Brexit

What the U.S. Media Get Totally Wrong About Brexit: Daniel Hannan

One of Brexit's architects says leaving the EU is a victory for free trade and decentralization and warns that a Corbyn victory will destroy the U.K.'s future.

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On December 12, voters in the United Kingdom head to the polls for a general election that will decide the fate of Brexit, the long-delayed British withdrawal from the European Union.

To understand the stakes of the election—which will result in the Conservative Party's Boris Johnson or Labour's Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister—Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Daniel Hannan, a Conservative member of the European Parliament, one of the leading architects of Brexit. He is also the author of books such as The New Road To Serfdom and Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

In a wide-ranging conversation, Hannan explains why British libertarians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Brexit, the urgency of honoring the results of the 2016 referendum in which 52 percent of voters called for leave, and why he believes Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister will set the U.K. on the path to a Venezuelan-style nightmare of neo-socialism.

Edited by Paul Detrick and Meredith Bragg.

Credits: Photo of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn; Credit: Motoo Naka/AFLO/Newscom Photos of Daniel Hannan MEP; Credit: Matt Crossick/ZUMA Press/Newscom Photo of Brexit protestor; Credit: David Cliff/ZUMA Press/Newscom Photo of Brexit signs; Credit: Martyn Wheatley/ZUMA Press/Newscom Photo of Jeremy Corbyn; Credit: Ray Tang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom Photo of protestor holding sign; Credit: Justin Ng/Retna/Avalon.red/Newscom Photo of newspaper; Credit: ID 69315769 © David Watmough | Dreamstime.com Photo of The New York Times; Credit: ID 73415342 © Ifeelstock | Dreamstime.com

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  1. Imagine if they’d posted this at the *beginning* of the fundraiser instead of at the end.

    1. You’ll notice they didn’t publish any Dalmia immigration screeds right before patting themselves on the back for avoiding all the emotionalism and ism accusations in the rest of media.

  2. Comrade Corbyn is in a good place to finally become the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of the United Kingdom.
    If elected, he will drag the UK down the path of a proletariat paradise the fortunate enjoy in North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.
    He will prove to be the bright and shining light the UK so desperately needs to escape the half-hearted socialism hell hole that exists today.
    If elected, he will reward the masses of the UK with gulags, arrests, beatings, torture, firing squads, and all the beneficent tools true socialists use to improve the lives of the people. In addition of these time proven methods of enlightenment, Corbyn will employ terror, oppression, mass murder to keep the people on the right path of a socialist paradise.
    But Corbyn won’t stop there.
    Oh, no!
    As an added bonus Comrade Corbyn will also allow the people of the UK the joys and wonders of a failed economy while still being humble enough not to ask for any thanks or gratitude from the people he so joyfully oppresses.
    So, all you people of the UK please make Comrade Corbyn the next UK PM.
    Your socialist heaven awaits!

    1. His next steps would be a war with Germany and several years of whining for an American rescue.

  3. Where is the option for “I don’t care”?

    From here it seems like an abusive relationship. The obvious endgame is a complete elimination of UK sovereignty.

  4. George Meany, long time head of the AFL-CIO, staunch anti-communist, who bragged of never having walked a picket line, was in no small part anti-communist because he saw communism as trade barrier to American exports–and that’s exactly what the EU is, as well.

    It’s disappointing to see so many people decry Brexit in the name of international trade. If and when the UK leaves the artificial trade barrier that is the EU, we should get started on a trade agreement that will benefit both of our countries as quickly as possible.

    1. I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with communism outlawing unions.

      1. Oh, absolutely it did!

        And my understanding was that Meany and his associate and heir (Lane Kirkland), who were instrumental in support of Solidarity in Poland, which was an extremely important part of the equation that brought communism down.

        1. The party is the Union. Why would anyone need a separate Union from the party?

  5. While I agree with Mr. Hannah that media have link Brexit and the election of President Trump

    1. Exactly.

      The American news media sees everything in terms of Trump, and that’s what TDS is made of.

    2. While I agree with Mr. Hannah that the media have linked Brexit and the election of President Trump, I disagree this is all that has been reported. There have been reporting on the complexity of the extraction from the EU. That complexity seems to be born out by the fact that government has not yet been able to acheive Brexit and that Brexit has dropped in popularity as people see the consequences. It also appear the case that aligned countries of Scotland and Northern Ireland want nothing to do with Brexit. What maybe worse is that the Brexit problem has brought to the forefront two seemily offal politicians. The choice between Corbyn and Johnson seem bad at best.

      1. “That complexity seems to be born out by the fact that government has not yet been able to acheive Brexit and that Brexit has dropped in popularity as people see the consequences.”

