Brexit: 27 Against 1
The British Parliament has voted. British Prime Minster Theresa May’s fear has come true: The House of Commons rejected her proposed Withdrawal Agreement yesterday, 432 against 202.
May already knew the outcome of this vote in December. Seeing that Parliament would not support the terms of the deal she had negotiated with the European Union in November, she toured Europe pleading for changes to some of the terms of the deal. But to no avail. Now her proposal has been defeated with no hope for a better deal from Europe’s bureaucrats and heads of government.
The controversial topics of the Withdrawal Agreement include: the sum of the exit bill Britain would have to pay the EU, how long it would have to accept EU immigration, and how trade between the Union and Ireland would be managed. On all these points, May hoped to get a better agreement with the EU, but her efforts were spent in vain.
One way or another, Britain must leave the EU by March 24, or ask for more time. Britain is now at the mercy of the EU. Whoever will lead Britain in the future will have little time to plead for better terms, with little hope of success, or leave without a deal at all. Britain stands alone against 27 other nations. Its “aloneness” was prophesied with vivid imagery in the Bible.
As 27 turn against one, Britain sees a warning come true that was uttered by the late theologian Herbert W. Armstrong.
“BRITAIN is going to look back on Monday, Jan. 1, 1973, in all probability, as a most tragically historic date—a date fraught with ominous potentialities!” he wrote. “For that date marked the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Community” (Plain Truth, March 1973).
Britain will soon wish it had never joined this union.
Britain joined the European Economic Community, which later became the EU, in hopes of sharing in the Union’s economic benefits. Britain also hoped to prevent the Union from being dominated by Germany.
However, Britain had purchased for itself a front-row seat as the Union slowly morphed into a German-led empire in which countries have lost their say and sovereignty. Britain had hoped it could prevent such a metamorphosis from happening, but it too fell victim to the German design.
By 2016, many British were fed up with EU regulations in which they had little to no say and voted “Leave” in the June 23, 2016, Brexit referendum. The British wanted to make and abide by their own laws rather than being forced to follow the European diktat.
Since the referendum, Britain has sought to negotiate a Withdrawal Agreement, specifying its relationship with the EU after its departure. By 2017, Britain’s dilemma was clearly visible. While the nation hoped for a fair deal, the EU united to give it the least possible success.
The seemingly divided EU was now united—against Britain. Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung stated, “London Stands With Its Back to the Wall”: “The European Union is surprisingly unified when it comes to Brexit. It has a clear strategy in the negotiations” (April 27, 2017; Trumpet translation throughout).
Prior to the EU’s Brexit summit in 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Britain about its “illusions” concerning the Brexit deal. She said that a nonmember state cannot have more benefits than the member states.
In November, the EU presented Britain with a one-sided deal that favors the EU almost from beginning to end.
Knowing the deal would be rejected back home, Prime Minister May toured Europe in December, seeking improvements. She found none.
Merkel said the deal stands and will not be renegotiated—the EU will have to prepare for the eventuality of a Brexit without a deal.
German politician Manfred Weber, who is running for the EU Commission presidency, tweeted on Dec. 13, 2018: “Good meeting with epp leaders at epp Summit ahead of euco [European Council]. Strong unity on Brexit: It is a good deal, a fair one. There is no better deal. On the backstop it is clear that the interests of the Republic of Ireland are Europe’s interests.”
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said that no new deal will be negotiated, but he would be happy to provide a “better interpretation” of the existing deal. He is confident that Britain will accept the deal sooner or later since it has no other option.
As expected, Britain’s House of Commons rejected the “good deal” Europe offered. (Read “Brexit Vote: Why Britain Faces a Historic Crisis” to learn more about the prophetic significance this decision has, along with the importance of the date on which it was made.)
Though the vote disappointed EU leaders, they again put the pressure on the British government. Since Britain has rejected the EU’s proposed terms, EU leaders are asking British leaders for a clear answer of what they want. But the country is so divided, its leaders don’t agree on anything.
Although EU countries would suffer from a no-deal Brexit, Britain would suffer far more. The policy is clear for Europe’s leaders: Leave it with the Brits, but we won’t compromise.
Weber tweeted after the House of Commons made its choice: “The outcome of the vote in the @houseofcommons tonight is disappointing. Instead of clarity, the vote produces more uncertainty. Brexit is a lose-lose situation, and today’s vote has increased the possibility of a very damaging #Brexit.” He also wrote: “The deal on the table respects the UK’s red-lines and protects our citizens and companies from the surreal possibility of a no-deal Brexit. The government should swiftly provide clarity on the next steps. The time for one-liners has run out; we need concrete choices.”
