Last night I had a hostelmate from Britain, who shared his thoughts on Brexit. Apparently, there’s some frustration directed towards the EU’s governance. The EU’s board members aren’t elected, and the lack of democracy contributed to the exit.
A fraction of Brits distrust the government and well-educated experts in favor of remaining — the former stems from a belief that Britain’s government and private sector form a revolving door. Some people believe the two are colluding and hurting the rest of Britain in the process (how, exactly, the people hurt by stronger private sector isn’t clear to me). The latter distrust seems closer to the anti-intellectual threads of discourse in the US.
Brits seem frustrated with indebted countries like Spain and Italy and Greece. And my hostelmate even suggested that the climate of these countries played a part: in cold Britain, there’s nothing to do but work, while in warmer countries the exhausting heat prevented people from developing strong work ethics.
I think the most damning problem is immigration, though. From what I heard, it seems like the EU’s lax border control allows many immigrants to come into Britain, and get free health care from the NHS. I suspect there’s another, more prejudiced justification, but I can understand the concerns about how foreigners strain government resources.
This is all anecdotal, but it might give you some insight into how and why Brexit happened. I still don’t know what will happen after the exit, but the reasoning behind it serves as an interesting foil for US politics.