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4 Jul, 2016 12:02

#Texit #Calexit? Brexit vote inspires long-forgotten movements for independence in US

As America celebrates its 240th anniversary of independence from Britain, Texas' and California's campaigns to secede from the US have been given a kiss of life. But are they really ready to follow #Brexit and revive their bids to break away from Washington.

#Texit #Texodus

Right after the Brexit success, people in Texas began pushing for a ‘Texit’– a Texas split from the USA – on social media.

To explain why Texas should secede from the Union, Twitter users showed the map of EU and outlined the area of the Lone Star State. And it looks rather impressive.

Others even suggested a better hashtag for a Texas exit: #Texodus, a portmanteau of ‘Texas’ plus ‘exodus’, the migration of Jews from Egypt.

Texas was the 28th state to join the Union in 1845, following nine years as an independent republic. According to speculation from the Texas Nationalist Movement, the state could exit the US as early as 2018.

“In the Brexit vote, the people of UK felt that they were paying more into EU than were getting out of it. And it’s exactly as it is here in Texas,” Daniel Miller, President of the TNM, told RT.

According to Miller, there is a sense locally that the best people to govern Texas are Texans.

READ MORE: From Brexit to Texit: Texas secession movement targets 2018 ballot

Boasting 261,231 supporters on its website, TNM is calling for more Texans to join and bring pressure on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to allow a vote on independence from the US and its “sprawling Federal bureaucracy.”

And based on its present day $1.6 trillion economy, if it did become a separate nation, it would be among the 10 top economies in the world, Miller said.

The group has more likes on Facebook than the Texas Democratic Party, one of the two major political parties in Texas, with 211,000 ‘likes’ compared to 133,000.

#Calexit #Caleavefornia

And Texas is not alone when it comes to following the Brexit example – some in California, the most populous US state, are ready to split, too.

The ‘Yes, California’ Twitter community, which leads the campaign for the Golden State to secede from the United States, already compared the size of California to the EU. 

“We are here in California subsidizing the other states of this union,” Louis J. Marinelli, president of the Yes, California independence campaign, told RT. “As a result we are losing tens, sometimes hundreds of billions of dollars every year” to other states.

Thus, Californians don’t have enough to improve healthcare or education, he added.

“We did an informal poll. We asked 9,000 Californians: ‘Should California become an independent country?’ And our response at that time was 41 percent said ‘Yes’. That’s why we take so much encouragement after what happened in the Brexit vote,” he added.

Some 7,000 users ‘like’ Yes California on Facebook. The group is organizing a California Independence Rally on the 166th Anniversary of Californian ‘Statehood’ September 9.

California officially joined US back in 1850, becoming its 31st state.

READ MORE: Brexit changes nothing

Yet California and Texas are not the only US states eager to exit the union.

READ MORE: Washington fears Brexit will unravel its anti-Russia policy

Native Americans, who have long struggled for independence status in the US, proposed their own Republic of Lakotah back in 2007. It is, in fact, a virtual state which covers some 200,000 sq km and includes territories of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. 

In the meantime, the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) has been calling to quit the US since 1980s. There is also the so-called Cascadian movement in the US and Canada, which calls to form a country consisting of Washington, Oregon and portions of other US states, as well as British Columbia, Canada.

Hawaii, the most recent state of the US, which received statehood back in 1959, has also had its own independence movements since the 1960s. One of them, the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, says that the archipelago’s annexation was illegal.

However, according to Eugene Volokh, a law professor at University of California, the exit of states from the US, and Texit in particular, won’t happen.

"A state couldn’t legally force the US to let it secede, if the US refused. But if the state and the US agreed, that would be doable. At worst, it would require a constitutional amendment, but most likely an act of Congress, coupled with a majority referendum that the state government views as binding, would suffice," Volokh told the Dallas Observer 

He added that “most Texans ….are proud to be Americans, whether or not they like what the federal government is doing, and they can see the benefits of remaining part of a powerful country that can defend their interests.”