How does the Brexit REALLY Look?

I look at the BBC news website a lot, and one of the big recurring stories on it is an upcoming vote on whether or not Britain should leave the EU.  BBC has been pretty relentless in it’s anti-Brexit coverage.  I took this at face value until I realized something:  the MSM has been doing more or less the same thing to Trump for most of the past year.

That got me wondering;  just how IS the Brexit looking over there?  Is the British public reacting to it more or less the same way we’re reacting to Trump?  Is Brexit heading for a victory in spite of

  • JGStorms

    Looks like there’s a shortage of Brits here…

    • 404_Username_Not_Found

      They all left 🙂

    • rooby9

      Hopefully Duncan will weigh in soon – I don’t know enough about it to have an informed opinion. I’d like to see Daniel’s view, too. That clever Russian has got chops!

      • Sorry for my absence. I’ve been busy:-) Brexit is definitely an important choice for the UK, that will change our future relationship with Europe and (perhaps) the rest of the world for good or ill. Let’s say up front, I support staying in the EU, but I think there’s a good future to be had for the UK whether in-EU or out-EU. I don’t believe the “gloom and doom if we leave” or “gloom and doom if we stay”.

        Paradoxically, if Britain leaves, I suspect the impact on the EU will be much greater than the effect on Britain (and wildly disproportionate to Britain’s size). No country has every voted to leave the EU, but there’s widespread dissatisfaction (and growing populist parties) across Europe in the wake of the same worldwide financial crisis that hit the US. It’s the same phenomenon as the US “break the system” candidates Trump and Sanders.. Plus the refugee crisis causing European countries to shut their own borders on a whim isn’t helping, and the fact that the Eastern European countries that joined the EU a decade or more ago are pretty anti-immigrant at the best of times.

        I’m not sure that the BBC has been anti-Brexit, they rate their neutrality very highly. They’ve been trying really hard to present both pro-EU and anti-EU arguments equally, consulting experts, having head-to-head In and Out discussions etc.

        But given that most sensible heavyweight economic opinion is that Brexit would disrupt and destabilise the world economy, they report a succession of important independent figures opposing Brexit, and each time the Brexit side howl “project Fear”, or “self-interest”, or “this important figure’s predictions can be dismissed because their earlier economic predictions were wrong”.

        I hope that one day soon people will realise that nearly all economic predictions are wrong, that the world economy hates uncertainty of any type, and that independently minded groups like the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee have a duty to think seriously about threats and opportunities and publish a considered report every few months on the state of the economy. If they didn’t do that, they’d be failing in their duty!

        That’s enough for now.

        • rooby9

          Duncan, thank you so much for your thoughts on this. My uneducated hunch has been leaning toward it being a good idea to dismantle the EU before Merkel and Germany take over too much power. I don’t trust her much.

          I haven’t liked the way Greece has been treated, especially considering that Greece was among those to make concessions for Germany after WWII. Austerity doesn’t work, but that doesn’t mean some don’t think it’s a dandy idea – for others. But I don’t know the details or implications of what the UK leaving EU would really be, beyond that very wide intuitive brushstroke.

          The feeling of the need by the press to be ‘balanced’ and ‘impartial’ is a curious thing to me. Sometimes that makes sense, but sometimes, one side of an issue is head and shoulders above the opposition in validity and meaning, and it isn’t helpful to pretend both sides are equal. Maybe in this case both sides do have valid arguments, but that isn’t always the case.

          • hi Rooby, I think it’s a mistake to focus on particular leaders at particular times. As our Prime Minister David Cameron said in Scotland just before the Scottish Independence referendum a couple of years ago – please don’t vote for Scottish independence because you don’t like ME, or MY PARTY, I’m just passing, I’ll be gone in a few years: this is a vital structural change you’re considering that will affect generations to come! (one of the few times I wholeheartedly agreed with our current PM).

            Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe – along with us Brits in second place – and of course the EU project started to bind France and Germany together so they would argue over trade, while eating big meals, rather than kill each other in wars. That’s quite an important point which is often overlooked: after 900 years of European infighting, since WW2 European nations have been bickering over trade and who gets the last piece of pie, not fighting each other in bloody battles. Of course the EU is not the sole cause of that, nuclear deterrence and NATO are vital too, but the EU has played it’s part.

