Monday, June 27, 2016

"Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances"

Vox's Zack Beauchamp has a great extended article, "Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances", that takes a look at how migration concerns helped create a pro-Brexit majority. Critically, as far as he can prove, these seem not to have been based on actual issues, but rather on perceptions.

The surge [of immigrants] was a result (in part but not in whole) of EU rules allowing citizens of of EU countries to move and work freely in any other EU member country.

Pro-Leave campaigners, and sympathetic observers in the media, argued that this produced a reasonable skepticism of immigration’s effect on the economy — and Brexit was the result.

"The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion," Atlantic editor David Frum writes. "Migration stresses schools, hospitals, and above all, housing."

Yet there’s a problem with that theory: British hostility to immigrants long proceeds the recent spate of mass immigration.

Take a look at this chart, from University of Oxford’s Scott Blinder. Blinder put together historical data on one polling question — the percent of Brits saying there were too many immigrants in their country. It turns people believed this for decades before mass migration even began[.]

A worthwhile read, if a depressing one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha, as long as elites like Beauchamp can't take opponents of mass immigration seriously, the longer analysis like this one will continue to miss the mark.

What is Beauchamp's conclusion? Don't allow democracy, we elites know what is right better than the voters, so why ask their opinion?