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The wisdom of the CLR crowd: Brexit, is it going to happen or not? June 1, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Just curious what the broad sense is amongst us all here with mere weeks remaining until the vote. Is Brexit a racing inevitability, or even just likely, or do people think it will be a REMAIN? And are perceptions different this side of the Irish Sea, or indeed across the Atlantic or on the continent of Europe?


1. Jim Monaghan - June 1, 2016

I think Brexit. Cameron falls. The Tories select a semi-neutral replacement, overtures to soft UKIPers. Immigrants blamed more and more. A spiral of reaction. Election in say 2018,


2. Gewerkschaftler - June 1, 2016

I’m no longer so sure – but Brexit will be closely defeated.

I suspect with Jim that Cameron will be replaced by someone more ‘neutral’, but the split in the Tory party will continue.

More racism, more anti-immigrant rhetoric and violence either way.

The task of the left remains to shift the focus of justified disillusionment with faux-democratic government-for-neoliberalism at the EU and national level away from racist scapegoating and back to the realities of class and power.

How one does this is in a partly populist way with the meeja harping continually on immigration is a big problem. So far we are failing, big time.


3. botheredbarney - June 1, 2016

In the debate on Irish entry to the then EEC in 1972 the Labour Party, Official Sinn Fein (later the Workers Party etc.), provisional Sinn Fein (now called SF), the CPI and assorted independent republican intellectuals like Anthony Coughlan of the Wolfe Tone Society all argued for a No vote. But in the referendum of 1972 only 17% of the electorate voted No. After accession in 1973, Labour supported EEC membership in subsequent referendums, while smaller left groupings urged No votes. I can’t remember what stance Democratic Left and the remnant of the original WP took on the Nice and other treaty referendums.

Nobody on the island of Ireland is happy with the economic ‘rules’ being laid down by the Troika post-bailout, and nobody likes the institutional modus operandi of Brussels-Strasbourg. Yet people this side of the Irish Sea fear the economic and security consequences of Brexit. Leftwingers in Ireland regard themselves as internationalists, but are wary of the economic and military internationalism of the EU.


Paul Wilson - June 1, 2016

WP opposed Nice and Lisbon treatys.


irishelectionliterature - June 1, 2016

DL opposed Maastricht but were in favour of the Amsterdam Treaty .


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2016

I was on a relevant committee in DL which dealt with some EC stuff in the first year or two of the party before I left. Very eurosceptic was the tone at that point. Would love to know how and why (and when) it shifted.


irishelectionliterature - June 1, 2016

They had a spell in Government! …. and by the time Amsterdam came about they probably would have been in negotiations with Labour re the merger.


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2016

That’s very true re govt, but was it just that or was there a deeper process that convinced people who prior to that had been if not europhobic certainly on the far end of scepticism?

Liked by 1 person

botheredbarney - June 2, 2016

@WBS I don’t know if the Left in Ireland in 1972 was ‘europhobic’, but it was suspicious about international capitalism, and was concerned about national sovereignty and national identity. Someday it might be a useful exercise for a scholar to do a summary of the anti-Common Market arguments made during that referendum and to note point-by-point which things proved to be true and which predictions never happened.

My prediction is for a Remain majority of a couple of per cent in the UK vote. But political predictions don’t always happen, do they?


WorldbyStorm - June 2, 2016

Ah, I take your point but I was thinking more of parts of the left in 1992… not 72. And I’d agree with you, it wasn’t europhobia more euroscepticism.


4. Joe - June 1, 2016

Yep, Brexit. But after that God only knows.
I’m thinking partition on the island of Britain; triumph of the anti-immigrant right across Europe; return of sectarian murder mayhem in Northern Ireland.
I’d emigrate only nowhere wants Paddy coming over to their place and taking all their jobs.


5. Paul Wilson - June 1, 2016

My own guess is that Brexit will be narrowly defeated, the large cities London etc will vote to remain as will Scotland and Wales. I think the election of Khan in London points in that direction.


6. sonofstan - June 1, 2016

Genuinely not sure. Paddy, over here taking their job(s), keeps reminding people that I’m one of the immigrant flood they talk about it, and they look surprised – I’m ‘not like those other ones’. Too close to call is the vote of the Bucks jury.