            Re: Greece and the EU, personally I also don’t like the way the Greek people have collectively had their noses rubbed in the dirt, it’s one of the causes of them electing their current populist government – and I view populists as dangerous. But, on the other hand: previous Greek governments took substantial chunks of cash from the EU to bail the Greek economy out, and those governments made serious promises to reform the greek economy, get the greeks paying their taxes, cut down on corruption, cut back on over-generous state pensions etc – and those governments LIED. Right back to when Greece joined the Euro, the Greek financial figures were LIES -we now know that Greece was never in a financial position to join the Euro! Fundamental reality: although it’s not the Greek people’s fault, in their name their governments cheated and lied, took billions of euros, and now don’t want to pay any of it back! Personally, I think Greece should have declared bankrupty, left the Eurozone, printed their own currency, and seen it devalue hugely – helping their exporters sell more goods overseas.

            I take your points about the press being impartial. Sometimes the BBC (for example) takes it too far: representing the opinion of a tiny minority with equal weight as the overwhelming opinion of the scientific or medical community, as in the case of Measles-Mumps-and-Rubella vaccines a few years back. This is itself a form of meta-bias:-)

            Back on Brexit, let’s bring one more point in: as well as many sensible arguments, there’s a strong strand of populist narrative in the anti-EU camp. They tell a story about how the EU “does bad stuff to us”, how the EU “takes powers from us”, “imposes laws on us”, “interferes with us” and (of course) “takes money from us”, rather than remembering the historically accurate fact that past British governments signed various EU treaties, ie. we voluntarily AGREED to join a club with rules, conditions, costs and benefits. Everything that the EU “does to us” is in the rules. If we want to leave the club, that’s fine, and is our right – but to complain that the club enforces the rules when we agreed to the rules by joining the club seems damn silly to me.

          • Well, that clearly scared everyone off:-)

          • Drowbert101

            You have a great deal of insight and I appreciate you sharing it. Unfortunately, the question of whether a foreign media misrepresents foreign people’s beliefs and attitudes is inherently opaque to us. I love the way you’ve measured your response to be fair and honest.

            For the most part, I’ve been off this blog, because the company I work for is now 100% blocking it. I’m also working a lot more, working evenings and weekends, and have lots of end-of-school-year stuff with kids. Since (looking at the stats) you and I are the two top commenters on this blog… if we aren’t talking, there isn’t a lot of talking happening. Participating on my cellphone is punitive, since the blogs and comments are innately very long and thoughtful. Shame…. I love this blog.

          • Thanks, DB, you’re welcome. Sorry to hear you’re mostly off the blog, company, work, and kids. Sounds almost like real life is mugging you;-)

            I was consciously trying to be fair minded and to try to represent the pros and cons of the Brexit debate, both because I’m conscious that you guys are mainly US/Canadian, and also because, here in the UK, the nightly news coverage of the Brexit referendum has almost degenerated into a series of:

            – important figure/organisation makes a pronouncement about Brexit.

            – then the side who disagree with that figure’s views rant about them:-)

            On some nights, of course, the contributions support the UK staying in the EU and on other nights support the UK leaving the EU. But in practice most contributions are pro-staying, as most economists and world leaders don’t like disruption. So on most nights it’s:

            President Obama, or the head of the IMF, or the head of the Bank of England, say “we want you to stay in the EU”, or “the biggest threat to the UK economy in the next couple of years is the disruption that leaving the EU would cause” and then the leave-EU side rant about how worthless that important figure’s views are, and how outrageous it is that they said it:-)

            Ok, on some nights, for light relief, it’s “that idiot Trump said we should leave the EU, haha, what a pratt”. (It’s possible that my mask of neutrality slipped a little there:-))

        • Travlis

          See my take above.

  • Travis

    No idea!


  • Travlis

    EU has serious problems, and some of them seem to be ‘unsolvable’. If creators of EU looked at US as example, they did not fully understand how US is organized. The US is a country – with all common factors that make a country – President, Congress, Supreme Court, army, etc. EU is not a country, and – realistically speaking – never will be, and never should not be.

    EU structure worked well when there were 6 compatible members, but it did not adopt to 30+ members. Those who follow European affairs regularly know what I am talking about.

    EURO turned out quite differently than intended, too. I liked EURO during my trip to Europe – no more carrying 5-7 different currencies and getting confused in usage. Now I am not so sure; as Grease example shows, without own currency, country cannot fix own financial problems.

    RULES. When you, or a country like UK – joins a group, they get a long list of rules, some clearly not in your favor, but you sign anyway because you hope the ‘worst will never happen’. But then the ‘worst’ is ‘human-made, as opposed to accident, members must be entitled to relief. Why countries that are even POORER than Grease shall give money to fix Greece problems created by irresponsible Greek government?

    To make a long story short.

    Having an agreement between European countries is GOOD. Current EU agreement is NOT GOOD, needs to be replaced with something better, practical, fair, workable.