Brexit is not about the EU

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Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, […]
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Preamble, 1§.

Today, the UK is deciding if they stay or leave the UE. The campaign was a bloodbath, with blatantly wrong information being pushed around as facts. But it is worth having a look at the propaganda, it is enlightening.

Whatever the result tonight, most media miss the point entirely. This vote is in fact not about the EU: it is about the fear of globalisation and its consequences, economic competition and large movements of population at a global scale.

Since the 90’s the world is ongoing a fast transformation from a model of island-nations to a model based on global exchange, fuelled by advances in transportation, logistics, and of course by the IT revolution. The European Union is a big part of it, and the lifestyle changes through free movements of people and goods are very enjoyable.

Even factoring in the impeding impact of climate change on the transport industry, globalisation at the current scale is not reversible without a huge global chock. The first globalisation episode of the 30’s was stopped only by nationalisms and WW2; this time we have the Internet, and game-changing technologies are emerging every day, Blockchain being a good example.

Most people in the West are worry of globalisation because of its consequences on local economies and way of life. Indeed, the rich boys’ club is paying a hard price for it, as the displacement of the centre of production to cheaper labour areas destroyed (and is still destroying) local job pools, with significant local social consequences.

But this also has huge positive consequences all over the world, where billions have a chance of a better life. The case of China is emblematic, and many other countries are slowly emerging from poverty. Their emergence is not due to support from the nation-state in which they live, but to opportunities arising and people being ready to take them.

Now, from a global perspective, what right have we to defend systems which are closed to people being born on the wrong side of the border? No valid reason can justify the difference in visa regulations imposed to, e.g., an Iranian vs. a German. It is time to re-read critically The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 3 always collided with Article 13.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 3.

vs.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 13.

Our destinies are ruled by decisions at a larger scale than the state. In this new world that is emerging, the role of local governments should be to empower the people by levelling the ground, providing access to healthcare, education… to the most needy.

The migration issue in EU is a direct consequence of the Arab Spring, which originated from the Food Riots of 2008. Leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Lybia where not providing for their people, and their wrath was exploited for other agendas.

In the same fashion, it is now quite clear that West, Nation-state governments are failing more and more in providing continuous equal access to basic rights. They are not able to adapt to changes in power balances, still relying on the old order of foreign mass exploitation.

Clearly the EU is the wrong enemy, a convenient scapegoat. And it plays right in the national-populist agenda, which are being played far and large: Trump in USA, Farage in UK, Le Pen in France, etc.

We should focus on building different form of governances adapted to this age, not fighting against each other over choices that are, effectively, in the past.