Brexiters are quick to remind us that it wasn’t about money or about economic growth. While they argued that new trade deals would be easy to get, they also admitted when pressed (of which the press didn’t really do much) that we’d have at least a period of economic downturn.
No.. Brexiters were about less tangible things like taking back control of our country from the EU because we wanted our own money, our blue passports (or were they black?), our own laws and not to have to follow the EU’s rules – which sounds good until you realise we weren’t using the Euro, weren’t in the EuroZone, weren’t obligated to change the colour of our passports in the first place and could change it back any time we wanted, were in agreement with 91% of all EU regulations which we voted on and aren’t obligated to comply with much it anyway which you could see by looking at our mains plugs.. which are, of course, identical to the ones used in the rest of the EU.
But the big sticking point – the one most Brexiters felt strongest about was immigration. The EU was forcing us to take huge numbers of EU people into the country in one of the biggest mass migrations in the world and we were powerless to do anything… well, except that with the exception of 2016, the number of non-EU migrants each year (who we have complete control over) was higher than the number of EU migrants who have to find a job within three months of arrival or be sent back to their home country – well, if we actually tracked them and sent them home. Which we didn’t. And as for mass migration, we’re talking 4M people over 25 years. Oh.. and EU rules allow us to put the brakes on migration if it’s causing undue economic or cultural damage. Again, which we decided not to invoke.
Brexiters felt that traditional British (white) values were being diluted and erased by the huge flood of black, brown and yellow people from the EU and their foreign ways and dress. You know people from Angola and Turkey and China and India and all those other EU countries.
So you see… Project Fear and citing economic consequences in order to scare Brexiters into submission won’t work. You can’t scare someone with facts when they’re so disconnected from reality in the first place.
The tragedy is that no amount of facts or evidence will dissuade the die-hard, flag-waving, staunch Leave voters of their folly and recklessness.
Even when the consequences bite, they will cast around for a scapegoat to shoulder the blame – the EU, an insufficiently zealous government, immigrants, treacherous lefties – or a combination of all the above.
Maybe this is a turning point in our national prat fall, but oh! As Bette Davis says to Joan Crawford at the conclusion of ‘Baby Jane’….’Do you mean…all this time we could have been friends?’