You may have noticed that I haven’t commented on the Britons’ decision as to whether the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Union or leave it, “Brexit” as that’s been dubbed, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”, a peculiar neologism since to the best of my recollection in the UK exits are frequently labelled “Way Out”. Britons have voted for Brexit. The BBC reports:
Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, he said “fresh leadership” was needed.
The PM had urged the country to vote Remain but was defeated by 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK’s “independence day”, while Boris Johnson said the result would not mean “pulling up the drawbridge”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU so a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely”.
A regional and demographic analysis of the patterns of voting would be interesting and there are maps of the regional results here. My off-hand guess, supported by the maps, is that native English voted to leave. Note that in the north of England 70% or more voted to leave, in the Midlands, the west of England, Cornwall, and Wales majorities voted to leave, while in Scotland, the home counties, and areas surrounding other major cities majorities voted to remain.
On the merits of leaving or remaining, I really have no view. I think that a European free trade zone makes sense, the European Union, essentially a government without a country run by unelected bureaucrats, makes less sense, and the euro makes no sense at all.
For the last century and a half if not longer the Germans have had a persistent project to Germanize Europe. In the 20th century two world wars were the outgrowth of that project; in the 21st century its primary engine has been the European Union. The Germans are not philanthropists. Their idea of a European Union will inevitably be run according to German preferences and to benefit Germans. It seems to me that, sensibly, ordinary Britons recognize that.
I have pointed out repeatedly that our European cousins have a choice to make. They can be the ethnic states they’ve always been or become multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. They can’t straddle, at least not effectively. I suspect there was a tinge of a desire to remain British in the Britons’ vote to leave the EU.
Note that the polls that predicted as some did that Britons would vote to remain were gigantically wrong. I think that increasingly respondents are telling pollsters what they think the pollsters want to hear and that phenomenon isn’t limited to the United Kingdom.