Congdon Ministries International

 

Internet Bible Institute

Brexit News Update:


Dateline: April 4, 2017

Robert Congdon

Greer, SC 29651


Brexit: Divorce or Dissolution – an Opinion Piece


In June of 2016, 51.9% of United Kingdom (UK), consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, voted to end its membership in the 28-state European Union (EU). Almost 34 million people participated in the referendum, with the majority saying Britain should exit, hence the name, Brexit. The two prime issues were national sovereignty and the significant North African/Middle Eastern immigration into the EU.


Ever since writing my book on the European Union, I have spoken about the movement of the world toward the final, restored Roman Empire prophesied by Daniel (chapter 7). Currently, Europe, facing several national elections, is seeing a growing voter concern over the power shift from their sovereign national states to the globalist government of the EU. In this newsletter, I want to look at this issue in light of the Brexit vote.


Background

At the end of March 2017, the EU celebrated its 60th anniversary as the European Economic Community, what we call the EU. Significantly, Britain was not one of the founding six nations. It was not until 1973, following two unsuccessful attempts to the join, that the UK became part of the EU. From that day to this, the UK has sought to maintain a degree of sovereign independence over its affairs while enjoying the benefits of the union.


As the EU moved from a loose union of sovereign states, whose goal was to prevent wars and to provide prosperity in Europe, to its present supranational government centered in Brussels. Over the years it has progressively taken more power from the national governments, thereby diminishing national sovereignty of them.


The average Brit has seen a declining sovereign control of its economics, national politics, and foreign policy. Correspondingly there has been an increase in EU control over them. This has been seen in the development of the Eurozone; the EU’s own foreign affairs bureau, and the growing power of the non-elected European Commission, one of the three major governing divisions of the EU.


Along with growing EU control there has been an ever-increasing immigration problem and its resultant security challenges directly related to the ISIS and Syria. Never forgetting Europe’s experience with WWI and WWII and the resultant refugee problems, European’s are very happy to help refugees of war. Reflecting this attitude, the EU leadership has opened its borders to large numbers immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East. These migrations also have help Europe deal with its growing workforce shortage. With abortions and declining birthrates, workers are needed to keep up with growing economies, exemplified by Germany. 


Additionally, opening Europe to greater numbers of immigrants has “fit in” well with the EU’s global agenda. Fundamental to turning the EU into a true global empire is the need to eliminate internal national borders and ethnic loyalties. The supranational government of the EU stresses that one must think of himself or herself as European and not German, French, English, etc. Only when nationalism is replaced with a globalist mindset, can the EU truly govern its people as an empire – one free of national governments with their sovereign intrusions. Thus, the EU can achieve this by “diluting” national populations with people loyal only to the EU, particularly with those who have left their national countries behind.


However, as the ever-increasing inflow of migrants has begun to impact Europe, several nations are reacting. These nations sense the loss of their national identities, growing crime, and cultural conflicts. For example, Hungary cried “enough” by trying to independently control the inflow at their borders. This went directly against the leaders of the EU. Also, Sweden has become an example of the dramatic cultural shift that the Middle Easterners are bringing. Increasingly, European opinion news stories are asking if the European culture will disappear in the near future.


With the election of US President Donald Trump and the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the world has a new awareness of nationalism. The upcoming French elections and those in Italy are seeing challenges to the established globalist parties, as nationalist candidates are gaining significant voter attention. Since any growth of nationalism is counterproductive to the goals of global empires, the EU must slow or stop any nationalistic trends.


The Path to Divorce

Likened to a divorce, UK’s Prime Minister May served the nation’s “divorce” papers to the EU on March 29 of this year. Officially invoking Article 50 of the EU treaty, the official constitution of the EU, means that the 2-year separation process is beginning. The next step will be at the end of April, when a summit of the EU affairs ministers will establish the exit procedures and the basic demands of the EU.


This is similar to establishing who “gets what.” The UK has no part in this. The EU ministers require a qualified majority for approval of their proposal. After approval, the EU affairs ministers will deliver the proposal to the European Commission, who will then begin negotiating with the London government. Only at this point is the UK involved. After agreement is reached between the governments of the UK and the EU, all 27 national parliaments of the EU must ratify the agreement. They will have 2 years in which to unanimously approve it. If they cannot, all becomes a little murky. Some believe the divorce petition is denied and ended. Other believe they will merely have to negotiate further. As I look at it, it seems that the system is designed so no nation can leave the EU.


Added to this procedural nightmare, is the fact that both sides are not in full agreement with what areas are first to be considered. These two crucial areas are exit terms/procedures and trade terms.


The EU says it will initially negotiate only the exit terms. For example, one term is the $65 billion bill that Britain is committed to pay the EU over the next 33 years. Further, the EU wants the basic relationship clearly laid out first. Until agreement on the exit terms is reached, the EU will not discuss free trade or the tariffs with Britain. Thus it will follow a sequential path.


Britain also wants to begin negotiating trade deals with nations outside of the EU right now, but the EU treaty does not allow any individual nation to negotiate trade agreements with individual nations. Consequently, the EU wants all steps to be sequential and the UK wants all steps to be simultaneous.


Sequential is to the EU’s advantage as it can demonstrate the “pain” of exit to the average Brit and possibly cause the UK to re-think Brexit. This approach prevents any special trade benefits for Britain to be part of the exit terms. The UK’s simultaneous plan is to their advantage as it enables them to have everything in place before Brexit. Since London is a major financial center, they want a stable, assured trade economy before exiting. There is a fear that companies may leave Britain out of fear of the uncertainties of the final trade agreements, which would come after the exit had substantially progressed.


