As a European who is in favor of immigration and international trade, I am a passionate supporter of Brexit.
The arguments for Brexit are simple and well known. I think the main ones are:
- Democratically elected politicians, whom British voters can get rid of if they don’t like them, will no longer be over-ruled by unelected bureaucrats, whom British voters cannot get rid of under any circumstances;
- The uniform, “one size fits all”, micro-managing of all sorts of major or minor aspects of our lives by bien pensant bureaucrats can be pushed back;
- The UK can stop funding an intrinsically corrupt institution where hard earned tax payers’ money is diverted to politicians (and their spouses, relatives, dentists and others), dodgy contractors and criminals;
- The British will get a choice over how few, or how many immigrants are allowed into the country.
Most people agree with this. However many are scared to vote Leave because of the risks and because they are cowed by arguments made by Remain. Remain say their position is backed by “experts” and denigrate Brexiteers as ignorant. I’m Oxbridge educated and have a Ph.D. I might still be a moron, titles mean nothing. But I don’t fit the stereotype of the Remainers, and neither do most Brexit supporters. Play the ball, not the man.
“Experts predict economic collapse”
Remain are happy to cite the IMF, the IFS, the Bank of England, Nobel Economists and other luminary “experts” predicting economic collapse if Brexit happens. Such predictions have a long and not illustrious history. There are experts in prediction, who have studied predictions and their accuracy over centuries. These include Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner, Pippa Malmgren and Nassim Taleb. The data on predictions is not good. The accuracy of GDP forecasts in history is no better than a random guess. None of those who predict post-Brexit GDP collapse predicted the 2008 crash. What kind of an expert gets it wrong like that? Taleb and Malmgren by contrast did make money or predict the 2008 crash, and they are pro-Brexit.
I’ve just heard the otherwise intelligent Jonathan Friedland on the World Tonight saying it’s nihilistic to mistrust experts. It’s not nihilistic. It’s just an objective, skeptical analysis of the available data. When Galileo contradicted the expert evidence of his day by saying the world revolved around the sun, because that’s what the evidence showed, he wasn’t being nihilistic.
The otherwise intelligent Ruth Davidson rubbished Boris Johnson for saying unemployment may go up or down after Brexit. “That’s just not good enough” she shouted on Any Questions, to much applause. Would she be happy if Johnson guaranteed that unemployment would decrease by 0.12% the month after a leave vote? No one can predict unemployment. Anyone who does is a snake oil salesman.
“Brexit is xenophobic”
If that was the case I would be anti Brexit. But this accusation is wrong. Over centuries, the UK has been a welcoming place where foreigners, dissidents and heretics of all stripes have found sanctuary. This was true from at least the Renaissance. Huguenots, Jews and freemasons who were persecuted in France in the 17th century fled to the UK, three centuries before the EU was a gleam in Jean Monnet’s eye. The UK does not need the EU to welcome foreigners. After Brexit, the UK will have a choice at last. It will use that freedom as it has for centuries, to allow migrants to enter in a measured way, to the benefit of the country.
“A vote for Brexit will leave us at the mercy of Boris/Gove/Farage”
I hear this a lot from Labour voters. It’s incredible defeatism. After Brexit the UK electorate can elect who they want. Labour, Conservative, monster raving loony, even the Lib Dems. It’s up to you. A vote for Remain however is really a vote for domination of the UK by the unelected Commission. The “Brexit will leave us at the mercy” argument is based on the premise that electors don’t have a choice in who governs them. That is the old model. The EU model. After Brexit you can elect who you want. If Labour doesn’t think it can get voters to back the progressive policies it advocates then Brexit is the least of its worries.
“The Leave Campaign can’t promise us to reduce immigration”
Of course they can’t. Again, a vote for Brexit is not a vote for the Brexit campaign. If Brexit win the Brexit campaign is not suddenly put in charge of immigration. Parliament is put in charge of immigration. The parliament you vote for. So don’t ask for guarantees from the Brexit campaign. It’s you who will decide. Post Brexit, you will vote for MPs who will decide to decrease or increase migration – depending on what you, their voter, want.
“The EU was founded after WWII, I want that peace to continue”
Seriously my British chooms. The UK is not going to go to war with any European country. Nor are any other European countries going to go to war with each other if the UK leaves. And if they were to go to war, the reasons would have to be so extreme that membership of the EU, which has been ineffective in any international conflict situation it has been confronted with, would not be able to prevent it.
“All the big companies say Brexit would be a disaster”
Brexit would mean two things for big companies. 1) extra work. They would have new rules, new standards, new situations to deal with. Boo hoo. A year later they will have sunk the costs and all will be forgotten. 2) competitive advantage. Only a large company can afford the legal fees to read through the War and Peace length rules and regulations issued by the EU, and to maintain the massive personnel departments to cope with its micro-legislation. Which of course reduces their competition. They want to maintain the cosy status quo which suits their bottom line.
“Brexit will harm our trade with the EU”
Japan trades very successfully with the EU. So does the USA. So does Singapore. The EU in the short term will try punitive sanctions on the UK. But they will back down. They need to sell you their cars, their wine, their cheese, their salami, their silk ties, their olive oil, their holiday villas etc. etc. Europe is a continent with nearly 50% youth unemployment in many countries like France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. That youth unemployment will only increase if their unemployed graduates can’t go to the UK to work. Their GDP growth struggles to reach 1%. They will blink first.
Any more arguments then message me and I’ll add them to the post.