EDITORIAL – Exit or Brexit, UK must leave

We aren’t naïve or narcissistic enough to believe that our kinsmen in the United Kingdom are reading our editorials or, even if they were, are acting on our counsel. But they should, particularly on the following question: Should the U.K. stay in the European Union? Or should it go?

That’s the decision for voters in our colonial Mother Country during the “Brexit” referendum on June 23.

Though we are bound to the EU via the U.K., we here in the Cayman Islands are relegated to the children’s table and aren’t being given a say. We’ll offer our advice anyway: Get out. Get out now.

We’re not saying the EU necessarily is a “bad” entity. We are saying it is bad for Britain.

Forged after the horrors of two world wars, under the principle of, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer,” the EU has done much good, particularly for the smallest of its 28 member states by providing them access to a very large market of 500 million–plus people. But make no mistake; the common market is merely a tremendous economic carrot to be dangled in front of the individual European nations to achieve political ends — actually, a single political end, that is as absolute as it is transparent — “European Union.”

For countries like Ireland, Luxembourg and Greece, the EU has been lighthouse, lifeboat and life support. The EU has enabled them to emerge from the hegemony of traditional powers, compete against much larger entities and, when all else fails, seek recourse to a safety net in times of crisis.

In that context, acquiring stability and security through sacrifice of sovereignty may be a fair trade-off (albeit not one to our liking).

Not so for the U.K. — which is the third-largest EU member state in terms of population, the second-largest in terms of GDP and the foremost, in terms of reluctance to be involved.

In return for its bending to the Brussels-based bureaucracy, Britain has found itself on the receiving end of moronic regulations and an intolerable influx of culturally incompatible migrants.

On the regulatory side, we’ll give two examples of EU absurdity: 1) Instructing growers to discard bananas that were too “bendy”; and 2) Banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can help prevent dehydration.

On the migration side, we could cite 375,000 examples, which is the estimated annual net migration into the U.K., with 220,000 coming from the EU and 155,000 from the rest of the world.

Opponents of Brexit have thus far conducted a historically tone-deaf campaign to persuade U.K. voters to remain in the EU, with its two principal arguments being that, if the U.K. leaves, “bad things will happen” economically, and if the U.K. remains, British leaders (namely Prime Minister David Cameron) will attempt to slow, halt or even push back the EU’s thus-far inexorable drive to meld the U.K. with the rest of Europe.

The popular response to the elite’s pabulum has been predictably bland. As for us, the arguments against leaving also ring hollow. We are extremely skeptical of dire economic forecasts that depend on unforeseen complexities, and we are even more skeptical of assertions from U.K. leaders of their ability to prevent assimilation and homogenization by the EU.

Again, the EU’s tectonic march toward “ever-closer union” is neither good nor bad: It is simply the nature of creeping governance.

We in Cayman have seen more than enough of European-style bureaucracy and regulation — in the form of the OECD, FATF, and their liberal like. Blacklists, gray lists, white lists … please.

The June 23 referendum may be British people’s best and last chance to avoid imbibing any more of that sort of poison. They ought to seize the opportunity to run away with Usain Bolt record-breaking speed.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now


  1. Quite right.
    Here is some more silliness.
    A Polish worker comes to England to work. He claims child support for his children back home in Poland. Which is paid at the UK rate based on UK cost of living, which is a fortune back in Poland.

    An Iman comes to the UK from Libya. He is jailed for inciting terrorism. The EU court says the UK cannot deport him back to Libya as it infringes his human rights.

    Seen those news pictures of illegal immigrants trying to get to England from France. Why is that? Why don’t they stay in France, which is not at war? Because the French would laugh if they showed up at the benefit office looking for a handout. While the suckers in the UK ask how big a house would they like.

    The list goes on. And the UK is not the only country in the EU that is fed up with it.

  2. What a horrible opinion. Europe will only be able to exist when it speaks with one voice in future. What will little old England do alone against all those mega forces like China, India, the USA, Latin America. Work has to be done and it will not be easy to make it function well but it needs to be done.

  3. @ Norman Linton
    Your final comment is spot. I’ve recently spent time in Holland and Germany. People there are openly hostile to the EU and everything that goes with it. If, as I hope we will, the UK votes to leave then I suspect it will create a domino effect as the more prosperous European countries follow our lead. That’s what the pro-EU politicians are really scared of.

    @ Edelgard Beister
    That’s a pretty non-specific comment for a financial professional. Could you expand on your fears for the UK if we quit or are you just worried about your own potential losses? Right now EU membership exposes the UK to a raft of potentially disastrous future scenarios whereas as an independent country we could again choose our trading partners, make immigration policies and draft legislation as we wish without worrying about anyone screaming that we were breaking EU rules, which everyone else ignores anyway.

    The reality is that the EU is a dysfunctional mess. It’s become a cosy, and very well paid, club for failed politicians to escape to when their home countries kick them out. If the rules were applied to the letter a number of major European countries wouldn’t even meet the criteria for membership let alone have access to the Euro.

  4. David Williams
    I do not fear for the UK, I feel that Europe should unite to become a counter-force in this world. We will never make it if we break up over organizational problems. It is a huge undertaking and just throwing the towel and stepping back in time is no solution. I can see that we have a very different vision of the future.

  5. Norman

    Mr. Beister is only playing devil’s advocate for the special interests groups for which European membership is beneficial and profitable.

    The view of the common man on the street in Britain today very much mirrors your own.

    I know because I live there , it has become my chosen country of residence.

    The very history of the relationship between the British Isles and continental Europe is written in wars, bloodshed, invasion and occupation and mis-trust.

    And that history still very much resides in the minds of the average Brit at home.

    They have not forgotten what Adolf Hitler had in store for Europe…and the world…had it not been for their forefathers who fought to keep the country free.