Over the past month, I’ve read many different takes on the Britain referendum. Britain’s exit, or BREXIT, from the EU has somehow managed to elicit an opinion from everyone – regardless of whether or not it makes sense. The issue is that these opinions are leading up to one of the worst disasters in modern humanity – and this is NOT about economics.
When you break down the argument of “experts” on the matter, you hear tonnes of economic and political jargon. Interestingly, both the IN and OUT campaign have been engaging in the same lingo. Unfortunately, people’s inability to comprehend the entire point leads to half-baked conclusions. The OUT campaign has boisterously yelled out the amount it contributes to the EU on a weekly basis. In response, the IN campaign tries to lay out the additional license and regulation costs required to sustain current trade figures with the EU nations if they leave. To the people – “throwing” out British pounds obviously seems more unacceptable. As a result, BREXIT has become a reality.
Most economists have sided with the IN party. The unprecedented support for the OUT campaign has actually led to a sense of contempt. My father, a self-proclaimed socio-economic enthusiast, echoed that sentiment. “Let them leave if that’s what they want”, he rolled his eyes. “When their market crashes and economy crumbles, they’ll regret their decision”. But that’s exactly the problem here, Britain (and the world) stands to lose far more with the BREXIT than just a couple of GDP points.
Understand how a population in a democracy works. We’re a herd of cattle. We sway where everyone sways. This is not to say that everyone is stupid or incapable of forming an individual opinion; it’s just that no one takes the effort to do their homework to form a well researched one. In this case, the swaying is happening because of fear and greed, not economics.
Courtesy Donald Trump and other such cartoons, people have actually come to believe that immigrants are the reason behind unemployment and violence. It’s funny because Donald Trump raised this issue in light of rising gun violence and terrorism. The answer in the US in this regard is basic gun control. However, part of Britain has swallowed this opinion in the wrong context for itself. EU’s porous borders allow for free mobility of labour and capital – part of the reason why it managed to survive the cut-throat competition from global markets. In light of the ISIS crisis, immigrants are flooding into the Union and dispersing through its porous borders to all corners of it. Loss of jobs then becomes a fear. The reality, on the other hand, is that the rise in labour is what would help Britain stay competitive and in turn, create more jobs. But today, people are angry and want to allot blame. As a result, the future of Britain will face the music.
If BREXIT is carried out, it is this fear of people that is being validated. Who knows what this domino effect goes on to knock off? Equality? Globalization? Liberty?
Political OUT campaigners will tell you that the UK got back its sovereignty and its money. That’s not why the people have voted out. They voted out because racism has taken precedence over compassion. Greed has taken over logic. And fear has taken over trust. Britain is the first to proudly proclaim its regress. God knows how many more are going to line up to do the same.