I just gave a summary elsewhere on the internet to my views on Brexit. See what you think, if you care:
Here is how I see the debate. There are five main reasons for voting Leave or Remain:
(1) the economy. I cannot see the Leavers can winning this argument. There simply are no decent economic arguments, apart from fanciful dreaming, that will see us in an economic the better place outside of the EU trading agreements. So this one goes to Remain.
(2) the environment. There is absolutely no way that leaving the EU will improve our environment. We know this explicitly from what was said by the ruling party, the Conservatives, before we even had the referendum. George Osborne tried for years to extricate ourselves from almost all of the environmental protections and legislation that the EU afforded us and our countryside. Farmers have now also come out and told us that in order to compete with European farmers, we would have to deregulate our environmental legislation in order to make our farming cheaper. To be globally competitive, and without the stringent EU regulations, we would simply strip away environmental protections. This was one of the cornerstones of my arguments back in the first debate. So this one goes to Remain as well.
(3) workers’/human rights. In order to compete in the global economy and against EU competitors, we will have to make our goods cheaper. There are two ways to make our goods cheaper. Either we deregulate or we lower taxes. Lowering taxes will end up with us deregulating anyway. In other words, workers’ rights and human rights will necessarily be eroded in trying to compete in a free market capitalistic global economy without the protections that the EU affords us. I know this first-hand from once working for an American company where I had to sign out of all EU protections! So this one goes to Remain as well.
(4) sovereignty. This is a really interesting one about which I’ve written extensively before. It turns out that, according to data and research, no one gave a shit about sovereignty until we were told to care about it by the media in the run-up to the referendum. And since the referendum, we stopped caring about it again. What this data shows us is that sovereignty wasn’t really the core issue that drove voters even though they said it was. It turns out that it was more likely a post hoc rationalisation. We can also see this, and I know this personally from being a campaigner for the AV vote campaign some years back, because no one cared about our broken first past the post voting system until 3.8 million voters returned only one UKIP MP. These same people who were not democratically represented in the first past the post system, were the ones who also voted AGAINST AV in that referendum. These same people appear to be in support of the monarchy, which is an unelected undemocratic head of state, and the House of Lords, which is an undemocratic institution at the heart of our democracy. The House of Lords has 29 priests sitting on it on account of the fact that they are… Priests. Each election cycle, the ruling party throws in even more of their own peers in order to swing votes when laws or changes get passed through to the House of Lords. In many senses, it is a complete farce. There are some advantages but there are also many disadvantages. If people really cared about sovereignty, they would care about first past the post, the House of Lords, and an unelected head of state. Furthermore, we are opting out of the EU where we have democratic representation and shed load of civil servants working for us over there, to slip into the World Trade Organisation, where we have no democratic representation. Although the organisational and democratic mechanisms of the EU aren’t perfect, they are a lot better than people maligned them to be. Personally, I don’t mind moving towards a larger statehood of the EU anyway. I can’t see that in 10,000 years’ time, with such mass movement of people and the realisation that we are all in this together, that this historic arbitrary nature of nation states and their borders will be particularly relevant. Personally, I would give this to Remain as well, and at the very least claim complete hypocrisy in Leave voters.
(5) immigration. I am of the opinion that all the above, if used by Leave voters, are invariably post hoc rationalisations of this one core issue. In fact, the only part of sovereignty that people care about is control of our borders and who comes in them. What is interesting now is that in closing the borders down to EU migration, as we have and have seen a massive drop in, say, inwards migration of medical staff, we are now seeing an increase in these applications for medical staff from places like India. We need those staff to… stay alive The irony is that is if you speak to most leave voters about immigration, they have more issue with brown-skinned immigrants than white Europeans! And even before the referendum, we had greater immigration from outside the EU from inside the EU! And we have full control over that! So really, we should have sorted that out before looking at the EU! If you’re looking philosophically as immigration, then the right to move from one place to another is the most fundamental human right we are born in our countries by complete luck. I had no control of being born here and did not merit it. I did not deserve it. So what right do I have to deny people less fortunate than myself access to the wonderful things that my particular society gives when they don’t happen? The only argument for this is self-preservation. In other words, being anti-immigration is being self-preservationist. And I get that. But nation-states are relatively recent and borders are historically arbitrary. The only way to stop people wanting to emigrate and leave their country to country yours is if their country has everything that your country has to offer. And the only way to achieve this is to equalise opportunities across the world. In other words, when you UKIP voters decry our use of international aid, they don’t understand that this is going towards equalising opportunities across a world so that we don’t have inwards immigration. This is the only issue that Leave would have a chance of winning, but I would have gone and you with some really tough negotiation. In fact, now that they know we are leaving, I would go to them with this now. We won’t leave it there was some other arrangement over immigration.
Personally, in a global world where we have global problems, we need global solutions. Moving into a more fragmented society with less international cooperation is precisely the wrong thing to do
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