Brexit, the implications of “leave” for Ireland and the power of propaganda.

If you’ve got money, you vote in… If you haven’t got money, you vote out.”

On the 23rd of June, 2016 the UK decided to leave the European Union on a vote of 51.9% in favour of leaving and 48.1% wishing to remain. However, not even two weeks later there were several thousand people marching in the streets of London in fear of the decision which some feel would lead to much more hate crimes, economic calamity and overall negative implications for the UK. Bob Geldof who feels strongly about the UK remaining stated, “We need to individually organise ourselves. Organise those around us and do everything possible within our individual power to stop this country being totally destroyed [by leaving the EU].”

But not only would the UK be affected by the leave vote but so would its neighbouring countries including, Ireland. According to the Irish Times there will be a vast amount of uncertainty for some time. Others stated it would not be for years until it is clear what the leave vote will have achieved. Between the north and south there could be a customs and value-added tax frontier on the border. Notably for the agricultural industry, “in which there cannot be completely free trade, because the UK will have to introduce its own agricultural policy, to compensate UK farmers for the loss of the EU farm policy.” The cost of sustaining business and markets between the Republic and the North will rise somewhat. More broadly a potential outcome where the UK could not agree its preferred desired trade policies with the EU, Ireland could be affected by as much as 3% loss to GDP in fourteen years time (2030).

The Media and Elites.

The anti-EU right in the UK have pushed a strong PR campaign to favour a leave vote. One which worked very well. Alastair Campbell stated “Accuracy? Do me a favour; we have papers to sell, agendas to drive, scores to settle, personal interests to defend.” The political economy is still alive and well when it comes to serious issues with economic and personal interests lay in the balance and will continue to do so.

And who will ever forget the leave “bus” which highlights such a momentous propaganda stunt carried out by the euro-skeptics and got away with lying to its public. Prior to the vote it was stated by the leave campaign that there would be an extra £350m to be spent on heathcare. Nigel Farage who fought hard to push a leave vote later denied that this money was available to be spent on healthcare but only AFTER millions of people voted. After being questioned on this point Farage stated “No I can’t [guarantee it], and I would never have made that claim. That was one of the mistakes that I think the Leave campaign made,” he said.340824BA00000578-0-The_Vote_Leave_campaign_bus_pictured_boasts_the_slogan_We_send_t-a-10_1462964654628

For the UK the leave decision will alienate the them more from Europe and make them a subordinate to the US on the global market. It will also negatively affect Ireland (The Republic) as one of the UK’s biggest trading partners. We will have to wait and see what the exit from the EU will fully mean  for Ireland and the UK. The GBP has plummeted overnight and some have suggested that there will be another referendum on the decision. It will be an interesting number of weeks, months or even years ahead as the UK goes alone without the EU.

James Fahey

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