Brexit Denial

A number of articles out there citing the fact that the Brexit referendum wasn’t actually, technically legally binding are arguing that, therefore, it won’t actually happen. Most of this, I think is wishful thinking. The UK still has a tradition of more honorable politics than most places—though Jeremy Corbyn refusing to resign appears to be defying that.

But what I find the most odd thing is that commentators on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to batter the side that won with immigration->racism as the issue. Even David Cameron told the EU that that was the motivating factor of the referendum.

But that’s not entirely correct. Exit polls show that a significant portion of the electorate voted on the issue of sovereignty. And why not? The UK has the world’s oldest functioning constitution. It’s a legitimate issue. And something like 25% of Leave voters cited that as their reason. That’s more than enough to change the outcome if you remove them. So, it is a necessary, though not sufficient cause.

Because there is no single sufficient cause, you cannot logically isolate one thing as the cause of Brexit. The combination of factors—Britain’s independent streak, the EU’s blunders with austerity, the Euro crisis, and, indeed, the refugee crisis, and perhaps a series of other more minor issues like the Lisbon Treaty—all have to be assigned part of the blame alongside immigration.

So why give the immigration issue this much power? Why make it a self-fulfilling prophecy? Because the Remain folks want to be right and they want to bludgeon the winners more than they want to break the fall at this point, and that’s sad.

I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but, yes, Boris Johnson has it right. The UK should end up in a Norway-like agreement with free movement preserved. But asserting that the will of the people is entirely expressed in the immigration issue makes this result seem undemocratic.

Poorly played.