Brexit: A referendum that is dividing a nation
With two more days to go for the historic voting in Britian on whether to continue with European Union or leave the community, Sayeeda Warsi, former chair of the Conservative Party has switched sides. She was ardent supporter of Britian Exit or Brexit. The reason she cited for leaving the ‘Leave’ group -hate and xenophobia campaign by those who want Britian to exit from European Union.
Though the ‘Remain’ camp- those who want Britian to stay with European Union- has been accusing the ‘leave’ camp of xenophobia, the breaking point for many of the moderates in the camp came after a controversial campaign poster was released.
The poster of an image of immigrants from Syria queueing up on the border of Solvania with a banner carrying breaking point. This according to Sayeeda Warsi reflects xenophobia and hate.
The poster was put out by UK Independent Party a far rightist party
Accusations of divisive tactics by the Leave campaign intensified and internal dissension also started surfacing after the killing of the Labour MP and supporter of the ‘Remain’ camp Jo Cox. Her alleged killer Thomas Mir said in the court that ” death to traitors, freedom for Britian”. This also underlined the fact that basic argument put forward by the ‘Leave’ camp has the attributes of jingoistic nationalism.
The Brexit referendum has split the British political system like never before in the recent history. While prime minister David Cameroon aggressively bats for the Remain camp, many of his cabinet colleagues are on the other side. Six of the his cabinet members and 60 MPs of the Conservative Party are arguing for Brexit.
The main argument of the ‘Leave’ camp is expressed as the concern regarding the economy. The immigration issue has become very sensitive political issue in UK. According to the Brexit supporters, the European Union has failed to address the immigration issue and the the country should not be dragged because of the decisions taken in Brussels, the headquarters of European Union.
London Mayor Borris Johnson, one of the most prominent politician arguing for the Brexit, says that leaving the European Union would make Britian a great powerful nation again. According to him exit from EU will be like escaping from a prison. Appeals of national pride has been very important factor in the campaign for Brexit.
The supporters of the Brexit also argues that the EU has become a centralising agency which hamper economic growth.
The main argument against Brexit is that, leaving the European Union will have dire consequences for the British economy.
In the event of the exit from EU, then new methods for doing business would have to be worked out by the government . It may take some time for the government to do this. This will have negative effects on investors confidence.
Another major political argument for staying with in EU is that Brexit would prompt Scotland to vote for independence.
The high powered campaign for and against Brexit has divided the British society into two. The rise of the UK Independent party might have prompted Cameroon to go for a vote on Brexit. But UK politics wont be the same after the June 23 referendum