Liked by 2 people

Phil - June 1, 2016

not like those other ones

Ow ow ow ow ow. I really want to apologise on behalf of Britain in general!

I don’t see it happening – Paddy Power currently have Leave at 11/4 and Remain at 7/2 on. I can’t say I’m not worried, though – differential turnout & the switch to individual voter registration both favour pensioners, which in turn favours Leave. I’ve just contributed some money to a Labour-led voter registration drive, basically trying to undo some of the damage the Tories did in the hope of keeping Cameron and Osborne in power. Cheers, Dave, no need to thank me.

Meanwhile on the Left, Corbyn and Khan really need to start talking. Difficult, though, as they’re both basically right. On one hand, Labour do need to mobilise a *left* Remain vote, which Khan’s appearance with Cameron isn’t going to help with at all. On the other, Labour also need to mobilise a “never mind the politics, let’s just not do anything stupid” Remain vote, which Khan’s intervention was perfect for. On balance I think the latter is bigger & more important than the former, so I’m reluctantly with Khan. I wish the leadership had handled it better, though.


sonofstan - June 1, 2016

No need to apologise! – it’s just interesting they way a lot of people here don’t see us Irish, or Afro-Carribeans or most Asians as immigrants anymore, but become apoplectic at the thought of Romanians who ‘don’t share our culture’


7. Seedot - June 1, 2016

Brexit defeated but only due to Scottish / NI votes. The union dealt another blow as English nationalism reacts strongly, Tories lose their unionist element and split again.

Independence referendum in Scotland passed by 2020 in reaction to abuse from English press post vote.


8. 6to5against - June 1, 2016

I think a narrow win for remain. But the ensuing bitterness will still fatally damage Cameron. Anti-immigrant rhetoric will abate for a while but surge again during the next UK election.


FergusD - June 1, 2016

Narrow vote to Remain. Left arguments to remain are not strong, mostly the other lot are even nastier, true but doesn’t inspire. I expect last minute fears will win it for remain. Still be likely bloodbath for Tories. The left needs to get a vision and push it otherwise will continue to shrink and lose Corbyn surge. Not impressed with Momentum.


9. fergal - June 1, 2016

Too close to call- leave shading it at moment but still three weeks to polling day- What will win natural British conservatism- steady as she goes or Johnson and his mates- Farage keeps banging on about Britain paying 8 billion net in contributions to the EU- must be music to the ears of a nation of shopkeepers and shoppers.
What could happen in the next few weeks? A bomb in London? An immigrant scare story by tabloid press( to be filed away with the other 250,000 published so far this year.
A unionist friend of mine- liberal type has an Irish passport- reckons if it’s a no the north should hook up with Dublin to stay in. He is literally seething at what he sees as xenophobic English nationalism.
I’ll call it in the week of the vote..


10. Michael Carley - June 1, 2016

Slightly more than half-serious thought: what happens if England don’t qualify from their Euro 2016 group?


11. lcox - June 1, 2016

I can see the polls are starting to show a narrow Leave lead, plausible as a right-populist redirection of justified hostility to the effects of neoliberalism; the socialism of fools, basically. But I find it hard to imagine that “they” will allow it to get thus far – Brexit is surely too damaging to elite geopolitics (US’ loyal NATO sidekick) and the City of London’s interests to be allowed through. Semidetached presence in Europe yes, but actually leaving? Seems too costly.

Having said which it’s less than clear what “they” can do about it – but presumably much backroom armtwisting of political and media figures, throwing a lot of money at Remain, engineering suitable events (a greater run on sterling maybe?) So my tentative prediction is that British elites can swing enough votes indirectly to make it a very narrow Remain.

Bad for the left either way as some have commented above – as often when two factions of the right are in conflict the real challenge is to articulate something genuinely different rather than allowing them to set the agenda.


12. roddy - June 1, 2016

They’ll vote to remain .The only possibility of leave winning is if some mad outfit like Isis carry out an atrocity which would lead to a backlash against “foreigners” and swing the vote accordingly.


crocodileshoes - June 1, 2016

I’ve had a few quid on Brexit because it seems good value in a two horse race. In Birmingham last week I had a long chat with some shopping centre staff (divided 50/50) who had given no thought to the effects on Ireland of a Brexit. ‘But then why would we?’ Said one, politely. ‘It’s time to think about ourselves, for once’.
It’s of a piece, in a way, with our water charges campaign: the used-to-powerlessness sensing a battle they can win.


