Brexit, the myth, the media, the politicians, the lies.
The UK is in a polarised frenzy and will be for the next couple of weeks as the citizens of the UK make a decision, should we stay or leave the European Union.
Over the last week I've been starting and being part of online conversations about Brexit and its taught me a few things..
The EU started off as a trading zone back in the 1970’s which the wealthier of the EU countries became members of the European Economic Community. Allowing for free trade all over the community. Upon the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993, the EEC was incorporated and renamed as the European Community (EC). There was no vote to do this, it just happened.
The EU is a crazy place we (the people of Europe) have the opportunity to vote for our European Member of Parliament every few years, this allows us to put someone into Brussels for a period of time. However in the UK this vote is something about 30% of voters historically get of their bum and actually put a cross on a ballot paper.
As well as elected officials the EU has many many different commissions and groups which are made up of non elected members, people put into positions for various reasons going things from creating laws to guiding policy on all areas the EU is involved in now and moving forward
The EU is an expensive club and in the UK it costs about $300million a week to be a member, however because of negotiations and a historic (for want of a better expression) distrust of the EU, the UK gets about £170million of that back. However these refunds are to be spend on items relating to Europe or specified by the EU.
As part of the conservative parties election promises was the promise to give the country the opportunity to vote on the question. “Do we stay in the EU” this has lead to a vote which will take place on 23 June 206 and has been dubbed Brexit..
This question has broken to two camps, leave the EU or stay in the EU.
The leave campaign has been based mostly on the cost of the membership to the EU, the amount of money even with the rebate is money they feel could be spent on the UK. It’s also based on immigration, with a suggested underlying feeling in the UK that members of less wealthy EU nations are coming into the country and taking jobs at a lower rate than a UK person would do and forcing locals out of jobs.
The leave campaign has assured us that there are options for trading not only with the EU if we leave, we can also broker trade agreements with other non EU countries.
However the underlying message of the leave campaign is one of the UK governing the UK and not having a “bunch of undemocratic, unelected plutocrats” force the UK into direction and policy we don’t want of need.
The stay campaign on the other hand has been studiously putting a message of better where we are, and to leave has the potential of taking the UK into a huge recession both short term and long term. The UK would lose key trading partners from EU countries and the floodgates would be open for immigrants from both EU and non EU counties across our borders.
The stay campaign have brought in some heavy hitters to explain why staying in the EU means we won’t suffer a huge economic collapse.
Both leave and stay have problems with their respective campaigns which from watching has turned the entire referendum into what I can only describe as Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.
From the stay side we have not only the impression that the UK Prime Minister would sell his own soul to ensure stating in the EU, the choice of Leave/Stay seems to also have descended into a leadership battle for his party. Should the UK vote to leave on the 23rd the UK PM could well be out of a job to the old London Mayor Boris Johnson.
The main argument behind the stay campaign seems to break into two areas “We don’t know what will happen if we leave the EU” and “We know the EU is a corrupt place, however we would be better trying to fix this being a member of the EU and not try and go it alone.”
The leave camp are also not without issues, they are being called out continuously on “facts” presented about the EU, when asked the questions of what life out of the EU brings us, there isn’t a clear answer and when it all gets too tough the continual “but the immigrants taking our jobs” is starting to wear thin.
After months of media coverage, politicians sniping at each other, facts as they stand are getting VERY blurred. Personally I’d see this as the end game.
If the desired end result of the sitting government is to stay in as part of an organisation which many of the electorate see as being something they don’t want to be part of enough to have a referendum called in the first place. There is a simple method of ensuring the country stays in which has been used before by governments called misinformation.
We have seen governments use this before it’s why we ended up in Iraq, it’s how we have so many video cameras watching us, its how we have may have governments having access to our internet browsing habits.
This is helped by the hapless nature and what is seen by some as the majority far right thinking of the Brexit camp.
The outcome of the misinformation, the over information, the continual flow of information be that information right or wrong is lethargy. A population of which only 30% vote in EU elections should be the same figure who vote on the 23rd.
The proper future for the UK in the EU is a simple one, on this occasion we vote to stay in, however there is a stipulation, we set a number of keystage indicators which the EU and our membership must each within a time period. If the EU isn’t hitting these targets we opt out.
This provides the UK with the option not to run head long into the unknown immediately, however it also shows admission of the EU’s faults an provides the country with the option at predefined stages if the EU isn’t changing then we have the option to opt out.
Whatever happens on the 23rd June 2016 there will be disappointment..