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Brexit woes… April 28, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Odd, the Brexit camp is in some disarray (the Guardian’s word, not mine) about the Obama visit. It’s certainly not helped their cause, and Boris Johnson (and Nigel Farage’s words too, less reported but just as noxious) afterwards about Obama’s heritage did themselves no favours at all.

I’ve no sympathy for them whatsoever. You want to do politics, prepare for a push-back from those who take a different view. And prepare to hear people expressing opinions you may not like. It’s risible to hear Obama’s opinion being dismissed as if the US had no strategic or other interests in the matter. Indeed the irony of those who reify (and in some aspects correctly) sovereignty denying that to others is entertaining.

And just on all this Tom McGurk in the SBP who does not hide his antipathy to the EU under a bushel and appears to be very much the champion of Brexit argues oddly, that:

If anything the reaction against the Obama intervention has highlighted how deeply personal British voters consider the choice they have to make. They will feel that it’s for them and for them alone to make this choice, and that only people who are British and conscious of their unique culture and history can make it.

Well, again, the point about opinions is that they are just that. No one is denying the British the chance to make their decision. But, given that Obama’s intervention is regarded by many as reasoned and timely and the reaction is as described above I wonder was McGurk indulging in some wishful thinking.

Anyhow, I don’t know what the political effect will be, but the polls (taken before the visit) generally show the Remain camp ahead by a fair distance (the last Ipsos MORI/Standard poll had REMAIN 49% [nc], LEAVE 39% [-2%], DK 12% [+2%]). So, it’s going to be tight and who knows how things will go, but at this point REMAIN is ahead. Fascinating breakdown of attitudes between the two camps:

MORI also asked an unprompted question on what the most important issues were in deciding how people would vote in the EU referendum. Overall the impact on the economy (32%) and immigration (27%) came top, but there was a sharp contrast between remain and leave voters. Among those who want to remain 40% named the economy, followed by jobs (15%), trade (14%) and immigration (14%). Among those who want to leave 47% named immigration, followed by making our own laws (25%), the economy (21%) and the impact of immigration on the welfare state (20%).

BTW reading about the Brexit campaign in the UK I saw a familiar name here…

Meanwhile, it emerged that Gisela Stuart, the co-chair of Vote Leave, had written to the home secretary urging May to exclude the rightwing French politician Marine Le Pen, who plans to come to Britain to make the case for Brexit.

No, not Le Pen, Stuart. She’s an interesting career as an LP MP. And she clearly changed her mind on the EU in the 2000s from pro to anti. No shame there. But a little more curious is her stance in 2004 on the re-election of G.W. Bush, and her membership of the Henry Jackson Society.


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