Enda - June 1, 2016

You could be collecting as well. If the ordinary man or woman on the street feels they’ve little skin in the game and if the great and the good of polite society are amassed ready to wag the finger at them about having to be sensible, they might just not be.


13. benmadigan - June 1, 2016

Anecdotal evidence from Italy:

Ordinary Italians seem disinterested – Either they don’t realize the referendum is happening (Is it? When’s that? Imagine that!”) or they make comments like “Give over about the UK not wanting to be in the EU. “Let them go if that’s what they want.Who cares?”

Liked by 1 person

14. babeufinsiberia - June 1, 2016

I’ll certainly be casting a yes to exit in the North alongside an extended family. This is alongside a definite yes to exit from a number of republicans – some surprising! We’re not ‘dissidents’. 😉 However, Scotland, Wales and the North are only 15% of the UK population, and it would seem a majority atleast outside of London would vote for exit in England? Seems to me Brexit unlikely to win only because majority of the Elites don’t want it?


Seedot - June 1, 2016

I think the assumption is the elites are about to use some serious media and discourse manipulation.

Has there been much discussion in the North of the impact of brexit on travel and other Eas/West relations, babeufinsiberia? It is hard to see the only land border the UK will have with Europe and its marauding immigrant bands being of no concern but difficult to see the realpolitick of closing it in any meaningful way.

Which implies the ports and airports receiving traffic from NI onto the UK mainland will be a more logical site for real border controls to keep europeanness at bay.


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2016

A soft all Ireland ‘border’ would be a fascinating development.


15. Tawdy - June 1, 2016

My tuppence worth is, with one or even two exceptions the tentative REMAIN on here is shocking. Are ye not in any way concerned IF LEAVE actually win!

There is all to play for here, and for mr n mrs average Briton there is a 50-50 outlook. Damned if they do and damned if they don`t. Shag it all I`ll vote to leave, after all we are in and look at the state of us!

I say they`ll vote to LEAVE on the strength of that alone.


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2016

Shocking in what way?


Tawdy - June 4, 2016

Saying remain while leaving out the BUT!


WorldbyStorm - June 4, 2016

I’d be concerned if Leave wins. That’s for sure. For this island more than the one to the east.


16. roddy - June 1, 2016

I might’nt even bother voting.If I do it will be remain.However I have to say the media is very biased against the leave side .All the British TV stations are virtually propogandists for stay.


Gewerkschaftler - June 2, 2016

The remain campaign has been incredibly badly run.

They had the opportunity to paint Farage and Johnson into the ‘looper’ corner, if they’d kept their cool.

Instead they kept wheeling in representatives of hated institutions to persuade people that the world would end if they voted out. Which has made them more likely to vote out just to give the finger to those institutions.


benmadigan - June 2, 2016

here are a few graphs showing how many leave/remain events have been organized where in the UK. Note NI is off the map!!!



17. ejh - June 2, 2016

Despite the last couple of polls I shall be most surprised if the vote is for exit and I’m not even expecting it to be that close. However Enda’s point above is a good one: the remain side don’t really have a way of talking to voters in a way the voters can warm to.

Exit will probably be a disaster for me personally.


WorldbyStorm - June 2, 2016

You know, interacting with you and I think Phil (IIRC) years back made me a lot more eurocritical than I was previously. But again, I don’t think this is the time for this battle, not with who is leading the charge.


18. Ivorthorne - June 2, 2016

Depends on turnout but it should be Remain – if only just.


19. oconnorlysaght - June 2, 2016

I expect the vote will be to leave, if only by a small margin. People just don’t believe the apocalyptic prophecies made by figures whom they have every reason to regard as a bunch of liars. Bojo and Farrago can present themselves as being outside the establishment. If Corbyn would bring Khan onside to promote the case to remainon a truly democratic basis (unlike the spurious democracy preached be the Brexiteers) the balance of forces might change. I don’t expect him to do so, partly because his party constituency is more Euro-sceptic than that of his opponents.
So,we are back to Willie Yeats: ‘The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of a passionate intensity.’


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