In 2016 the British people through a referendum expressed their desire on leaving the European union.
In the in the referendum, 51.9% of the participants voted to leave while the ‘stay’ votes reached the 48.1%(Hunt and wheeler, 2017). This is the second referendum that was held related to the European Union.
The first referendum was held in 1975, on whether we should join the common market or not. With a majority of British voters voting yes. This essay will be exploring the arguments put in place for staying and leaving the European Union.
In addition, it will be analysing which factors such as migration levels, deprivations levels and whether lack of education influenced the final result. Nevertheless, it can be said the analysis will never be correct as it is only a framework of how people could have felt in the moment as opinions changes constantly due to ever-changing factors. Before beginning the analysis of the arguments for and against and seeing why the British public favoured leaving the European Union. This essay will explore the history of how the European Union was formed and when Britain joined. “A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood …
A day will come when we shall see … the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas.” (Hugo,V. 1849) Throughout the 18th and 19th century Europe was constantly fighting each other or going through civil wars which climaxed all the way to the Second World War. The European Union of today commenced in the 1950s through three treaties between 1951 and 1957.
In 1951 The Treaty of Rome established the European coal and steel community (ECSC) this produced diplomatic and economic stability, this allowed some enemies from the world’s wars to share their production which was mainly coal and steel. In addition, the treaty birthed the European Economic Community (EEC) which was to bring about economic integration among which included a common market and a customs union between the founding members who are Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Berlin. In 1951 the Treaty of Rome was “Initially created to coordinate the member states’ research programmes for the peaceful use of nuclear energy,”1 now in the modern age, it ensures the security of atomic energy giving countries a skeleton on how to monitor the system. The 1960s came with economic prosperity which came the free market, which stopped charging customs duties within the EU community when it came to trading. Furthermore, there was an agreement over joint over food production. During this time the UK made its first application in 1961 to join the European Community. The application was vetoed by the French Government in 1963 with a second application vetoed by the French again in 1967. In 1969, Britain membership was final accepted, with it finally joining the community on 1st January 1973.
Brexit created a wider political, economic and social context debate. Which then raised the questions of what is the future of the UK in the European Union involving globalisation, economic, trade-based integration and sovereignty. The British public was given the pros and cons for each factor mentioned and what could hypothetical happen if we continued with the EU or if we left.
However, on June 23rd public demonstrated the leave arguments were more persuasive. The impact of Brexit on the UK and other EU member states is still unpredictable. As the negotiations are still going on. The forefront argument for Brexit is what the public saw was the issue of immigration. It was made to believe Britain would never be able to control immigration until it leaves the European Union, because of freedom of movement gives other EU citizens an automatic right to live here. In May 2004 the immense expansion of the European Union resulted in the huge migration of people from the European countries which are also called A8 (Baldoni, E., 2003).
The number of migrants was mainly from the A8 countries which started to move to other European countries which resulted in a huge number of migrants from European countries (Baldoni, E., 2003). The large influx of migrants to the UK are from Eastern European countries, especially Poland (Ignatowicz, 2012). Due to this huge influx of people coming to the UK from the EU, it is becoming difficult to control the migration in the UK borders being harder to control (ONS, 2011). Another argument for those who want to leave the EU relating to migration is that migration could be bad for the economy as they do raise the taxes due there being more people in the country (Sa, F. 2011). Furthermore, it was stated cutting out ties with the EU will enable Britain to focus on new emerging markets giving Britain the chance to diversify her international links which will increase her clout allowing her to re-engages with the Commonwealth countries and also China.
The UK is likely to remain an appealing choice for foreign investment. As Britain has a large domestic market with an advanced service industry and extensive engineering sector. London is seen as a global financial centre and established a meeting hub. Where its multicultural, English-speaking environment is an asset for international businesses. Additionally, when it comes to trade, it is a way of Britain gaining control their fisheries fight that they have going on with the EU. As British waters are 88% of the adult population of the north sea herring as well making it Europe’s most popular fish by weight.
According to the financial times (2017) UK fishermen see Brexit as an opportunity to take advantage of their seas and unshackle themselves from the constraints of the EU system. Their discontent can be seen in a survey done in 2016 with 92 percent of fishermen were pro Brexit.2 In addition, when it came to laws the arguments put in placefor Brexit was that there was too many of British’s lawsare made overseas by orders passed down from Brussels and rulings upheld by the European Court of Justice. Which leads the UK courts nothaving any sovereign.
With theEuropean Union planning on “even closer a union” (Miller,2018) withthe UK law and economic integration, it makes uncertain on whether how muchsovereign will the UK have over theirown laws in the future. Also, Britain could soon be asked to contribute to anEU Army, with reports suggesting Angela Merkel may demand the Prime Minister’sapproval in return for –other concessions. That woulderode the UK’s independent military force and should be opposed.
– Onthe other hand, there are also strong arguments to remain in the Europe Union. proponents EU believer like Pr. Christian Dustmanand DR Tommaso Frattini stated in the Economic Society of the Economic Journal”immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net fiscal benefit,with immigrants contributing more than they have received in benefits andtransfers.
This is true for the immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe aswell as the rest of the EU” (cReAM, 2014). In addition, leaving will not solve the migrationcrisis however it will bring it to Britain’sdoorstep because border controls from the Continent will move from Calais inFrance to Dover in the UK. – One of the strongest argumentfor staying in the EU was the single market. The single market gives Britaineconomic advantage, allowing companies to trade across the Europe Union on thesame level.
With 44 percent of our exports go to the European union and with 48percent cent of foreign investment into coming from the European. Ernst &Young conducted a survey on foreign direct investors who stated “72% ofinvestors citing access to the European single market as important to theattractiveness, the referendum has the potential to change the perception ofthe UK dramatically posing a major risk to FDI.”1Demonstrating, leaving puts Britain at risk of an uncertain future, when itcomes to trading as the European council have already said they will not offerthe U.K a special deal as it may cause other countries to rebel. Additionally, leaving the European Union comes with uncertainty,as there is the question of the UK budget scheme. The leave party claimedBritain was contributing to the EU budget £350million a week which the head of staticsauthority stated it was “potentially misleading” 2.As a refund is given to Englandbefore it sends money to the EU then around£5 billion comesback to the UK in the form of regional grants and industry subsidies.
Theremaining contribution is around 1% ofgovernment spending. the IFS believes’ the hit to British tax revenues in the event of Brexit will be much larger than £8 billion3. There will be no “extra money” tospend, on the NHS which the leave party claimed that we would have.
This most likely will lead to an increase ofborrowing around £20 – £40 billionin 2019-204. As it will be hard to maintain the budget which will lead to austerity orhigh borrowing and debt. On23rd June the British people voted to leave the European Union andthus creating a curiosity what drove people to vote out. It is believed poverty, education and agewere seen as the cause of support for Brexit.
It was found the support was found in theolder population and people with low levels of education, the people with thesequalities were likely to experience deprivation while witnessing the influx ofinward migration from EU nationals. Forinstance, 15 of the 20 ‘leasteducated’ areas voted to leave while all of the 20 ‘most highly educated’ areas voted to remain. Supportfor Brexit was also stronger than average in areas with a larger number ofpensioners. Of the 20 youngest authorities 16 voted to remain,but of the 20 oldest authorities 19 voted to leave. (Goodwin and Heath).Goodwin and health believed that same support can be seen UKIP and their talkof “left behind communities” the same result of in the areas that were older white people in poorareas and it was UKIP vote’s vote forsupport was consistently weaker in younger and more culturally diverse areaswho were finically secure.
This explained why the differences in local demographyhelped UKIP win 40% in places which struggled economically like Rotherham. However,it is said the role of the leader like Nigel Farage is what persuade for peopleto vote for UKIP also in the leave campaign the leadership of Boris Johnson. Ifyou liked Boris and agreed with some of the factors you were likely to for Brexit. With Farage, he was less popular amongthe professional middle-classes yet more popular among voters who felt leftbehind. Both leaders knew the by June the core driver for their votes wasimmigration.
The remain side leaders were not as effective compared to theleave campaign. This then leads to the main assumption on why people voted for Brexitwas due to migration. Communities that received a major influx of migration inlast decade were more likely to vote for Brexit. For instance, in Peterborough,it was estimated the growth of EU migration only grew by 7 percentage point and61 percent of people voted to leave (goodwill guy). Nevertheless, areas withhigh levels of EU migration were more likely to be pro-remain. This finding demonstratesthe when it came to the effect of migration the effect it had on the referendumwas due to the latest experience of sudden change rather than the overalllevel. It is also believed theroles of attitudes and values had a heavy influence on the referendum, as theissue of sovereignty and national identity towards immigration caused people tovote leave.
As nearly 90 percent of people thought immigration was bad for theeconomy making them vote leave, compared to the 10 percent who believedimmigration was good for the economy who voted to stay. Likewise, with 88 percentof people believed the country should have fewer immigrants as these werepeople who felt “very strongly British” had a very narrow notion of national identity. (Ford,R& Goodwin,M,2016). It is also believed these people felt disillusioned withpolitics which made them vote to leave.
Eric Kaufmann5 states people who supported Brexit hadsocially conservative views likewise people who vote to stay had liberal views.This suggested that there is an underlying difference in values that peopleconsider as in important. Indicating why people were so attracted to leave theEU. The relationship between deprived areas and the level of support forBrexit. The financial times (2016), performed two economist analysation whichdiscussed the relationship between wage growth as a reason for the leave voteand the past support for UKIP. They found a notable link between a lack of wage growth and votesgoing to UKIP at the 2015 generalelection. Which can be seen in the struggling communities like Castle Point inEssex the with the wage being declined to 13% since 1997.
Based on theseresults Sarah Neville stated that the disappointing economic forecasts launchedby the remain campaign had failed to resonate within communities that for ageneration had missed out on increases of wages that have been displacedelsewhere in the country. However, the work of the Resolution Foundation (2016) claims there is no link between prosperity andon why people voted out. As some of the areas who did vote to leave had a bigincrease in hourly earnings like in Christchurch in Dorset. Unlike Rushcliffein Nottinghamshire who experienced a drop in earning who voted to stay.However, it can be suggested aggravate level is from a long entrenchment offeeling left out instead of levels of income which may explain why people votedout. In general, it was areas wherepeople tended to earn less that voted for Brexit even if these were not alwaysthe communities that had been the most badly affected in recent years.
Theimplication is that ‘it’s the shape of our long-lastingand deeply entrenched national geographical inequality that drovedifferences in the voting patterns'(Resolution Foundation,2016) 1https://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2016/06/eu-referendum-22https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Letter-from-Sir-Andrew-Dilnot-to-Norman-Lamb-MP-210416.pdf3https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/82964https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/82965http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/category/public-services-and-the-welfare-state/ 1 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM:xy0024u2 https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/9282/