At the Old Gray Lady, "Britain, Better Off Out of Europe":
Valentine’s Day is the traditional feast of love. But this February, Britons are more fixated on a political divorce.Keep reading.
“Brexit,” the shorthand term for a British exit from the European Union, is finally on the table. For many of my compatriots, the idea is not a negative one; indeed, an escape from the ever greater encroachment of the European superstate on our national sovereignty is a goal we have devoutly wished for since Prime Minister John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty back in 1992. Today, at last, we are positively giddy at the thought of freedom.
The Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, is delivering on his election promise of a referendum on membership in the union, with a vote due by the end of 2017. It will probably be held sooner, in June or September.
Mr. Cameron would prefer Britain to stay in the union. Polls indicate that he is likely to be disappointed. Earlier this month, he returned from Brussels with a package of proposals so weak that Britain’s newspapers united against it.
His so-called brake on welfare benefits for European immigrants, for example, would require the agreement of other countries, would not be applied for more than a year and would eventually be phased out. Mr. Cameron also failed in his attempt to prevent child benefits being sent abroad for workers in Britain with dependents elsewhere in Europe.
After these terms were announced, the pro-exit camp’s lead in polls soared to nine points. One recent survey of Conservative Party members found that more than 70 percent supported Brexit.
The European summit meeting next week could be Mr. Cameron’s last chance to improve his deal. But with the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, touring Britain and helpfully telling us that he would reverse any British gains, Mr. Cameron’s prospects are not promising.
The mood of the country, though, is optimistic. An amicable divorce, many consider, is better than a bad marriage. Brexit campaigners are excited by the possibilities of an independent future in the world. We believe that this vision is better not just for Britain, but also for our European allies.
Brexit offers Britons more money, more control, free trade and planned immigration...