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‘If Brexit Why Not Texit?’: Britain’s EU Referendum Inspires Texas Secession Leader

Bob Daemmrich
Texas Tribune
State secession still exists as a grassroots movement, but it has gained more attention in recent months.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The president of the Texas Nationalist Movement sees Britain’s possible move from the EU as a model; Arlington police might be over-reporting traffic stops to meet quotas; two goats were shot and killed on the Waco property featured on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” ; and more.

Britain will vote on Thursday whether to stay in the European Union or leave it — an outcome known as the “Brexit”. If Britain votes for independence, a man from Longview, Texas will be pretty excited. Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, said having Britain as a model would only help the case for Texas secession.

Miller told The Guardian the similarities between the two situations are undeniable: “You could take ‘Britain’ out and replace it with ‘Texas’. 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.”

The main difference is Texas secession didn’t make even make it to a floor vote at the state Republican convention last month, much less the GOP platform, despite the grassroots movement’s stronger presence as of late. But recent history hasn’t been too kind to the idea, either. No more than a proportional handful of people have taken secession seriously since the ‘90s, and the leader of that modern-day revival is currently serving a jail sentence of 99 years.

Another Texan with a strong opinion on Brexit? Sen. Ted Cruz. He and other U.S. senators wrote to President Obama chastising the administration for “seeking to pressure the United Kingdom into remaining in the European Union.” Read the full letter.

[The Guardian, The Texas Tribune]

  • Fifteen Arlington police officers are on leave for possibly falsifying traffic stops to meet quotas. The department’s accusing those officers of reporting more traffic stops than they actually conducted. Those officers could face felony charges for tampering with government records, if found guilty. Randall Moore, an attorney representing some of the officers, told Texas Standard the culture of the department encourages officers to over-report traffic violations. Quota systems are illegal, but Moore said the police department was using an implied quota as incentive for the officers to report high numbers and thus keep their jobs. [Texas Standard]

  • Two goats were shot on the Magnolia Homes property in Waco, featured on the HGTV show, “Fixer Upper.” Police think one or more people entered the property between Friday night and Saturday morning, when employees found the dead goats, The Associated Press reported. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said investigators are trying to determine who killed the animals — “a senseless act,” he said. The show features a husband-and-wife team, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who renovate old homes for clients. The Magnolia property includes silos and a market. [The Associated Press]

  • Some Texas legislators are ready for more medical marijuana use. Expansion could affect the current law that allows patients with a rare form of epilepsy to be legally treated with cannabidiol, or CBD The Austin American-Statesman reported. The Texas Department of Public Safety is expected to start issuing permits to CBD businesses in mid-2017, The Associated Press reported. Gov. Greg Abbott, when signing the current law, reaffirmed keeping marijuana illegal in Texas. [The Austin American-Statesman, The Associated Press]

  • Tonya Couch’s bond has been adjusted to allow her to look for a job. Couch was indicted last month on felony charges of hindering the apprehension of a felon, also known as her son, Ethan, according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In December, she and the then 18-year-old fled to Mexico after he missed a probation appointment. He was suspected of breaking probation last year after a video surfaced showing someone who looked like him playing beer pong at a party. In June 2013, he drunkenly crashed his pickup truck into a group of people off Burleson-Retta Road in southern Tarrant County igniting the family saga. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]