Dateline: January 25, 2017
Greer, SC 29651
You may recall that “Brexit” is the term used for Britain's proposed exit from the 28-member European Union. I have been holding off on any discussion of Brexit until Britain's Supreme Court decided whether or not Parliament must also vote on this issue. The British people voted to leave the European Union with a narrow 4% margin: 52% were in favor and 48% against.
Britain's withdrawal is not effective immediately, for Article 50 of the EU's treaty that serves as its constitution outlines a mandatory two-year withdrawal process. As a result of the people's vote, Prime Minister Cameron resigned and Theresa May became the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. She promised to initiate the withdrawal process by the end of March 2017. Legal challenges immediately began, leading up to the recent Supreme Court decision that Parliament should, indeed, vote on withdrawal.
1) The recent vote to withdraw from the EU did not pass by an overwhelming margin. Interestingly, not one county in Scotland or Wales voted in favor of Brexit. This has created substantial division in the United Kingdom as a whole. Scotland is the most socialistic country in the UK and strongly desires to retain the social benefits of EU membership. It is possible that a strong movement toward Scotland's independence may emerge if it appears that Brexit is going to become reality. This would be the second time that Scottish voters have held a referendum to separate from the UK.
2) There are several driving forces influencing voters to be either for or against withdrawal: The first is immigration. Those who are in favor of withdrawal blame the EU's open border policy for the massive influx of immigrants from Muslim nations. Although many of these immigrants fill the labor-shortage vacuum in Britain, large numbers do not assimilate into British culture and are, in fact, promoting Sharia law, and in some cases, violence. Many Brits believe that their national identity, culture, and way of life are being threatened. The other driving force is free trade. Those in favor of remaining in the EU point to the benefits of free trade between EU nations. Businesses heavily depend on tariff-free trade with Europe. Britain's withdrawal would mean higher costs of imported goods for the Brits.
3) Even though the UK is a major economic power of the EU, it does not have as great an influence over economic policies and controls as Germany and France.
4) Students of Bible prophecy believe that a re-formed Roman empire will emerge in the “latter days” of earth's history (Daniel 7 and others). This empire will govern Europe and the Middle East during the 7-year Tribulation period and will be made up of ten regions. Some believe that this period will follow on the heels of the Battle of Gog-Magog (Ezekiel 38, 39). For further explanation, see my video series on this battle at CMI-TV. Brexit may be just another step in the formation of this empire.
This last factor, along with my view that the EU could very well be the embryo of the final world empire prophesied by Daniel, lead me to speculate that the EU will continue to grow stronger in spite of Brexit, and possibly because of it. I believe that current events are prompting EU leaders to alter and revise the EU's government in such a way that a ten-region confederacy eventually will replace its 28 nationalistic states.
Furthermore, I believe that the final world empire that emerges will encompass all the lands that were once part of the ancient Roman Empire. It may also include countries such as the US, Canada, and South America—nations that descend from the peoples of the original empire. The difficulty is in determining the period of the ancient Roman Empire's geographic lands that the final world empire will emulate.
The final outcome of the UK's relationship with the EU depends largely on how the people of Britain respond to pressures from the EU. The European Union cannot risk allowing a country to initiate its own exit; for this would set a bad precedent that other nations might follow. However, the EU itself may threaten to push nations such as Greece out the “exit door” for not following the EU's economic rules. I believe that these threats are intended to bring the erring country into compliance. I believe they will do everything in their power to force the UK to re-vote and decide to remain in the EU. This pressure will be very subtle and indirect. The EU's economic power strongly influences the UK, particularly in the business and banking worlds. Brexit would impose a financial burden on the UK that is greater than the burden of paying taxes to the EU. It is doubtful that Britain could provide social benefits equal to those provided by the EU.
The upcoming parliamentary vote may either affirm the people's vote to support Brexit or it may result in the fall of the majority party. A new election could be called that would keep Theresa May from invoking Article 50 of separation. We will see.
Four possible outcomes of Brexit
1) The UK could hold a second referendum and the people will vote to stay in the EU.
2) The UK could exit the EU but stay in the EU customs union (this includes countries in and outside of the EU). This would allow her to share in a system of tariffs and import quotas governed by the EU over all customs union members. She would continue free trade with EU countries but not with any outside the customs union. This scenario would not allow Britain to establish an independent immigration policy.
3) Britain could reach a free trade agreement with the EU as an independent country while keeping immigration control in UK hands.
4) Britain could trade with all countries under the World Trade Organization rules and tariffs.
In a later newsletter I will expand on these possibilities as the path the UK will follow becomes clearer. I believe they will follow either the first outcome and stay within the EU or join the customs union. This second option allows the EU some control but still could result in no immigration control by the UK people. Remember, immigration was a prime reason for the passage of the withdrawal referendum.
In the days ahead, look for the EU to make the cost of leaving the Union greater and greater. EU leaders want the Brits to reconsider. Interestingly, it took three attempts for the UK to join the EU. The EU's policy is for countries to keep re-voting until they get it right, the one favoring the EU.
A last thought: There has been a recent trend toward nationalism and away from globalism as people are beginning to realize that their national identities are being erased. The recent election of President Trump is evidence of this, and it is also being expressed in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. The EU's goal is to be a global empire; therefore, it must act to prevent further leanings toward nationalism. The world is at a crossroad. If it moves back to nationalism, a concept that God instituted following the people's attempt to unite at the Tower of Babel, the EU and any world global empire would be pushed down the road along with some latter day events. However, should the EU succeed in keeping Britain and other former Roman Empire nations in the Union, events of Bible prophecy could soon begin to unfold.
But never forget, "...that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whom so ever he will..." (Daniel 4:17). What God planned before the foundation of the world will come to pass: the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to establish His Millennial Kingdom. For Daniel declared in chapter 2, verse 45: "the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure."
The Rapture could happen at any moment and is not dependent upon the EU or world governments. Keep looking up!
Director Congdon Ministries International