The decision by 52% of Britons to withdraw from the European Union was based on a variety of factors. It’s been portrayed rather simplistically by some but this is a complex issue. To be sure there may be some short term economic pains. But not being a member of the EU is not going to cause the UK to tumble into the Atlantic Ocean. London will remain the centre of world banking and home to the finest law schools in the world. It will mean,though, that workers will have less flexibility when it comes to going from country to country in search of employment.
But something deeper is at work. The knee jerk reaction from some quarters was to brand the people of the UK as xenophobic. They are anti immigrant and a bunch of bigots. As usual this kind of thoughtless drivel misses the mark. Switzerland and Norway are not members of the EU by choice but just as it’s not plausible to accuse 52% of the British as being xenophobes one would not accuse the Norwegians and Swiss of being anti immigrant bigots. The vote wasn’t about race so much as it was about culture. This may be difficult for Canadians to grasp as we’ve been raised to believe that all cutures have equal value and it doesn’t really matter if a country has specific culture or not but in the UK, and in most other nations, that isn’t the case.
A culture is something worth preserving and many in the UK feel that theirs is under attack from outside forces which have no intention of assimilating but rather wish to transform one of the most sophisticated and advanced societies the world has ever known. This is the nation of Shakespeare and Milton and of Pope and of the parliamentary democracy in place in Canada to this day and it’s worth saving. But in places like Birmingham and many others where there are “no-go” zones it has been lost. The no-go zones are areas so dominated by Muslim extremists that white Christians, including police, will not go as they have been made to feel so unwelcome.
One former Winnipegger living in London was quoted in the Free Press yesterday as saying “By mid afternoon most of my colleagues decided they couldn’t even function at work anymore.” I wonder what Churchill would have said. Londoners liked to say “keep calm and carry on” as the German Luftwaffe rained bombs down on their heads. Yet you couldn’t function because of democracy at work? It seems the UK has a softer breed on its hands. Perhaps that’s why 52% voted to get out of the EU. They may have realized that the UK as it has been for hundreds of years, is worth preserving rather than conceding it to the elites in Brussels and the proponents of Sharia Law who would erase all that has gone before. It may take decades before it’s fully understood if this was the right thing to do or not.
But, lest you think dissatisfaction with the EU is confined to that island, this is from Richard Warnica’s story in the National Post
” According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, support for the EU fell by 17 percentage points in France last year, 16 percentage points in Spain and eight percentage points in Germany. Among residents of 10 EU countries surveyed by Pew, only 51 per cent viewed the union favourably. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed, meanwhile, disapproved of the EU’s handling of the refugee crisis. And a majority or plurality in nine of the 10 countries told Pew they wanted some powers returned from Brussels to their national governments.”