May 19, 2016
For some time I have been convinced that the Brexit vote will easily be won by the “remain” camp. After a recent trip to the UK I am feeling much less bullish…
There were some good reasons for my confidence:
– the economic case for the UK to stay in the EU seems to be clear, exit will lead to a shock of unknown size and probably a recession
– “The City” wants to stay in and generally in the UK, whatever the big banks want, they get
– almost all of the well known political class, plus the party grandees, want to remain in the UK and they will have high profile media time as the vote approaches
– the sovereignty case seems to be clear, the UK will not be able to overhaul national legislation if we exit, so staying in seems to be preferable
– I want the UK to remain in the UK and cognitive dissonance makes anything else hard to consider!
However, I’m changing my tune. I recently attended a family event in the UK and had the chance to chat with a number of friends and family. My Brussels experience meant that the topic of Brexit kept coming up.
It would seem to me that the debates are much too complex for the average voter. It all seems clear to me, but it is anything but clear to the people I spoke to. They are family and friends so I did not get into any arguments – ok, just the one… – but their decisions seem to be mostly made and I’m still unsure that I know what they are based on. In other words, they seem to be confident in their judgement, but seem to have no facts to back that judgement up with.
Why am I less confident? Simply because my guess is that there are another 3 or 5 million UK voters with a similarly poorly informed understanding of the issues and they will vote how they vote. Sadly, how they vote is very likely to be influenced by the mainstream print media and their very heavy biases.
I am becoming less confident by the day.financialguy