Looks like exits are the new rage after selfies. Following Brexit, many other regions with uncomfortable relationships with their country are looking for a way out. Experts have termed these as Domino Referendums. The most popular Domino Referendum currently seems to be Texit, the name that the Texas Nationalist Movement(TNM) has given to its campaign.
When did the movement begin?
Even though we might be hearing about Texit only now, talks about Texas as an independent country have been going on for a long time. TNM was founded by Daniel Miller in the late 90s and has been quite active over the years.
Before Brexit, many of its propositions to make Texas independent were rejected by the central government. But since last week, TNM is getting more supporters and Texit is trending on social media.
Why do the Texans want to secede?
Texas was initially a part of Mexico until it seceded in 1836. It remained independent for a few years before joining the USA. But individually, Texans usually consider themselves to be different than the rest of USA (It is nicknamed the Lone Star State). This mix of culture and history is currently being promoted to make people dream of a free Texas again.
On the political side, many Texans believe that the government has frequently interfered in their lives, making policies which do not benefit them, for example, Obamacare. The tax structure required to collect funds for Obama’s health policy was seen by many Texans as excessive, while the programme itself gave minimal returns.
So why are they suddenly shouting now?
Brexit has given the separatists hope of their dreams coming true. Even people are discussing it on social media. A survey reports that Texit was mentioned over 5,800 times since British referendum details came out.
Will it work?
Ever since Brexit, the separatist voices have grown louder in Texas. Calls for a referendum are building momentum. It is too unclear to say whether it will take place or whether Texas will become independent, but it is probable.
But here is what I can say for certain. It won’t work in the long run.
During the Brexit campaigns, the leave supporters worked on the residents’ immediate fears: that of migrants coming in and taking away their jobs. A lot of economic reasons were given by the Remain camp – like the fall in pound’s value – but those are too complex for the layman to understand as it does not affect him directly.
Whether it be Catalonia’s independence from Spain or Texas’s from the USA, they only play a single card: freedom to make your own decisions. And freedom can be quite enticing.
But freedom does not guarantee survival. Even a child has to grow up before he can be left alone. Brexit has not worked for Britain, leaving it economically worse than it was a week ago (Looks like the Scots are much smarter than the British.
There is also a difference between separating from a union and separating from a country. UK – as a country – already has many institutions developed which Texas hasn’t. For example, if it secedes, Texas will have to form its own diplomatic relations with other countries. It will have to give its citizens new passports. Migration and trade with other regions of USA will obviously become more cumbersome because of setting up of border controls.
I expect more shouts of exits over the next few months as separatists get a boost from Brexit. But I also feel that it will finally stop when the damages done to Britain are clear for everyone to see – even to those who felt that leaving was a good option.
And it needs to stop soon. It will not be long before separatists in India join the bandwagon and demand a separate Kashmir.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.