, including the Post’s, were that the sales to Ukraine would not encompass heavier weaponry such as Javelin anti-tank missiles. However, today the Post reports that Javelins will also be sold to Ukraine.

The article continues:

Russia denounced Trump’s decision on sales to Ukraine. Its Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the decision will only make the conflict more deadly and that Russia might be forced to respond. He also said the U.S. can no longer cast itself as a mediator, and is now “an accomplice in fueling the war.” Putin himself has warned that U.S. assistance would escalate the conflict.

In reality, Russia is behind the war. Moreover, mediation has been futile because, as Jenna Lifhits of the Weekly Standard points out, Russia has failed to implement the 2015 Minsk ceasefire agreement. It requires Russian-backed separatists to withdraw heavy weapons from the conflict’s front line and create a buffer zone.

The sale of weapons to Ukraine is a response to the failure of the 2015 cease-fire and to the fact that, according the Trump administration’s envoy for the Ukraine crisis, 2017 was the most violent year in the four year history of this conflict.

The sniper systems Trump approved for sale are needed to address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-backed separatists.

This is a really smart move on the part of the Trump administration.

As I reminded everyone in May 2015:

A deal was signed on February 5, 1994, by Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, John Major and Leonid Kuchma—the then-leaders of the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and Ukraine—guaranteeing the security of Ukraine in exchange for the return of its ICBMs to Moscow’s control. The last SS-24 missiles moved from Ukrainian territory in June 1996, leaving Kiev defenseless against its nuclear-armed neighbor.

That deal, known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was not a formal treaty but a diplomatic memorandum of understanding. Still, the terms couldn’t be clearer: Russia, the U.S. and U.K. agreed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine…reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine.”

That agreement was broken by Russia and ignored by Britain and by the Obama administration. It is nice to see President Trump honoring it at least in part by supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The article at Power Line concludes:

The weapon sales can also plausibly be viewed as a means of gaining leverage if Russia wants seriously to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine. Putin has proposed that peacekeepers be deployed but, not surprisingly, there are major disagreements about how and where the peacekeepers would operate. The U.S. and Ukraine want peacekeepers deployed throughout the separatist-controlled regions stretching to the Ukraine-Russia border. Russia, not so much.

In any event, it’s clear that President Trump has moved boldly to advance Ukraine’s interests at the expense of Russia’s, to the displeasure of Putin. I don’t see how this move can be squared with the extreme anti-Trump rhetoric of the foolish Clapper and others who peddle a similarly hysterical line.