Brexit: An Avoidable Catastrophe

As an interpreter of things English to the rest of the world I have insisted, ever since the Brexit vote, that for the vast majorty of pro-Brexit voters, the overriding issue is that of the ending of unrestricted migration into Britain.

An article posted on the BBC website today shows that this is still very much the case. This means that the only type of Brexit that pro-Brexit voters will accept is one that does not allow the free movement of EU citizens across UK borders. I would go further and claim that most pro-Brexit voters do not care a fig about any other issue and would be completely ambivalent about remaining in the EU if we still had the border controls in force that existed when the UK joined the EU. This is not an attitude restricted to some English and Welsh people only as it can be found within large sections of the populations of all the EU countries that have become net receivers of EU economic migrants.

If the leaders of the old EU nations had not been so idealistically committed to immediate and complete free movement within the EU but had viewed the concept as something to be aimed for and achieved by incremental and non-disruptive changes over time, then the UK government would not now be in the position of having to achieve the impossible. Most English people will accept change but they do not like it to happen all in one go and, in that, I do not think we differ from most people.

A lot less idealism and a lot more commonsense about immigration issues would have made Brexit an unlikely reality. Sadly, for all involved, it is too late to turn back now.

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