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Letter: There Were Many Reasons Behind the Leave Vote

Published on: 5 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 5 Jul, 2016

BrexitFrom John Perkins

In response to: Brexit – ‘We Need To Move On’ Do We? But Where To?

We are moving on into the future, whatever it might hold. “It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

Whatever the Leave voters voted for, all that matters is that they voted Leave. If their reasons were varied then so be it. It will not be any different for those who voted Remain.

A multiplicity of thought converging on a single choice is one reason democracy is successful. Politicians must understand that and if they find it too difficult then they should not pretend to represent the views of others.

Five factors, amongst others, those negotiating Brexit should bear in mind are:

  1. Many of those who voted against full membership are unlikely to accept EU-lite;
  2. “Like Turkey” could also be expressed as like the USA, Switzerland, Singapore, China and more than a hundred others;
  3. Paris and Frankfurt have long coveted the riches of London and have made several attempts to grab a piece for themselves – the fact that they have been unsuccessful so far shows that investors prefer London;
  4. England does not need to secede from the UK, if the Scots want that (far from certain) then they should go to the trouble and expense, but as a sovereign nation the UK can simply leave the EU and negotiate Article 50 afterwards;
  5. How many times must a referendum be held before the result is accepted?

The UK has had a balance of payments deficit for a long time and it became much worse inside the EU.

The EU is not the largest trading bloc in the world, though it has been described as the most powerful. APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] is probably the largest by GDP and both India and China are considerably larger by population.

GDP figures are generally estimated annually and there is no body that publishes them daily (nor can there be), so the assertion that, “The day after the referendum we fell to 6th” is utter nonsense. (As are all the unsubstantiated claims of “deciding to invest elsewhere”, “recruitment slashed”, “stagflation” and “economic disarray”.)

The UK and France used to frequently exchange 5th and 6th positions until France joined the Euro and fell to a more permanent 6th.

It is not possible to lose history any more than it’s possible to lose one’s shadow.

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Responses to Letter: There Were Many Reasons Behind the Leave Vote

  1. David Smith Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    “It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

    Are we travelling well now? I don’t think so.

    How can anyone accept a referendum that is almost 50:50 – this is not a clear picture at all and the result is certainly not what we wanted locally or what London – the capital and globally recognised city – wanted.

    If hindsight was possible it is very clear that after experiencing the last two weeks people would have voted differently and the referendum result would have been different.

    Many of those in government associated with Brexit have found their careers in tatters, Nigel Farage has now stood down (probably to go into hiding following the hornet’s nest he has disturbed and the lack of ability to fulfil any promise) and sadly it’s starting to dawn on many of those that voted to leave that all of the promises that were made were false and that the warnings given, described as scaremongering, are starting to come true.

    So some may say we need to move on but I wish we could move back; at the moment it feels like we are in some horrible dream.

    • John Armstrong Reply

      July 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I feel quite sure that if the vote had gone the other way by the same margin Remainers would have been delighted and hailed it a victory for democracy.

      What we could do without is the Governor of The Bank of England talking down the economy by telling the world the steps he has taken to avert his predicted disaster and thereby bringing it about.

      The thing about horrible dreams; is that you wake up.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    You can talk the markets up as well as down.

    Currently, and recently, there have been many people in the lime light talking it down in an effort to achieve whatever aims they have had in mind.

  3. Brian Holt Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    It is only the well off in Guildford who wanted to stay in the EU, working class people wanted out.

    It was all down to David Cameron, he offered a referendum to the country. He did not have to hold one but it was the biggest blunder he has ever made. He thought he would win and ended up with the biggest shock of his life.

    The country was doing alright before joining the EU, and every thing is speculation at the moment, no one knows the outcome. Now we will be making more of our own decisions.

    The country was right not to join the Euro. Look at the state some countries are in who did.

  4. David Pillinger Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Mr Perkins’s understanding of economics is, I believe, tainted by his unquenchable desire for Britain to stand alone, come what may. A few corrections to his comment:

    1. The Euro has been a very strong currency. The Euro started life at 1.6/1.7 to the pound and has since steadily risen to current levels of 1.2.

    2. It doesn’t matter whether the EU is the largest trading bloc or not; it is the one we do the lion’s share of our business with. Don’t belittle it, we are part of it and as a whole we are a formidable force. Even if it were a small trading bloc, we still would want to do business with it. The fact that it is currently on a free trade basis is brilliant for us.

    3. The balance of payments deficit of the UK is nothing to do with the EU. It is to do with the UK not producing what it consumes so it has to buy it from abroad.

    And on another matter, the belief that the referendum result was “decisive” is really stretching the meaning of this word. It was “marginal” and, as commentators are agreed, was influenced by huge exaggerations and misinformation by the “winning” side.

    • John Perkins Reply

      July 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      My understanding of economics is not “tainted” by my political views. I presume what is meant here is that my opinion is affected by them, as it is with David Pillinger.

      The Euro is only a strong currency in that it is supported by Germany – to understand just how much, refer to the Target2 balances published by the ECB. Having stated that, I don’t understand what this is a “correction” of, as I made no mention of it.

      “The lion’s share” is normally considered to be rather more than 45% and, in any case, most of that trade will continue to be conducted regardless.

      My letter was a response to an earlier one from Susan Parker and, were it read in that context, it would be obvious that I was merely refuting her argument that the balance of payments deficit will be worsened by leaving the EU. So it seems we are in agreement and there is no need for this “correction”. My statement remains true regardless.

      I agree that the result can be considered marginal, but to suggest that only one side used exaggeration and misinformation is not supported by fact and is an insult to the intelligence of voters.

      Finally, I personally do not wish to be part of any “formidable force” – such things have only created unhappiness in the past.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    The Euro is “a very strong currency”?

    It is rather like asking a donkey to pull the same cart as a race horse when you compare the economies of Greece and Germany.

  6. D Gregory Reply

    July 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    What is it with people? They didn’t get their own way so throw their toys out of the pram and if possible cry long enough and hope everyone will say, “There, there. We will stay as long as you keep quiet and stop crying?”

    The result, albeit rather close, was that we come out of the EU. Rightly or wrongly that is the result.

    You don’t keep having a referendum until you get the answer you want. If we have another one and then it is to stay, we should have another one because those who voted Brexit don’t like the result. It is not the best of three. Accept the result and go forward.

    Mind you if the EU had left it as the “Common Market”, as it was originally, we wouldn’t be having this argument. But no, power hungry European politicians wanted a super state, telling each member state that they have to do this or that and cannot be overruled.

    Well it is down to them that Brexit won, so they have themselves to blame and let’s face it, they need us more than we need them.

  7. Stuart Barnes Reply

    July 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Why all this continual whining? The people won and the establishment lost.

    Look at the bright side, we have unseated David Cameron; we have caused all sorts of grief to the “elite”; Corbyn is dead in the water; Farage retires at the top of his game; and we may be the cause of the break up of the corrupt basket case called the EU.

    As some people might say – what’s not to like?

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