For example, it was just announced that Lloyds of London, historically famous as a British insurance firm, would be opening a separate office in Brussels, the unofficial capital of the EU. This could trigger an exodus from the UK of other companies. Uncertainty always makes the financial markets unstable and the UK cannot afford this.


Tariffs verses free trade is vital to business. It is an advantage to have free trade within the EU, as there are no tariffs between the 28 countries. But the protective aspect of the EU toward their businesses, makes it want to find ways to hinder businesses outside the EU from competing with EU companies. Britain does not want to lose their inside position.


Key to this issue is that Germany and France, major economic powers of the EU, don’t want to reduce the exit hardship on the UK. The do not want any special advantages for the UK, for they fear that this could spread to other countries. Above all, they want to discourage any country from leaving the EU. Ireland and Cyprus want to accommodate Britain, as a result of their close economic ties to the UK. They don’t want to lose this market advantage.


Added to the economic worries are the future of EU of defense agreements and the issues of sharing security intelligence between nations in the EU. Britain has been a major help to the EU in these areas. Britain’s exit would substantially increase defense costs, open a possible economic danger to NATO, and increase the danger of terrorism.


The next month will reveal who has the greater negotiating power when we see if the negotiations will be sequential or simultaneous.


Some thoughts

In reading the many opinion pieces, it appears that the UK thinks they are in the “driver’s seat,” but in reality, the EU is probably in the “seat.” If the cost is great enough to the UK, then other nations will not follow them to the exit. If there is no cost to the UK and they get to keep their benefits while being a sovereign entity, there really is no need to be a member of the EU. This could bring a quick dissolution of the EU. The future direction of the EU is dependent upon Brexit.


Another concern for the EU, is that with the loss of the UK, the power center of the EU could shift from Germany and France in the north, to the Mediterranean states in the south. Further, never forget that the UK is not the sum total of the EU. From 1957 to 1973, the EU grew stronger without the UK. Also, while the EU has many financial problems, Greece being one, their economic union currently equals the US in terms of GNP. If business flees from the UK in order to keep their advantage of the EU, it could have a significant economic impact to the UK. Finally, the people of the UK will expect the same personal social benefits as they had under the EU, this might prove to be a much higher cost than anticipated by London.


A final issue is that Scotland voted against leaving the EU. Not one county voted to leave. Independence movements are being suggested. While Wales voted to leave, the governing tension between England and Wales is always present. Northern Ireland could see turmoil over these events and result in division, opening the door to being absorbed by the Republic of Ireland. Thus Brexit, instead of exit from the EU, could be the dissolution of the United Kingdom.


With all things considered, I believe that once the details fully emerge, either the people of the UK will want another referendum to reconsider Brexit or they may bring down the current government of Prime Minister May.


A Christian analysis

At this point, I will bring in a Christian perspective to my analysis.


For Britain:

I believe that the two-year process could result in a feared breakup of the UK prior to its exit from the EU. This alone may cause a rethink. Further, Scotland and Wales were never part of the Roman Empire. This may have prophetic significance if they were to leave the UK. While their goal is to remain in the EU, some EU leaders have hinted that they might not want Scotland  to join the EU. They might be refused or delayed for several reasons. During that time, England, may decide to remain in the EU. Thus, ironically, England remains part of the EU and Scotland and perhaps Wales would be out in the cold. Geographically this is just as they were under the Roman Empire. Thus, the EU will continue, be more powerful having stopped the exit of England, and would more closely resemble the ancient Roman Empire boundaries of Europe.


A second possibility is that Brexit continues and with the tremendous sacrifice needed by the UK to leave, they reverse the process and stay. This means that the UK no longer would have a significant influence and political power in the EU. The EU, having won the “battle” will become even more globalist in power as individual state sovereignty is significantly reduced. This is very direction one would anticipate if the EU is the embryo of the Daniel’s final Empire.


Another possibility is that the UK leaves the EU and pays a significant price in national costs and losses its global influence. This would continue a general decline of the UK ever since the WWI. This decline began with the British Empires’ turning its back on God after WWI and it developing policy against a national Israel. By 1948, the empire was gone and only the UK remained. Today, Christianity has declined to a point where only a remnant remains. I personally believe the lack of spirituality in Britain that exists today is a direct result of their actions with respect to the God of the Bible beginning just after WWI.


For the EU:

In all scenarios I believe the EU will be altered from a government of national states into one that would ultimately eliminate current geographic/national borders and divide the resulting empire into segments; ten regional units instead of 27/28 national countries. This would prevent any further attempts of individual nations to seek to leave. Remember, it is much harder to unite people in activist movements when they come from two or three countries. Typically it is nationalism that binds such movements. Once nationalism is significantly weakened or destroyed, the empire becomes the sole power in control.


The supranational government of the EU, unique in history (meaning of “diverse” in Daniel 7:23) is by its very nature, above and supreme to local entities. Its governors or leaders are to have no loyalty to the lands they were born and raised in. They are to think empire and not country.


Scripture clearly teaches that the final form of the Roman Empire will consist of ten regions (Daniel 7:24) from which a new individual will arise (Daniel 7:8, 24; Revelation 13:1,2), first to be “king” over one region and then to have power over the empire after first taking control of three more of the regions (Daniel 7:24). See also Revelation 17:10, 11.


Therefore, Brexit could be a force in moving the world closer to God’s declared events that will lead to the return of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the nation of Israel that will bring in the Millennium.


For January article go to Brexit January.