Just a reminder that the results of my Best-Worst Scaling survey which showed what would happen if we could know the (LEAVE/REMAIN) view of every eligible voter in the UK is on my work account.
Most follow-up – regional variation, recommendations as to which type of BREXIT are preferred by whom, how 8% of that 28% who never turned out to vote could have held the key to everything – will be on that account too.
Some interesting observations from the raw data – and remember we can look at an individual’s responses here, because BWS gave us 10 data points to estimate 5 parameters:
The East Midlands, although heavily LEAVE, skews quite heavily toward a different type of BREXIT to other LEAVE regions.
The strong preference for free trade is simply not there….it has shifted – VERY heavily – toward the free movement of people throughout Europe. This “strong positive liking of immigration” is visible nowhere else. The non-English countries/principalities (Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) have a broadly neutral view on immigration. The non East-Midlands part of England strongly dislikes it
East Midlanders also have a strong antipathy toward several key aspects of the EU – in fact the pattern of their dislikes looks remarkably consistent with a “Swiss form of BREXIT” – one of the so-called “soft” BREXIT options.
They also are the region which loathes the EU budget contribution the most.
Their results form a remarkably realistic view, compared to some other segments of British society: they (we – am a Nottinghamian) seem quite happy to sacrifice elements of the single market and the customs union, plus we’ll adopt a constructive view on immigration with our European neighbours if it means we “get some money back”. We’ll also compromise on free trade quite happily.
So what gives? Has everyone round here had some secret training in Ricardo’s work, thus recognising when free trade is not welfare-enhancing?
I have refrained from commenting on the BREXIT issue. Largely because there has been a complete lack of rational debate and the vilest epithets have been thrown around by both sides.
But I think there enough clearer heads now to note a few things. First of all a declaration of conflict of interest. Most of my Dad’s family are from Lincolnshire, and Boston in particular, one of the biggest centres of euroscepticism generally and referendum “Leave” votes specifically.
I make no attempt to endorse the views of many of these people. I merely seek to understand. And the prevailing view is/was rage. Rage, that there was no investment to cope with the housing/NHS demands by the huge numbers of immigrants needed to provide middle class people with the fruit and veg they wanted on the cheap. My grandfather fought in WW2 alongside free Poles. He loved the Poles and taught his family to – they lived in Boston for decades. But when my uncle notes that my cousin can’t get a GP appointment for my niece without a 5-6 week wait, I do begin to understand the rage. They get on with and like their Polish and other Eastern European neighbours. They just ask “but why are we bearing the brunt of the demand for social services?”
Another issue is rapidly coming to the fore……for those who read the mainstream press rather than the bloggers who actually look at the finances of the Eurozone banks it is time you started paying attention. Italy has a problem. A very very serious problem. One that could blow up the Eurozone. Please go look at the interconnectedness of European banks. That bank regarded as the doyenne of financial rectitude, Deutsche Bank, is heavily interlinked with Italy.
The powers that be are getting afraid. Afraid that the Italians might, actually, end up leaving the Eurozone. When you have a “savings account” that actually turns out to be something that is closer to “shares in the bank and therefore eligible to be wiped out under the new banking rules” it would be unsurprising if it made you mad. We are getting closer to that point.
So whilst I do acknowledge that the BREXIT side had a lot of people voting that way for the “wrong reason”, can we acknowledge that a lot of pro-Europeans really don’t understand just how close to the precipice they are? I think a good dose of reality is required on both sides. I was heartened to see this today and made me finally write this post.
Best article I've read for a while on Brexit, the right, the left, confirmation bias and hatred. Deserves sharing: https://t.co/tGI2wj9jjM