On 23 June, Britons will be asked, Brexit or not?
The answer will have seismic ramifications for the future of democracy, sovereignty and freedom.
No lesser advocates than Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron have prosecuted the affirmative and negative cases for Brexit. Why then, should an upstart Australian enter the fray in the Brexit debate?
Because Brexit is not merely important for Britain; it is also fundamental for Australia.
Notwithstanding the potentially significant short term transaction costs of Brexit, there is a strong case for Brexit, both for Britons and for Australians.
Brexit would have tangible benefits for Australian international relations. Beginning with a free trade deal with Australia which Britain currently can’t negotiate independently of the EU, the benefits would be considerable for Australian and British exporters alike.
Moreover, Brexit would restore for Australia an independent peer and sibling sharing many of the same valuesand systems, including parliamentary democracy and classical liberal values, as well as buttressing Australia’s interests in a range of bilateral and multilateral issues including defence and trade. Indeed, Australia, as a former British colony, has inherited and developed the very best of Britain. The English language, British institutions, the values of Western Civilization – the rule of law, personal liberty and representative government – and the common law. The decline of the British nation state and the sovereignty of its Parliament under EU overlords should be something that we, in Australia, mourn.
Britain’s freedom and sovereignty should not be the sacrificial lamb for the preservation of the EU as it is and will become. Let Britain’s departure be a catalyst for reform of the EU and a reclaiming of democracy, sovereignty and individual freedoms. Let it also be a reminder to Australia of the importance of liberal values for a successful and prosperous nation state.