Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

With Brexit, Britain Is in Crisis and Not for The First Time

With Brexit, Britain Is in Crisis and  Not for The First Time

LONDON – Few would argue that Britain is in what is often referred to as a bit of a pickle. A crisis in fact, undoubtedly of historic proportions.
With the country mired in confusion and recrimination over how to leave the European Union, many of Britain’s centuries-old institutions have clogged up, struggling to meet the challenges of Brexit.
Anthony Seldon, the historian and the vice chancellor of the University of Buckingham, calls it the “biggest political and constitutional crisis” to afflict the country in 300 years — since the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when King James II was replaced by the joint monarchy of King William III and Queen Mary II. A look at some of the other crises that have beset Britain since the end of World War II:
Before Brexit, arguably the biggest crisis of British diplomacy and its standing in the world occurred in 1956 in the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. When Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the canal, Britain, in secret, along with France and Israel, joined forces to take control of it.
Worried about a potential Soviet intervention, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warned the coalition to withdraw. They duly did. Within months, it had spelled the end of Anthony Eden’s premiership in Britain. More importantly, it crystallized the moment when Britain realized that its great power status had come to an end.
Eden’s successor, Harold Macmillan, wasn’t the type to get entangled in imperial misadventures. He hastened Britain’s decolonization and focused on Europe. However, his premiership was cut short when his Secretary of State for War John Profumo was implicated in a sex-and-spy scandal with showgirl Christine Keeler, who was also having a liaison with a Russian naval attache at the same time.
The scandal, which came at the height of the Cold War, shattered the reputation of Macmillan’s government and the prime minister quit in 1963. A year later, the Conservative Party lost power for the first time in 13 years.
After surprisingly winning the 1970 election, Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath sought to tackle the government’s increasing reliance on trade unions. However, his premiership was soon overwhelmed by mounting sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, including the “Bloody Sunday” killing of 13 people at a civil rights march in Londonderry in January 1972.
His premiership was cut short two years later when the powerful coal miners went on an overtime ban that wreaked havoc.
In December 1973, following the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Arab nations that saw the OPEC oil cartel quadruple oil prices, Heath declared a state of emergency as the country couldn’t meet its energy needs. Heath imposed a three-day working week and speed restrictions. Professional soccer on Sunday, banned in the country for decades, also became a feature for the first time because there wasn’t enough energy to power all the floodlights required on the traditional schedule on Saturdays.
Amid all the chaos, Heath called an early election for February 1974, and asked “Who governs Britain?” Too many said “not you obviously” and Labour returned to power. (Fox News)