The stunning victory of the “Brexit” campaign last week, which heralds the departure of Britain from the European Union, has excited movements for national sovereignty across Europe — and a secessionist movement in California as well.
Louis Marinelli, who leads the “Yes California” movement, told Newsweek that Brexit and the Scottish independence movement both point the way forward for a state that only gets 94 cents on the dollar back from Washington for its federal taxes.
“This is the first Western secessionist movement that worked, and I think that is going to be very profound,” Marinelli told Newsweek. “Are you going to say to people in the freest country in the world (you) don’t have the right to self-determination?”
Others are worried about what Brexit might mean for the California economy. The Los Angeles Times, for example, notes that Britain is second only to China in terms of foreign visitors to the Golden State, and has close economic ties to California, including heavy investments in film and tech.
Marinelli, however, is delighted by the political example that Brexit has set. He joins other enthusiasts for state independence elsewhere, such as the “Texit” activists, who hope to restore Texas as an independent republic, as it was in the 19th century.
There seems to be little real prospect of either California or Texas seceding, as such a move would have to be approved by the U.S. Congress. However, the notion is not entirely unheard of. Earlier this year, California Gov. Jerry Brown quipped that the state would have to build a wall around itself if Donald Trump became president.
Marinelli says that an independent California would be subdivided into states of its own. A movement to split the state up, known as “Six Californias,” failed to qualify its referendum for the November 2016 ballot.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.