If the Brexit vote was based on racism as some suggest it is interesting to note that in 2014 the largest contributor to British Immigration was the EU with over 160,000 migrants–way more than India, Pakistan or China. Opponents of immigration say that number is misleading because people coming from Africa and the Mideast can stay in some of the newer UE countries for a cup of coffee and qualify for an EU passport, when then allows them to travel freely and seek employment throughout the union or, to tap into Britain’s generous welfare system. One of the saddest aspects to the Brexit vote is the generational divide that has been created, with older people voting to leave and young people voting overwhelmingly to stay. The young side could have carried the day if only more of them had bothered to vote—only 36 per cent of youth participated in this critical referendum. To use a football expression this Brexit vote is an “own goal” by the political and economic establishment in the UK. The Stay side had the resources and the smarts, supposedly, to mount a much stronger campaign, but they pulled their punches. David Cameron’s legacy is now, the man who lost a referendum be did not have to call. Particularly disappointing is the performance of Boris Johnson, the charismatic former London Mayor and a staunch supporter of the Leave Campaign. Lacking any coherent plan on how to disengage Britain from the EU, he apparently also lacked the stomach to vie for the prime ministership even against the nerdish Michael Gove. Cameron was smart to not invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty which would have set in motion Britain’s departure from the EU. Ironically one of the best options for Britain is to do nothing. The referendum is not legally binding, although the public fallout from ignoring the vote would be severe. A snap election following the selection of a new Tory leader could be turned into a second referendum if the political will to frame it that way were present. The rest of the EU presented a tough front to David Cameron last month, telling him to get on with disengagement, but behind the scenes there is worry that a British exit could spell the beginning of the end of the EU as some of the other members are restless as well.
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