Renewed Push for Australia to Become A Republic
By: Elias J. Atienza
Great Britain’s decision to exit the European Union has given the Australian Republican Movement new life. Many Australians are hoping that it will generate momentum for an independent Australia and break off from Great Britain.
Australia held a referendum back in 1999 to leave Great Britain. The referendum was soundly defeated, when 55% of Australians voted to stay with Great Britain. However, with Great Britain leaving the European Union, the Australian Republican Movement wants to take advantage of it.
Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had led the republican movement in 1999 and urged caution on the issue. He also said that he had no plan on leading them to another “heroic defeat.”
Peter FitzSimons, the chair of the Australian Republican Movement, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Telegraph where he called the Brexit vote “enormous.”
“Brexit has demonstrated that, whatever else, the Brits in general, and the English in particular, have got enough self-confidence to go it alone,” FitzSimons wrote. “I refuse to believe that this country will not demonstrate similar self-confidence and get cracking on this next obvious step. Join us.”
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) June 24, 2016
In addition to this, the Australian Republican Movement has received the support from all of the state and territorial leaders in Australia except for one. In addition this, they have received the support of the Australian of the Year, former army chief David Morrison.
Never before have the stars of the Southern Cross been so aligned in pointing to the dawn of a new republican age for Australia,” FitzSimons said in a statement to the Guardian.
However, support for the monarchy has increased since the referendum in 1999. Many believe that this is due to the improvement in the monarchy’s public image, such as the birth of Prince George and Prince Charlotte, and Prince Harry’s marriage.
“I have no doubt… that our very strong and intimate relations with the United Kingdom will be entirely unaffected,” Turnbull told Agence France-Presse. “And our very strong relations with Europe, with continental Europe, which are leading towards negotiations to a free-trade agreement, will also continue.”
“We have enhanced our relations with the major continental European economies in recent years, in particular, of course, Germany and France.”