Kurz tweeted on January 15: “I regret the outcome of the #Brexit vote. After the vote in the British House of Commons, the ball is now in #London. In any case, there will be no renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
Weber also said that Britain should no longer have a vote during the upcoming EU Parliament elections, no matter the status of Brexit negotiations at the time.
It’s not hard to tell who the deal favors considering how much the deal is praised among EU leaders and despised in Britain. But why isn’t Europe more open to negotiating a deal that pleases both sides?
Britain—the EU’s Outsider
On the other side of the English Channel, things look different. Europe watches the British dilemma with amusement. Little do they care about the political chaos in Britain, the anxiety of its businesses, or the future of the country.
Even before the British cast their vote to leave the EU, the British people were seen as outsiders—outsiders who were always skeptical and critical about the European project. They refused to accept the common currency, and they slowed down and hindered the EU’s development in general.
Of course, Germany, the leading force of Europe, would have loved for Britain to just conform and submit to the growing German dictatorship. But that did not happen. Britain opposed the German decrees in the EU, hindered the creation of a common EU army, refused to gradually surrender its sovereignty, and served as a counterbalance to the German diktat.
Brexit is a game-changer for all involved.
On Nov. 26, 2018, Handelsblatt Global wrote in “Thanks to Brexit, the European Army Is on Its Way”:
Last week German and French defense ministries quietly announced contracts for further cooperation. Could Brexit—and the impending departure of the EU’s biggest military spender—finally be causing the Germans to pick up their guns?
Of course, Brexit has negative consequences for Europe. But Europe’s gains from Brexit make its losses fade into insignificance—at least, that’s how Europe’s visionaries see the outcome. Europe feels liberated as its greatest pessimist leaves its realm.
Finally, the EU can push all its controversial laws and regulations on to EU member nations that Britain previously blocked. Finally, Europe can build its own military, center its politics on Germany and France, revive its early roots of the Holy Roman Empire, build a power bloc of Catholic leaders who oppose Britain and the United States. Finally, Germany can lead the EU to become what it wanted it to be all along: a European empire under German control.
After World War ii, Britain was the most powerful nation in Europe. Germany was defeated and occupied by Allied forces. France had been conquered by Germany early on and had barely survived the war.
Britain, supported by the U.S., was the strongest remaining Western force in Europe. Its financial strength, economic leverage and military capacity gave it the political upper hand. What Britain opposed was opposed. Period.
But Britain lacked the will to prevent Europe from uniting under German-Franco leadership. Britain now leaves at the worst time possible. By supporting the formation of the EU, Britain now faces not just a single nation but a conglomerate of nations whose power far surpasses its own.
When Britain’s Friends Turn Against It
For those in Britain who saw Europe as a friend and partner, a shocking reality is now surfacing. Europe is betraying Britain. Instead of Britain leading Europe from within, the former superpower is now outside, alone, pleading for a deal.
Britain’s plea to Europe may remind some of a biblical analogy: “For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers” (Hosea 8:9). Donkeys are social animals: Left alone they are unhappy, craving companionship and acting unwisely.
This verse applies to Britain today. Britain in Bible prophecy is often referred to as Ephraim, and Germany as Assyria.
Even before Britain joined what became the EU, Britain’s biblical identity and therefore the prophecies related to it were revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong.
Understanding the biblical identity of today’s nations was the key God gave to Mr. Armstrong to understand end-time prophecy. The identity of Bible prophecy’s most prominent nations is explained in Mr. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
As a “lone donkey,” Britain today is pleading for help, baying at Germany’s door. The two will come to some form of an agreement, but it will hardly be in Britain’s favor.
The Bible reveals where Brexit is heading. Notice Hosea 7:8-12: “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not. And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him for all this. Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.”
In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Mr. Armstrong quoted these verses and then noted that Britain indeed has heard this message “from the World Tomorrow broadcast warning!” Mr. Armstrong sounded the alarm on his weekly television program and through other publications. He warned Britain of its sins and told it where it was heading if it would not repent and turn to God.
Today, January 16, is the 33rd anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death, but his warning continues to this day. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry just completed a new booklet, January 16: God’s Miracle Day. This booklet explains why so many major events happen around the anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death, and how his warning continues to be trumpeted today.
Today, it is too late for Britain as a whole to avoid the coming punishment, but individuals can repent and receive God’s protection and overwhelming blessings for obedience. The Bible reveals how nations and individuals can receive God’s wonderful blessings. Sadly, it takes great suffering before the vast majority of mankind realizes this simple truth. Request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy to learn how God rules in the kingdom of men and how your life can be blessed by it.