        Given that it has not happened, what consequences can be seen? All they have are the doom and gloom from people’s whose vision was already defeated on this question.

        Being independent CAN be scary. Doesn’t make servitude preferrable.

        1. Depends on you define independent. Scotland and North Ireland get dragged along. Is it fair for British to say they want independence from Brussels, but want Scotland and N. Ireland to be subservient to London?

          1. If Scotland and Northern Ireland want the EU over Britain they can declare independence and stay with the EU. Wouldn’t be the first time some nation decided to leave the Empire.

            1. This is a valid suggestion. The UK could break up with parts remaining in the EU and other parts not.

          2. “Scotland and North Ireland get dragged along. Is it fair for British to say they want independence from Brussels, but want Scotland and N. Ireland to be subservient to London?”

            The UK has directly financially supported both. The EU has not.

          3. “Depends on you define independent. Scotland and North Ireland get dragged along. Is it fair for British to say they want independence from Brussels, but want Scotland and N. Ireland to be subservient to London?”

            Is it more fair for people who lost an election (they ALSO voted in the Brexit referendum) to simply ignore the will of the people? It isn’t like Ireland and Scotland did not vote in the referendum. Leave won anyway.

            1. So because Brexit won the MPs from Scotland and N. Ireland should ignore the their constituents, vote against their constituents interest, and approve a Brexit deal.

              1. They don’t have to vote for the deal. It’ll pass regardless. They are wanting to leave the UK because they lost a vote. Tough shit for them.

                The Leave camp would’ve dealt with it if Remain had won. It’s not like Remain didn’t have substantial advantages in positive press coverage.

                It’s an actual vote if only one side has any intention of actually abiding by the result.

        2. “Given that it has not happened, what consequences can be seen? All they have are the doom and gloom from people’s whose vision was already defeated on this question.”

          Good point! Similarly, you haven’t jumped from a 55th-floor window yet, so what consequences can be seen and why not give it a try? This analysis is especially true in the clinger context, because gravity is — like evolution — merely a theory.

          1. “because gravity is — like evolution — merely a theory.”

            Note: A theory is a proven scientific law. ( i.e gravity and evolution)
            A unproven scientific law is called a hypothesis.( i.e multiverses, micro black holes being dark matter and extra dimensions as of 2019).

      2. “It also appear the case that aligned countries of Scotland and Northern Ireland want nothing to do with Brexit.”

        They got their vote and their preference lost. Sour grapes is not a valid reason to ignore the will of the people. 52% voted leave.

      3. Brexit is complicated because the EC wants to make it complicated, as an example to other nations not to try to get away from them. In other words, pay your fees, dammit, and shut up.

  6. He brings up the usual answer to the predictable question of why young people think socialism is so interesting — because they have no memory of the USSR and Warsaw Pact failing.

    My usual recipe for countering this is that we need a simple very minimal state, under which people sign up with associate governments for all the variable stuff. I don’t believe there is any necessary minimal government, but I’d agree to a military for the sake of argument. I will never agree on police, courts, and prosecutors, because they depend very much on what laws are passed.

    You’d sign up for the associate government of your choice. I have no idea what you’d get if you didn’t sign up for any, but it could default to something; no big deal for this idea. The only overriding law would be “don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff” — so anyone harming somebody of a different associate government would still be liable for theft, assault, etc. When you sign up with an associate government, you do so by contract which has to be renewed yearly.

    What would happen? There would be socialist associate governments. You’d sign over your income and wealth in varying degrees. Lose your job? Well, the good news is they can’t kick you out until the renewal anniversary come up. The bad news is, you can’t change until that same anniversary. If they pass laws which confiscate all your property, well, too bad.

    The upshot would be that the poorly managed socialist regimes would go bankrupt and not be able to steal other people’s money. They could borrow; but they’d have to find willing suckers to loan it.

    People then would have constant reminders of how inept socialism is. Socialist association governments would rise, stumble along, and fall. They would gradually impart and absorb lessons and stick around a little longer, and some would learn their fiscal lessons well enough to be more or less permanent; but they would hardly be the socialist dreams of the naive. But those fools would try over and over again, always fall on their face, and always be a sober lesson for others.

    1. What happens when one of the “association governments” collectively decides to eliminate the “re-up every year” requirement and makes membership permanent and inheritable? Who enforces the rule that you’re not allowed to do that? What happens when a rival “association government” decides that the negative externalities from your association merit confiscation of your property by them?

      IOW, how is “association government” different from “tribe?”

      People then would have constant reminders of how inept socialism is. Socialist association governments would rise, stumble along, and fall. They would gradually impart and absorb lessons and stick around a little longer, and some would learn their fiscal lessons well enough to be more or less permanent; but they would hardly be the socialist dreams of the naive. But those fools would try over and over again, always fall on their face, and always be a sober lesson for others.

