Some Texans have long awaited their chance to secede from the U.S. in a “Texit” — you know you’ve seen those bumper stickers. So will the United Kingdom’s decision Thursday on whether to stay a member of the European Union have any effect on our state’s fate?
In what Slate called the “most important political story in the world,” Great Britain might become the first country to leave the EU. Those who want out argue that the EU has impeded on British sovereignty and diminished its influence.
And a few Texas groups — like the Texas Nationalist Movement, the Republic of Texas and some Republicans — feel similar sentiments toward the U.S. government. Of the 27 million people that make up Texas, Daniel Miller of the TNM told the Guardian that 260,000 people support the idea of Texas secession. He said the arguments for Brexit and Texit are fundamentally identical.
“You could take ‘Britain’ out and replace it with ‘Texas,’” he said. “You could take ‘EU’ out and replace it with ‘US’. You could take ‘Brussels’ out and replace it with ‘Washington DC’. You could give you guys a nice Texas drawl and no one would know any different. So much of it is exactly the same.”
In this state where people still celebrate its independence from Mexico in 1836, those of TNM have called for Texas to decide whether to remain a part of the U.S. via a referendum. Just a few years ago, after President Obama was re-elected, the White House had to respond to a Texit petition that received more than 125,000 votes — of course, the answer was no.
Texas Standard spoke with Tom Dart, the journalist who interviewed Miller for the Guardian. Dart, a former British reporter and recent Texan, said there are important differences between Texas’ status in the U.S. and Britain’s status in the EU.
“Even if this is a relatively small part of Texas’ population, you could argue they’ve been making increasing amounts of noise in recent years,” Dart said. “They’ve been getting more organized, they’ve been having a bit more traction in the Republican Party of Texas – certainly among the Tea Party wing.”
He said Texas secession isn’t widely supported, though Texas rhetoric has been anti-federal government as of late. Texas Standard notes that “could be a consequence of Gov. Greg Abbott’s statement that he’s sued the federal government 40 times.”
The Dallas Morning News also said there is little parallel between Texit and Brexit. The article brings up the idea that Brexit could actually affect trade with the U.S., “which means Texas has a dog in this hunt.” The U.K. is one of the top countries receiving Texas exports but a “leave” vote might affect U.S. negotiations for a free-trade deal in Europe.
Miller though, like much of the world, is eager to see what happens with Thursday’s vote. While we wait, below is a roundup of tweets under the hashtag #Texit: