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Not having their cake or eating it… December 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

One has to wonder how deeply rooted support for Brexit is in the UK, or do I mean England? For this from the Guardian would suggest that it’s a bit more shallow than is thought.

The British public will not accept a Brexit deal that leaves them worse off financially, a new poll suggests. In a sign that a majority of the public would be unwilling to accept an economically damaging hard Brexit, half of those who voted to leave the EU in June, including 62% of Labour voters and 59% of those in the north, would not be willing to lose any money at all as a consequence of Britain’s withdrawal.

Just one in 10 would be willing to lose more than £100 a month. Pollster Peter Kellner, the former president of YouGov, said the results suggested that Theresa May “could have real difficulty in delivering a Brexit that satisfies those who voted for it”.

What’s bizarre is the sense that they don’t understand what a devaluation means. That they’ve already lost spending power. And how to understand all this?

The poll, conducted by YouGov for Open Britain, the successor organisation to Britain Stronger in Europe, also shows that one in five (22%) of voters do not expect Brexit to have any impact on their finances. Just 5% believe they will be better off, while 28% expect to lose money and 45% do not know – despite Vote Leave’s now infamous pledge that quitting Brussels would boost the public purse by £350m a week.

Meanwhile broader sentiment isn’t exactly positive.

Another poll, by consumer magazine Which?, also indicates that the economic effects of Brexit are a major worry for much of the public. It shows that almost half the population (47%) are worried about Brexit, up eight points since September, with nearly two-thirds concerned about its potential impact on food prices.


Brexit voters in areas where a majority of people backed EU withdrawal are among those most unhappy to be left worse off, according to the study – including 59% in the north and 54% in Wales and the Midlands.

Even among Ukip supporters – whose party has demanded May reject the article 50 process and instead leave the EU immediately by repealing the 1972 European Communities act – a substantial number, 39%, do not want to incur a financial loss because of Brexit.

Strange stuff.


1. sonofstan - December 14, 2016

‘The British public will not accept’


2. GW - December 14, 2016

Strange – not really – they were conned by Farage, Johnson et. al.

And now they are waking up to the fact.

c.f. Trump appointments.


Alibaba - December 14, 2016

Oh yes. Somewhat like Trump. A disaster waiting to happen.


3. Roger Cole - December 14, 2016

In Ireland the people in a referendum voted to reject the Nice Treaty. They were forced to vote again. In Ireland the people voted to reject the Lisbon Treaty. They were forced to vote again. Both times, it was the right wing and their corporate media that forced a second vote. So let me put it this way, those in Ireland who are joining in the attacks on the people of the UK & NI for voting the “wrong way” are part of the right wing, the sort of ever so clever people who really think that voting should be restricted to the readers of the Irish Times


WorldbyStorm - December 14, 2016

The people of NI voted to remain. So did the people of Scotland. They have no voice in this? And is it illegitimate to lobby for a preferred outcome if it is possible. Personally I think Brexit will happen and I think the referendum carries some weight in that regard – a second referendum on it as such would be perverse, but a referendum on which forms to take is a different matter, and I think Scotland and NI’s situation should be taken account of in some form.


GW - December 14, 2016

And let me put it this way:

You’re, to be charitable, comparing apples and oranges, and trying a ‘guilt by association’ argument.

The Lisbon treaty clearly favoured the capitalist class over workers.

The reverse is not the case with Brexit. i.e. it’s likely that Brexit will strengthen the hand of capital over the working class in the UK and reduce workers income, rights and liberties at the same time.


Alibaba - December 14, 2016

And to say that people who offer different or dissenting views “really think that voting should be restricted to the readers of the Irish Times” is incorrect, insulting and uncalled for, to put it kindly.


Ed - December 14, 2016

The entire Irish political and media establishment was united behind Lisbon, too, whereas the Brexit camp had one faction of the Tory Party, plus the Sun, the Mail and the Express out batting for them. Johnson, Dacre, Gove and company are not exactly blue-collar workers crying out against an arrogant elite.


Ivorthorne - December 14, 2016

Honestly, I always find the term “forced” when used in this context rather silly. “Forced” has a rather specific meaning. In reality, I can’t recall any threats let alone any force. Maybe “convinced” would be a better term?

In most of these EU referendums, where we rejected the treaty it was often because of irrelevant claims and when the Irish were provided with assurances, they were happy enough to accept the treaties. Not that this was necessarily the best decision but a referendum isn’t a cup final. If analyses indicate that a result was due – to a significant degree – to misconceptions resulting from a campaign of misinformation and that people would have voted differently when presented with accurate information, by all means, vote again. If the analyses are wrong, you’ll get the same result.

40 per cent of British people don’t know that MEPs are elected. Giving people who are ignorant of a subject the right to make policy decisions about it is madness.

By all means, have a referendum but provide people with the facts in an accessible way first. According to one poll I came across last week, something like half of all leave voters would vote to remain if it meant they’d lose ANY money. Most will lose much more than money.


4. Roger Cole - December 14, 2016

It is of course true that the people of Scotland and NI voted to remain, but just in case you don’t know, Scotland an NI are part of the UK state and were outvoted by the majority of the people in the state. Now I think the UK state is an Imperial State and has been for generations, and there is no sign of it changing, seem as how their MP’s overwhelming voted for a massive cut in health & education so they could spend €billions on their nuclear weapons. The EU has also been developing into a centralised neo-liberal Superstate, just dying to have its own European Army. In short, either way, the progressive forces got shafted. The response however, is not to line up with those who don’t like the result of referendums and seek an immediate new referendum a la Nice & Lisbon. The reality is European Social Democracy bought into the EU Project of war and neo-liberalism, and as a consequence is being wiped out virtually all over Europe, France being the next example, while in the UK the SD Blairites have focused their hatred on Corbyn not the Tories, thus seeking to ensure its destruction in the UK as well. The HOPE mantra did not do that well in the US either. So the solution? Try anti-imperialism, I know for some its a bit old hat, but for me its as real as ever.


WorldbyStorm - December 14, 2016

Well given I have stated above, as in other posts in this topic before, that the referendum holds some weight and that Brexit should take place in light of that whatever the specific form of it (for example Brexit could span a series of positions, inside the EEA or EFTA or some bespoke entity or outside those as long as the UK is no longer a member of the EU) I’m not sure why you’re so keen to ascribe to me or others views we do not hold.

As to Scotland and NI again I’ve pointed to the complexities and contradictions thrown up by the referendum. I imagine both areas will be outside the EU but I can also envisage some tweaking and specific aspects of the post Brexit sgreements that would take account of the votes there. The House of Lords committee report from this week on NI specifically pointed to the uniqueness of the situation of NI in the context of GFA etc. Much of that may not be achievable or it may be but it is clear that a simple unitary state uk is no going to be the eventual outcome.

Finally I think people here who while intensely EU critical like myself have every right to point up that Brexit as is, no how people might hope it to be, has already had abysmal impacts with many more to follow. Given there is no constellation of likely left forces to mitigate that in the foreseeable future I’d certainly continue to point up how this is impacting on working people on these islands and this continent. None of that has anything at all to do with ‘lining up’ with those who seek a second in out referendum. No one here is calling of would support that, no one has and I doubt anyone will.


5. oconnorlysaght - December 16, 2016

1. As Roger Cole admits, Britain is an imperialist power in its own right, with the trappings of such as the EU lacks. Indeed. it is becoming clear that that it is specifically an English imperialist power. (It might be hoped that Roger accepts the logic of this and supports Scotland and NI’s right to secession.)
2. It follows that Brexit is not necessarily an anti-imperialist move.
3. The opposition of finance capital to it expresses merely that capital’s weakness.
4. Right-centre social democracy’s opposition to it is the result of its dilemma which goes deeper than simple adherence to the EU: the problem of how to reform capitalism indefinitely
4. Despite Lexit, the bulk of the Brexit campaign was led by ‘have not’ capitalists and their spokespersons for a bigger share of the state cake.
5. To achieve their aims, they maintained an ultra-nationalist and xenophobic propaganda which which negates any positive gains in Brexit for the working people.
6. Despite its opposition, finance capital can live with the result far more satisfactorily that the working people (including many who voted for Brexit).
7. The immediate need is to get agreement for left terms for the actual Brexit. They will have to be presented in counterposition to anything the government can or will offer.


6. Gerryboy - December 16, 2016

Chauvinists have supported the Brexit vote. There are Little Englander conservative voters who voted Brexit in great numbers. There are many anti-foreigner Labour voters who did the same thing. (In his wartime analysis of English society, The Lion and the Unicorn, George Orwell – an Englishman who said little about Welsh and Scottish culture – noted that the English industrial working class people were ‘decent’ but chauvinist and not overtly tolerant of visitors who spoke French and other non-English languages.) There are many things to be said in favour of the EU, but it is noteworthy that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the workings of the EU institutions. There is little public EU patriotism. There is little discernable love for the EU corresponding to ‘love of country’ as found in England, Scotland, Eire, France, Italy and so on.


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