      This is how the world already works.

      1. One of the overall minimalist government rules is that association government memberships are up for renewal every year.

        You may as well ask, what if an association government raises an army to get some more of other people’s money? What if an association government invents time travel or an FTl drive?

        What if ….

      2. Real world governments are territorial; my association governments are not.

        Real world governments can only be resigned from by moving; my association governments are strictly by one year contracts.

        1. “Real world governments are territorial; my association governments are not.”

          But consider real world situations and not pie-in-the-sky theories.

          Square’s critique falls under the rubric of not being the worst of the possible outcomes.

    2. The problem with the usual answer that young people like socialism because they don’t remember the USSR is that people like Mr. Hannah don’t remember the history of times before the Lenin, Castro or Chavez. Lenin, Castro and Chavez came to power because people wanted to change the system. Preventing socialism is not just about reminding people of the failure of these countries but also preventing the conditions that lead people to socialism. Socialism rises when capitalism fails.

      1. I’m not sure what you mean by “capitalism fails”. Do you mean crony capitalism? The proper fix to bad government is not more government, but less government.

        You may be (but I do not insist upon it) one of those people who think “market failure” is the signal for government to step in and correct another failure of capitalism. You would be wrong. Market failures are the heart and soul of markets. It is how markets work: someone (thinks he) sees a failure, an opportunity, a missing product or service, and starts a business to fill taht need, to fix that market failure.

        If there were no opportunities, no missing needs, no market failures — there would be no innovation, no progress. We’d all be living in caves, not even abel to figure out how to steal fire after a lightning strike, nor how to bash each other with stones.

        Socialists hate market failures because they are opportunities for individuals to do something outside state control.

        1. “I’m not sure what you mean by “capitalism fails”.”

          This. Capitalism isn’t a means to the end of some ideal super-society similar to how evolution isn’t a means to the end of some ideal super-organism.

          Capitalism is simply the freedom of individuals to exercise their property rights.

        2. What I mean by capitalism failing is that people no longer have faith in the system. Part of the problem is crony capitalism. Market failures can be a problem if they fall primarily on those without power. In 2008 banks were bailed out but people lost their homes or their savings. Income inequality is a problem. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to be the same, but if the difference are huge people will lose faith. Statistics like 1% owning 40% of wealth is bad for capitalism. Capitalism also fails when it doesn’t address broad concerns like health care, educational costs, and climate change.

          If people begin to believe that they can not do well in a capitalist system. That the system is rigged against them and that it has no interest in addressing their concerns. They will look to other systems like socialism.

          1. Reason just posted a long article on the horrors of Venezuela. The oil companies were nationalized, along with plenty of other industries, decades before Chavez.

  7. E.U. should die. central administration blows.

  8. The first thing to know about what the U.S. media get totally wrong about Brexit is that it’s not due to ignorance, it’s due to malice.

  9. I’ve never understood why some libertarians saw corporatist, big-government “free trade” agreements like NAFTA or the European Economic Community as even remotely libertarian.
    And the European Union was a budding authoritarian superstate. Good riddance to it.

    1. Dude , the words Free Trade were right there in the title, which makes it totes legit. Like all the “people’s republics”.

    2. Because it makes the Koch’s money.

  10. Wait…wasn’t reason anti-Brexit back when the nrits were voting on it? I remember a lot of smearing of UKIP and praise for the LibDems as the “real libertarians” in the UK

    1. Globalists gonna globalist.

  11. The Open Borders ruling class discuss the troglodytes who have the temerity to disagree with their betters on Immigration and Trade policy.

    Funny how they never go into the outback and have the discussion about what the troglodytes think with the troglodytes themselves, like Ann Coulter, Victor Davis Hanson, Stephen Miller, or Mark Steyn.

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  13. Hannon says Trump declares violent crime is increasing when it is actually decreasing. Both yes and No. Trump actually means violent crime is INCREASING in Democratically controlled cities and DECREASING in the rest of the country. President Trump’s strong support for the right to defend yourself is one big reason why, overall, violent crime in America is going down.

    Official government statistics from the USA and UK show that the violent crime rate in disarmed Britain has been going UP while the rate in increasingly well-armed USA is going DOWN.

    Britain’s violent crime rate in 2017 increased to 2,213 per 100,000 people while the USA rate decreased to just 394. The violent crime rate gap has WIDENED to at least 6.85 more from 4.36 a decade ago. see lots more and comment here or at:
    www.DiscourageCriminals.net/disarmed-Britain-has-SIX-TIMES-MORE-violent-crime-than-well-armed-America

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