AMERICAN BREXIT COMMITTEE
P. O. BOX 27296
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19118
August 24, 2019
Honorable Tom Cotton
U. S. Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510
Dear Senator Cotton:
Your letter to Prime Minister Johnson of August 1, portrays a troubling picture of your understanding and that of your colleagues concerning Britain’s plans to leave the European Union.
There is no dispute over Britain’s “sovereign right to determine its own future.” The British people themselves are disputing just how to best exit the EU legally while still preserving a trading relationship with the EU, its largest export market. The EU has posed no impediment to the Article 50 withdrawal process and has patiently negotiated for three years a withdrawal agreement which narrowly was defeated in Parliament in June of this year. The sovereignty issue you do not seem to recognize is why the nation of Scotland and the territory of Northern Ireland, both voting to remain in the EU, are compelled to leave the EU threatening significant disruptions in the conduct of commerce, declines in economic growth, higher unemployment and instability in the value of currency.
Isn’t it presumptuous for you and your colleagues to claim that “…we will support whatever course Britain takes…”? You can be assured that Her Majesty appreciates the pledge of allegiance to the Crown but many Americans would find it unwelcome and offensive. There is wide consensus among academics, economists, bankers, businesses and politicians that Brexit will be a self-inflicted wound with a substantial negative impact including a strain on the Irish peace process. Please see Attachment A. As you may know, that peace and prosperity initiative has had bi-partisan support from American President’s and Congress since 1998. In fact, the course Prime Minister Johnson finds most comfortable supporting spells economic disaster for the entire island of Ireland. Your colleagues might not care about that but I can assure you that other Members of Congress do care and are not so casual endorsing a foreign government’s reckless and ill-conceived actions.
The existence and worth of the NATO alliance is not in dispute. The ill-chosen and ill-informed remarks of President Trump have not helped to resolve disagreements within the EU over funding levels. You also are not aware that the EU & UK have long since agreed to minimize post-Brexit disruptions predicted in many critical areas of services like air travel, medicines and financial transactions. You may have been misled by Brexit zealots.
The British government has been a member of the EU for 40 years and has enjoyed an unprecedented level of prosperity. British leaders and some in Congress are under the impression that a post Brexit UK-US bi-lateral trade deal is owed Britain and will cure or salve the self-inflicted wounds of leaving . No matter what course of action Britain takes to leave the EU, the American Brexit Committee will be advocating for a bi-lateral trade deal that serves first the interests of American consumers, businesses and taxpayers and not the problems of Her Majesty’s Subjects. A no-deal Brexit that further undermines the objectives of the Belfast and subsequent agreements, long despised by the Conservative governments, will certainly add another reason to oppose a bail-out trade deal.
Your reference to the “special relationship” between the US and the UK reflects the naivete of one who has read too many Churchill autobiographies. It is, in fact, a relationship built on myths, propaganda, half-truths, British press releases and a generous infusion of U. S. military and intelligence contracts. As the Brexit drama unfolds, we hope you and your colleagues will exhibit a more open mind as to what is in the best interests of Americans rather than tripping down memory lane about the “good old days”.
Michael J. Cummings