Former U.S. presidential candidate and Senator for Kentucky Rand Paul has told Breitbart London that he believes Britain joining the European Union (EU) was a mistake from the outset.
Sen. Paul, who dropped out of the Republican nominee race in early February, made the comments as an increasing number of foreign politicians and leaders chime into the ‘Brexit’ (British exit) debate.
Britain’s EU referendum is to be held on June 23rd, and has already attracted the attention of figures such as Ambassador John Bolton, Republican front runner Donald Trump, U.S. President Barack Obama, and most recently, General David Petraeus.
But unlike President Obama and Gen. Petraeus, the senator from Kentucky believes that Britain is better off out of the European Union, adding his voice to those such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Ambassador Bolton, who have questioned the consensus view that Britain is stronger and safer inside the EU.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, Sen. Paul said: “I believe the UK should never have joined in the first place.”
Sen. Paul sits on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, as well as the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.
His views on the matter are unlikely to surprise people, but his willingness to speak about the issue is indicative of a wider trend. U.S. politicians see Britain’s June 23rd vote as a harbinger for their own elections: the anti-establishment versus the establishment, the tried and failed versus the ‘unknown’.
“The notion that the European Union provides security from external threats is wholly false,” Amb. Bolton pointed out on the Breitbart News Daily radio programme last week, adding: “In fact, I think for NATO itself, the European Union is a real problem. I think it has made Europe less than the sum of its parts, and I think that’s bad for the United States. I think we need strong, capable nations in Europe to stand with us against international threats, like radical Islam, that we face here in the United States, and that they face in Europe as well.”
His comments contrasted with those of Gen. Petraeus, who claimed Brexit would “deal a significant blow to [the EU’s] strength and resilience at exactly the moment when the West is under attack from multiple directions”.
Gen. Petraeus’s comments came shortly after Britain’s former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove noted that in the event of Brexit, Britain would be able to strengthen her borders and deport extremists more easily – delivering major security gains with very little downside.
Sen. Paul is currently undertaking a series of town hall meetings across Kentucky, with nine events in the following 48 hours alone.