So the Brits made their decision. Brexit it is and I can’t say I’m surprised. Nationalism is on the rise all over Europe and people who support the status quo always tend to stay home anyway so it was expectable. Still I’m disappointed, especially when I see people praising this referendum for bringing back freedom. It’s ridiculous! Brexit won’t bring more freedom and most definitely it won’t give an opportunity to improve the British economy. It is a totally unnecessary and harmful step and here is why.
Why Brexit is harmful to the United Kingdom
The British economy heavily relies on the European free trade area. This area makes up more than half of the British import and export volume. That means leaving the European Union Customs Union will cause an additional £9 billion of tariffs on their imports and around £5 billion on their exports per year. And no, they will not be able to compensate this with the EU contributions, because including their unique rebate and the funding they received from the EU they only paid £7 billion a year. Britain is expected to experience a retail shock soon. Over all the economic growth of the UK is expected to be 6% smaller, now that they left the union. Since no other region in the world is of equal economic value to the UK, the only way for them to prevent this recession would be to rejoin the European free trade area without being a member state of the EU, like Norway or Switzerland, but the problem is that the EU requests things like contributions to their budget, open borders and adaption of the EU regulations and the Brits obviously want none of the above. Even if they came to terms, a trade deal might take years, if not decades. Until then the Brits will face horrific disadvantages.
The additional trade coasts will destroy the small business-owners, but also the bigger industries. Some harbors will probably go bankrupt, since they become unattractive for international companies wanting to trade with all of Europe. Furthermore London might lose its status when financial transactions with the rest of Europe become more complicated. The financial capital might move to Frankfurt and the UK will lose tens of thousands of jobs in its capital alone. Another important industry that will suffer is the agriculture, since these people are reliant on EU funding. Approximately 55% of the British income from farming comes from CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) support. The new tariffs will do the rest, particularly in Northern Ireland, where the trade with the Republic of Ireland (EU) is a cornerstone.
That’s one of the reasons why a majority in NI voted to remain. The results in Scotland were even clearer. The remain-camp won every district. The First Minister of Scotland already announced that she wants to propose a new referendum to gain independence. If it succeeds, which is likely after this terrible event, Scotland wants to join the EU as an independent nation. This would lead to an even bigger weakening of the British economy and of the nation in general, but after all they are lost already anyway. United we stand, divided we fall. I’m not saying that the EU should become a single country and that’s not going to happen anyway, but the customs union and the economic and monetary union are improving our economy and securing our power in a globalized world. Furthermore a coordinated foreign policy is ensuring our safety and again, our power – power that the UK alone will lose sooner or later.
Actually you can already see a portion of the negative effects caused by this referendum. The pound crashed to a 31-year low. Is that what you were talking about when praising the economic opportunities coming with Brexit? You should’ve known better, since literally all the important banks, trade organization and economists said that this would happen.
Why the EU is actually not even a bad thing
The European Union is an organization of sovereign countries that is trying to guarantee stability and peace on our continent and to simplify trade regulations, travelling and international transactions. Still people always make the same false claims: unelected bureaucrats making the decisions, national sovereignty under attack, anti-capitalist over-regulation of the markets, harmful immigration from the eastern European countries or the Middle East etc. These are fairytales.
Who are these unelected and undemocratic bureaucrats everyone is talking about? I guess these people are referring to the European Parliament (elected by the people), the national governments represented in the Council of Ministers (elected by the people) and the European Commission (elected by the parliament elected by the people). After all these are the people who make the laws. Still I can’t see how they are undemocratic.
Also the EU is not even close to become a single country. It’s not even heading there because literally no national government wants that and those national governments are majorly lead by the same parties that have the majority in the European institutions. Therefore the British sovereignty never was under attack and we are not heading towards a big super-state.
Regarding the regulations I admit that they are harmful, but you have to understand that before the EU every country was over-regulated in a different way bye its own government. A standardized regulation is better for the markets since it’s simplifying international trade, especially for the middle class. Therefore the EU is already a step in the right direction to reestablish free trade and for now I think it’s the closest we are going to get over here.
And finally concerning the EU migrants, they’re actually not a burden to society. They are even less likely to claim out-of-work-benefits than UK-born citizens and those who are in need of in-work-benefits, like tax credits, are working full-time in most cases already. The employment rates of working-age people are 70% in case of the EEA migrants and 74% in case of the Brits, so there’s not a significant difference either. Overall these migrants are hard-working people who helped to ensure the British wealth. The migration from third countries on the other hand is absolutely not regulated by the EU. It’s up to the countries and leaving the EU won’t change anything about the British migration and asylum laws.
No doubt that there are problems in the EU, but the benefits are bigger and where’s the sense in leaving every organization or federation just because we are slightly troubled by its recent politics anyway? This attitude will prevent progress forever. We should rather try to improve and perfect what we have.
So what the Brits basically did is ruining their own economy and unity by voting to leave a democratic organization which supports freer trade in Europe and guarantees more individual liberty for every single person by granting them the right to live and do their business all over the continent. If you look at the facts and numbers you should see that all the rational arguments of the Brexit-supporters are highly doubtful and far from trustworthy. The motivation was most likely of racist and nationalist nature.
So there you go my ex-fellow-EU-citizens. Here you have your oppressed national sovereignty and the right to deny fellow Europeans the possibility of entering your country, but in return you’ll have to face this changing globalized world on your own, probably left alone by your Scottish and maybe even your Northern Irish brothers. All I can say is good luck out there.