As a dual national, I was allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum. I voted to remain.
I chose not to listen to the lies and exaggerations of the Leave campaign, nor did I listen to the Armageddon warnings of the Remain campaign. I used common sense.
I’ve always been pro-Europe and pro-Euro. Maybe that comes from my sensible Scottish blood. Here are the issues:
- Many Brits are worried about immigration (not about the security aspect of it, but about the “cosmopolitanisation” of England. Part of the problem is the mishandling jingoism of the parties of the Right. They say the immigrants are a drain on the system. Actually, they work, they pay taxes, and they spend money. Those are all good things. Yes, they may earn benefits, too, but so do native Brits who aren’t working. What about the asylum-seekers? They are getting a free ride. Why not put them to work and make them earn their keep? While they are waiting for a ruling on their cases, let them contribute to society. (My sentiment is the same with illegal immigration in the US.)
- A number complain that we are subject to laws passed by unelected nameless and faceless bureaucrats. That’s far from true. The MEP’s are all elected, and if you want to, you can find out who they are. The Council of Ministers are appointed by elected officials in each of the constituent countries. We all have equal voice, and the laws are passed for the betterment of the Union as a whole. We have no less power or transparency than a state of the US (possibly more).
- The UK is better on its own. Nope. Aside from the US, our largest trading partner is Europe. By leaving the Union, we waste time and money negotiating our own trade deals and regulations. We lose what power we have in guiding Europe. Outside Europe, we become a provincial backwater. Still, we have NATO and (a Pacific-pivoted) US to cover our backs. We become less attractive to business, who may be more likely to choose Ireland or the continent as hubs for their international operations.
- Our currency becomes more volatile. It has been very steady for the past several years, but has lost much ground against the dollar as the referendum got closer, and has now plunged to its lowest since 1984. Personally, I would have liked it to merge with the Euro. The Euro is weak without the Union’s strongest currency.
- Then there are those who voted to leave just to spite the government. STUPID! Your bluff was called. Prepare for chaos.
Now that the genie is out of the bottle, what can we do about it?
- Most agree a second referendum is unlikely, no matter how many sign the petition.
- The government could ignore the referendum and further alienate voters.
- Both the major political parties are imploding. Maybe the best thing would be to have a general election. Let’s give UKIP a chance to see how little support they really have. We could put the only undivided significant party in power (Liberal Democrats). That’s unlikely, but it could give a UK government a legitimate out invoking Article 50.
- Of course, the UK has put a gun to its head and pulled the trigger. We can hope we missed. Let things play out and hope that the UK governments of the future can smooth the rough waters ahead. Prepare for higher taxes, a higher cost of living, job losses, and reduced influence in the world. The British Empire is now officially dead.
Yes, we now have the change to “take Britain back” … well … to 1974. Perhaps even earlier if Scotland has another referendum of its own, and maybe Northern Ireland, too.
We can make Britain “great” again, too. Well, no … what they really meant was “Make Britain WHITE again.” That’s right. UKIP and the other ultra-right parties have suckered Britain into swallowing their agenda.
And, of course, the US is the next victim (if Chump wins).
God help us.