The Brexit camp, as I expected, won the European Union [EU] referendum by just a million votes. It was decided by the working classes, who were absent in political debate. Politicians for a remarkably long time, have ignored, perhaps forgotten them. Without an alternative narrative, they have been convinced that their bleak lives are the fault of immigrants and the EU. The working class also feel that ‘Westminster liberal elites’ have embraced multiculturalism at their expense. Boris Johnson said that Brexit will not affect the fabric of society. He is right, the damage happened before the referendum: the electorate voted on political fantasy, dismissing facts. Meanwhile, the rich will remain rich, and the poor are likely to be a little poorer. There is no rush to invoke Article 50 and start exit proceedings, and Brexit politicians are back peddling faster than Olympic cyclists. The EU Referendum is unlikely to change anything.
David Cameron has resigned and the pound is at a 30 year low, but it will recover, even if David Cameron won’t. Should Sterling fall too low; it might trigger inflation, and if inflation reaches 2% it is likely to cause house prices to fall. Welcome news for house-buyers but not homeowners who may find themselves in negative equity.
The markets have seen millions of pounds wiped off the value of shares. The markets will recover. The brunt of the interim lack of investment will be borne by the very people (the working class) who voted to leave.
The Brexit Plan
Meanwhile, Germany has prepared an Association Agreement which provides for the continuation of free trade and free movement for goods but not services. As I said ‘business as usual’.
Sadly, the working class have swapped one set of Westminster Elites for another, whose interests lie elsewhere besides the non-metropolitan districts of the working class.
Within hours of the win Brexit, politicians are backtracking. Boris Johnson has said there is ‘no need for haste.’ He has also rather bizarrely during the campaign said that the referendum provides a bargaining tool for negotiating better terms within the EU. Silly me, I thought a vote for Brexit meant leaving the EU. Tory Liam Fox said ‘A lot of things were said in advance of this referendum that we might want to think about again and [invoking Article 50] is one of them.’ Perhaps this explains why there is no Brexit plan.
Meanwhile, Tory Brexiteer MEP, Daniel Hannan has announced that EU immigration levels are not likely to change as a result of Brexit although it was a Brexit pledge.
Nigel Farage, an opponent of the NHS, was keen to point out ‘medical tourism‘ abused the service. Within hours of the Brexit victory, he distanced himself from the Brexit promise to divert the EU contribution of £350m to the NHS.
It is not surprising that Cornwall Council said it ‘will be taking urgent steps…insisting that Cornwall receives investment equal to that provided by the EU1’. Cornwall convinced by Brexit, had been receiving EU funding of £60m per year due to the county’s ‘relatively weak economy’.
Fantasy had replaced facts in politics; the EU referendum exacerbated it. Scare stories such as migrants force down the cost of labour for example in construction have been rife. The fact is we need EU workers because there is a shortage of skilled workers in Britain and scarcity increases costs. Companies, like Billionaire’s Mike Ashely, Sports Direct paid less than the minimum wage through choice – not because EU migrants insisted they wanted less.
Farage has waived the anti-immigration flag with such fervour; people came like a moth to the flame. The fact that his outrageous claims, like medical tourism, were untrue became irrelevant, like so many things said by Brexit. It is most remarkable that he leads a party that has only one seat in Parliament and has been allowed to remodel British politics along the principles of Enoch Powell.
For years, politicians of all persuasions have blamed their poor governance on the EU, while isolating swathes of working-class. It is not surprising that people have lost faith in their national politicians and the EU. Consequently, we see a rise in far-right movements like Nigel Farage’s across Europe: places like Austria, France, Germany and Russia.
It is the lies, isolation, sense of rejection and elitism by politicians that has changed our relationship with politicians and democracy and therefore the fabric of our society
The politicians have played us. I have always been wary of their motives for the referendum. However, as one who voted to stay, I am happy that the Brexit politicians seem to want to stay in the EU after all. Keep calm nothing has changed with the EU.. yet.
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