Woolfe: Clinton’s Establishment Friends Don’t Understand Brexit, or the European Tyranny We Voted to Leave

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‘What happened?’ That is the million dollar question Hillary Clinton has bought to the UK this week. And after multiple interviews, I’m still none the wiser as to what the answer is.

However, what I have learnt is that Hillary Clinton is very bitter. Not only about her loss to President Donald Trump but also to the Brexit vote last year, where Britain defied the odds and voted to leave the European Union as a member.

Hillary says she ‘respects’ the Brexit vote, yet has shown sheer contempt to those who voted for it.

Arguably, this is personal for her. She thinks that Brexit was the catalyst to Trump’s victory across the pond – and she’s right. Something very similar happened on both sides of the Atlantic in the space of five months.

Pollsters, in the US and in the UK, failed to predict both monumental victories because they failed catastrophically to account for those voters who have never voted before.

Both the Trump campaign and the Brexit campaign appealed to those completely disillusioned with the system. The campaigns inspired them and offered an alternative. An anti-establishment movement, which crossed ideological divides was a common strand through both campaigns.

Hillary Clinton epitomises the ‘establishment’ in America. To prove how establishment she really is, she was defeated by a billionaire business mogul. Trump, who has lived a life of luxury was the outsider when pitted against Clinton – that alone carries a lot of weight.

Even today, Clinton who has earned millions of dollars by giving speeches to banks on Wall Street – travels with a stylist, a fashion advisor and an entourage that can only be compared to that of global rock star.

She misjudged the public mood in America, as she conceded, and she continues to misjudge the public mood in the UK over Brexit – during and after the referendum campaign. As a former secretary of state, she has shown a staggering amount ignorance to what the EU is and the future that lies ahead of it.

I have been to America numerous of times. I went during the referendum campaign in February 2016 to talk about Brexit and I also attended Trump’s inauguration earlier this year.

Our US cousins have patriotism running through their veins. As a relatively new country, they value their personal liberty and freedom above anything else. That is to be admired.

Contrary to what many Americans believe, including Clinton, the EU is not like to NAFTA. The EU model is completely unique. The EU is a political union. It has its own currency, its own parliament, executive, own court, own flag and national anthem.

As a result, for the past 40 years, the EU in its current form has consistently undermined the democracy of its member states and the freedom of its citizens.

I am absolutely certain that American citizens would not join up to a union which is similar to the description above. Imagine being subject to the above but in addition, have to pay billions of dollars per year in membership fees and have a completely open border to your neighbours.

Even Hillary Clinton and Democrat colleagues would not subject the US to that – so why does she not understand that Britain rejected this form of tyranny last year?

Whilst in Britain, Hillary Clinton often referred to Europe in reference to the European Union. Europe is a geographical continent made up of over 50 countries – the EU is a political organisation made up of 28, soon to be 27 countries. Britain is leaving the EU, but we’re not floating away into a different continent.

To my American colleagues and friends – Brexit will not put the UK onto a path of isolation. Far from it, Brexit means reengagement with the rest of the world, not just the EU. On our independence day one, the UK will once again regain its divine right to sign trade arrangements with non-EU nations.

I’m pleased that our mutual trade departments are already having those discussions about a potential free trade deal under the Trump administration. This will be reciprocal – it will benefit not just the UK, but you as well.

Brexit will benefit the strong partnership between the UK and US. I’m thankful that there is somebody in the White House to recognise this. So, carry on with your book tour Hillary, while the rest of us ensure Brexit benefits us all.

Steven Woolfe is an independent member of the European Parliament for North West England, and Brexit campaigner 

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