The issue with even the idea of #Brexit is that the two sides are not really arguing about the same issues. You have those who want to stay, mainly focused on the economics, whom are somewhat right in the points they make. Then you have those who want to leave, mostly focused on social issues, as they too have valid points. It will here come down to which means more, which is more valuable or important.
As far as the economics; Britain now gets good terms anytime they negotiate a trade deal with another nation or block of nations, because they are part of the EU, and the entire EU negotiates as one, generally. There is no secret that they are a strong point. When the TTIP was negotiated between the EU and US, it is of importance to notice it is a companion deal. If you have one but not the other, we may have to pull out of the other, or the terms of it may have to be re-negotiated as well, to maintain a proper balance and fair policies. Hence if Britain were to leave, they would miss out and perhaps be removed from previously negotiated deals. Which agreements they would remain in and which they would withdraw will be one of the big aftermath questions. Leading industries and businesses in a no mans land until sorted through. Major disruption at the least. Drastic change at the worst.
Economics like that seem to only be a concern of the billionaires, not the average person. That’s often correct. But this time, it’s different in my view, and this is why. When you examine the trade of the UK and the trade of the EU, you find a lot of similar countries with similar products. In other words, the major industries of the UK are also very similar to the major industries of France, Germany etc. Overnight, they would go from partners.. to competitors. And of course, the EU nations would then have a tremendous advantage in price, cost, shipping and everything trade, where normally diversity of an economy would mean the effect would be muted, in this case, the effect will not be unnoticed. «If Britain goes, they must steel themselves for a period of much political turmoil, a requirement for a new referendum for Scottish independence and a weakening value of British pounds» as stated by Chief Economist Fabian Zuleeg of the European Policy Centre in Brussels.
Jobs would be lost, but not just low wage jobs. While those are painful to the people who hold them, the economy survives. This time you’re talking about white collar, high paying jobs. People who build aircraft and ships, engineers and IT people. It’s a whole different ballgame when it concerns the upper and middle class, those are the taxpayers, the people who produce the revenue to run the nation. When those jobs go, tax base shrinks, which means public services have to shrink. It might be the death blow to the NHS for instance. It is a domino effect.
Will the UK recover? Probably to some extent, yes. But it takes time. England’s economy will suffer and debt will likely rise, as the nation would have to borrow to keep going at the current pace, or anything close to it. Debt means interest. Interest means more debt. And when you get a problem with debt and interest going, it’s hard to get back on track again. It also makes it harder to repay debt, possibly getting you in a spiral much the way Greece or other nations have, where your currency continues to lose value, which means you have to borrow, but your debt and interest become so huge, it’s nearly impossible to pay it back.
One of the other problems is the currency situation as quoted and mentioned by Fabian Zuleeg. If they leave, the value of the Euro goes down. However, the value of the British currency, would go down more, say the experts. So that means anything imported from EU nations just got more expensive. Anything imported from anywhere actually.
While these seem like abstract “who cares” type things only billionaires and politicians care about.. this time, they’ll actually matter. And hurt. And everyone will feel it. These aren’t small numbers, these are massive numbers and bankrupt large companies in major industries. From everything everyone says, it’s not a joke or a scare tactic.
Obviously, all of this will create political turmoil. PM Cameron will be sacked promptly, even though he wants to stay and avoid it all. No one will care, they’ll have his head. While all this is mostly just for people on TV to make a living talking about, what happens in these moments is the small things, but the very important things, get overlooked. School funding, healthcare, public service, the BBC, their military (they would likely have to pull out of the F-35 program), the running of public transportation, all will go to hell for a while as the new government gets a grip on everything.
To sum it up in one sentence, the economic disaster most experts are predicting will most likely come, prices will go up, good paying jobs will vanish, major industries will be wiped out, and the UK will be poor and in debt for the foreseeable future.
In other words, the UK will be a shite place to live for the next decade or two as they bounce back.
So why are the “leave” people willing to risk it? For them, they understand the numbers, and not many of them bother to dispute them. It’s about social issues. They think keeping the nation as-is, is important and will be worth it. It’s an issue where they don’t want the Schengen Zone to apply to them (it currently doesn’t, actually), they want to be able to lock up their borders and keep their destiny in their own hands. In an increasingly interconnected world, I personally belive that view is outdated and nearly impossible to square with reality.
Europe has not been doing as well as everyone had hoped which has largely to do with the chaos around the globe, the weak US economy and the Chinese one headed toward recession. Things will right themselves eventually and probably soon, but they don’t want to stick around for it. They want gone, before their society erodes in ways they fear are not capable of being repaired. Are they right about some of this? Sure. To an extent. Is the alternative better? And are those changes even possible to stop anyway? In my view, no.
Polling says they are going to vote to leave. The trend is even more in that direction every day. Big shifts in the numbers, especially in just the last 2-3 weeks toward “leave”, where it was 50/50 most of the past year, polls now say it may even be 60/40 in favor of “leave”. There is margin of error in those numbers of course, but it sounds as though that’s the trend.
It’s bad for the UK, it’s bad for Europe, in my view, it’s bad for everyone. Except of course nations like Russia, who relish the idea of a more divided Europe. And honestly, for the US. They too come out on the winning side of a leave vote.
It makes the immigration issue better for the UK perhaps, in the short term that is, which puts pressure on the rest of Europe. The EU without the UK is much weaker and perhaps doomed to collapse, some will tell you.
That is the basic idea. Economists say: disaster. Politicians say: disaster. Nationalists say: Don’t care, let’s leave. That seems to be the short version of it.