A Texit movement is gaining steam as secessionists in Texas are advocating a break from the United States in the same vein as this week’s Brexit.
On Thursday, voters in Britain passed a historic referendum for the nation to leave the European Union and strike out on their own. Polls in the days leading up to the vote showed that the margin would likely be close, but most experts had predicted that voters would choose to remain in the European Union.
The shocking vote kicked off a wave of effects worldwide, leading Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, sending European nations scrambling to start the process of tearing Britain from the EU, and sending stock indexes crashing worldwide.
There could be another effect in the United States — a new boost for the movement known as Texit.
The Texas Nationalist Movement is asking that the state hold its own referendum on whether to secede from the United States and create its own nation.
“It is now important for Texas to look to #Brexit as an inspiration and an example that Texans can also take control of our destiny,” the group’s president, Daniel Miller, told the New York Daily News after the Brexit vote was passed. “It is time for Texans to rally with us and fight for the right to become a self-governing nation.”
And Texit is far from a fringe movement. The Texas Nationalist Movement has hosted a petition asking for the vote and garnered more than 260,000 signatures.
The group echoed statements from Brexit supporters in the U.K., that Texas has lost its ability to govern thanks to “bureaucrats in Washington.” Brexit proponents claimed that the EU had too much control over Britain, especially as it relates to immigration and benefits.
Some Texit supporters have tied the movement closely to the 2016 presidential race, saying that they may back off secession plans if Donald Trump were to win.
— VICE (@VICE) June 24, 2016
After Brexit, what? U.S. secessionists hankering for 'Texit' https://t.co/VHn7v4A0dM
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 24, 2016
The Texit movement is not unique in the United States. A number of other movements have started in states looking to secede, including a long movement in Alaska calling for it to break free from the United States. Some New Yorkers have called for the state to split from New York City, creating two separate states and freeing Upstate New York from the tax burden of supporting the largest city in the nation.
There have also been secession movements around the globe, including a failed vote in Scotland for independence from the United Kingdom.
As Reuters noted, the idea of secession has a fair amount of support among Americans, even if it’s not likely to go anywhere soon.
“A 2014 Reuters/Ipsos poll showed nearly a quarter of Americans are open to their states leaving the union.”
There are others that may want to join in on the secession hype, Reuters noted, including a group in California that is aiming for the same thing.
“We intend to mimic that process here in California by putting an independence referendum on the ballot so we can exercise our right to self-determination and vote to leave or remain part of the American Union,” said Louis Marinelli, president of Yes California Independence Campaign, which pushes for secession of the Golden State.
It has actually been a common theme in the history of Texas as well, with many residents holding onto independent sentiments after the onetime Republic was adopted in the United States. There have been other petitions for secession in the state’s history as well.
But the Texit movement could be losing some steam. The Texas secessionist movement got started too late to be on the ballot for November.
[Photo by David Goldman/AP Images]