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Brexit Vote: The Victory Of Bigotry Over Common Sense

Posted on 30th June 2016

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As you may guess, I am rather angry about the Brexit vote, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there is the way the campaigns for and against, were conducted. Everyone should already know that politicians cannot be trusted, but the Leave and Remain campaigns have really pushed the envelope regarding lying to the electorate. What is worse is that people (voters and the press) don’t seem to care. When I was young, politicians who were caught lying to the House Of Parliament had no choice but to resign, but that has not been the case for a long time.

My main concern, the free movement of labour, which is an essential foundation to my life and work, was not a significant part of anyone’s campaign. Well, people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, thank you so much for leaving me to drown.

The main arguments in the campaigns were:

  1. Immigration -
  • 2.3 million EU citizens living in the UK, more of whom work and pay taxes in the UK than the average for UK citizens living in the UK;
  • 2.2 million UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU;
  • The majority of immigrants in the UK come from outside of the EU.

So, clearly, EU membership is not the source of any supposed immigration problem. Indeed, Britain, like most western nations, desperately needs more immigrants to fill skill gaps, and to help reduce the average age of the population (so that people’s pensions can be funded), but the government is too cowardly to declare this to the voting public.

  1. Finance and Trade -
  • UK Business came out strongly in favour of remaining in the EU;
  • Stock markets and central banks all clearly showed their concern at the prospect of Brexit, and the IMF also stated that it was a major risk to growth and stability; since the vote the markets have been in turmoil;
  • Britain’s economy is mostly based on services, not manufacturing, agriculture or raw materials, and the main growth export is financial services, but the UK has just opted out of the single European market for financial services (which is still being constructed), and this will hurt our exports in future; several banks and financial services companies are already talking about moving operations (and jobs) into continental Europe;
  • Britain’s membership of a large number of international trade agreements is through the EU, and new agreements will now need to be negotiated, some of which could take 10 years or more;
  • All the campaign arguments about Britain’s EU contributions, EU structural funding, and NHS costs are basically guesswork, propaganda and lies, and the impact of EU membership on UK finances is not clear enough for a rational decision.

So, the financial arguments for Brexit are either unclear, or demonstrably wrong.

  1. Sovereignty -
  • Some people complain bitterly about EU laws and regulations eroding British national sovereignty -
  • All those inconvenient laws guaranteeing rights and equality to the sexes, to people of different sexuality, to different races, to people with disabilities and to older people in the workforce;
  • The annoying removal of those exorbitant roaming charges when on vacation or working abroad;
  • Laws that protect the environment;
  • Laws that ensure safety of products and the workplace;
  • Laws that insist that there is actually meat in British sausages.

In general, these laws and regulations are good things, and things that should have been enacted by Westminster without the push from Brussels, if we could trust our politicians to look after our interests.

As far as I can see, there is no sound argument for Brexit on any grounds, but people voted, of course, on the basis of their own personal bigotry, rather than on the basis of facts.

The lessons that I take from the Brexit debacle are:

  1. That having elections and referenda does not make a working democracy – Britain has given the world a horrible example of how not to do democracy; it was horrific to read the reports about the trends in web-searches such as “what is the EU?” after the vote, from Brits, which shows that UK voters don’t take their democratic rights and privileges seriously;
  2. Altruism is beyond most people, or at least most groups of people – being a part of something larger and good just doesn’t count as a reason to stay in the EU;
  3. I should be ashamed of being British (and believe me, I am considering my options about nationality and passport).

I strongly believe that, because of global warming and overpopulation, the world is going to become a more dangerous and less friendly place. Now Britain will have to face that alone (it may be worse than that, as there is now serious talk of the UK breaking up due to the Brexit vote, leaving England and maybe Wales, against the world). Well, when you get into trouble, don’t come running to me, and don’t ask the EU for help.