So, the US President wants to barrack us into staying in the European Union. In the spirit of honest friendship, let’s talk more about that.
While he may well have, and is entitled to, a personal opinion on the subject, his overt intervention in the sovereign affairs of a long established nation is none of his business and nothing short of meddling. Funny how he knows the UK will be last in the queue for trade deals with the US; why last, and not simply somewhere in the line? To be so sure of that indicates the preparation of a new US government policy, under his sunset administration, against the UK in the event of Brexit. This simply contributes to the long-held suspicion about his anti-British sentiment. Regardless, he will soon be out of a job so his views are irrelevant while those of his successor will be of greater interest. Napoleon tried to impose his Continental System on us but it didn’t work because trade is like water; it flows freely and finds its own level.
To help American’s grasp what is at stake for the UK, let’s look to their recent history and examine the US Declaration of Independence (USDI), famously dated 4th July 1776. It was the Thirteen Colonies’ justification for breaking away from what it saw as an arrogant, authoritarian and inflexible central power. They wanted to be independent and self-governing equals among the nations of the world. I believe the similarity in the UK’s situation today with regard to membership of the EU is self-evident. The USDI starts with an introduction:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands (sic) which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
The preamble comes next and, apart from the hypocritical statement about all men being created equal (except the black man, of course), is worth reading carefully:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
How is this not similar to the UK’s current situation with the EU? So, instead of interfering in the internal affairs of a nation about which I suspect he cares little, perhaps Mr Obama would care to explain why, 240 years ago, those types of issues were felt to be so important and necessary to the Founding Fathers of his nation but apparently have no relevance to us – yet still he has the audacity to interfere with our right to pursue a comparable course of action due to a modern version of those historical circumstances.
On the plane home, Mr President, re-read the USDI which you and those before you swore to uphold and then try to do something useful with the rest of your term in office. You’ve done your bit for your buddy Cameron, now keep your unwanted thoughts to yourself. The UK has been around a long time and made its own mistakes but it has long since grown up and does not need lecturing by the likes of you.