The British voting public will soon decide if they will leave or remain in the European Union. British Prime Minister David Cameron is saying the referendum held June 23 will be biggest choice that Brits will make in their lifetime. No one disagrees with him on that. Cameron is solidly with the “remain camp.”
Polls have shown half of the British want to leave the 28-member bloc and the other half want to stay. A more recent poll by ORB for The Independent newspaper on June 10 had the leave camp 10 points ahead of those wanting to remain.
So what is driving the leave campaign?
“The mood of British voters is clearly and strongly anti-establishment, anti-elites, and anti-all-big-guys,” wrote Frank Luntz for Time.
Skeptical of the decisions made by the political and economic elite, those wanting to leave don’t see how the EU can provide a secure future for them or their children. Instead they see disempowerment and insecurity. They also see their country losing its sovereignty.
As for the EU institution, many Brits see it as a undemocratic system full of unaccountable bureaucrats living a life of luxury. Meanwhile big corporations love the undemocratic EU because it creates regulations that destroy smaller rivals. Watch Brexit: The Movie about the case for the British to leave the EU:
The mood of the leave camp is also due to big governments and big corporations being on the nose.
“After decades of feeling betrayed by the very same people and institutions that are now telling them to support the status quo — to remain — the public appears ready to take matters into their own hands and demand radical change,” wrote Luntz.
Such disgruntled sentiment is being witnessed across the developed West with the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. and the increasing support for right-wing candidates in Europe in countries such as Austria and France.
The EU’s handling of the migrant crisis has further driven skepticism of the organization’s intent and fueled far-right groups.
If the English vote to leave and then prove successful in flying solo — then that could encourage other European nations to take the same road. Which also means that EU bureaucrats will not make it easy for the British upon any exit from the bloc. The EU bureaucrats will make it hurt for the British if they do leave, both politically and economically.
If they do exit, the Brits can only hope they will evolve into something akin to the Swiss who are not part of the EU, yet are one of the most affluent and democratic nations in the world.
Watch why the remain camp is worried that they might lose the referendum in this video from Financial Times: