Background: While the anti-immigration propaganda can be linked to the surge in hate crime and according to news reports some people clearly did think that immigrants would have to ‘Leave’ when their vote won, immigration does not necessarily account for people’s choice to vote ‘Leave’. An area by area analysis done at Nottingham Trent University shows that ‘Leave’ votes were generally higher in areas with lower proportions of immigration. This may suggest that less familiarity with ‘outsiders’ breeds fear or prejudice, but it complicates any assessment of voter motivation. Some areas were Conservative shires, others were de-industrialised areas oppressed by the privatisation and austerity policies of successive governments.
Interviews with ‘Leave voters’ in the latter category - such as in ‘Why Did People Vote Leave', or 'The Inquiry into ‘Is Brexit Inevitable?’ suggest that in some areas, the successive de-industrialisation, privatisation and austerity policies over around 30 years, bear a heavy responsibility for people’s disaffection. The UK has the largest wealth gap of EU countries and, with Ireland, has the steepest rise in food insecurity since the 2008 crash. Responsibility for this lies with UK governments not the EU. Some on the left voted Leave in protest against the harsh conditions imposed on Greece and/or the prospect of TTIP being introduced. Yet Greeks voted to accept the conditions because they wanted to stay in the EU and the euro, while 14 rounds of TTIP talks have failed to reach agreement on any of the 27 chapters - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37212746. The UK has not the bargaining power of the EU and is likely to fare worse if a UK-US deal is negotiated for leaving the EU. The origins of the whole eurosceptic/anti-EU campaign since the Maastricht Treaty, lie with far-right business interests and Conservative nationalism that wants the UK free of EU regulations which offer a degree of protection to employees, the environment, against discrimination, and generally uphold human rights. While many on the elite right see the EU as ‘socialist’, many on the left see it as ‘neoliberal’. Arguably it is neither. However, tackling the disaffection in the areas suffering most from successive de-industrialisation, privatisation and austerity policies is long overdue and requires massive investment in industry, jobs, training, house building and public services via a socially just system of taxation.
Tell your MP why this is important - for example:
• The disaffection of people who have borne the brunt of successive government privatisation and austerity policies needs to be acknowledged and addressed in practical ways.
Ask your MP - for example:
• Are you be prepared to support renewed investment in industry, jobs, training, house building and public services?
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