Unexpected upsides of Brexit

I didn’t have the courage to vote for it, but Brexit will probably have marvellous upsides, and especially after a bumpy patch. Here are three “factions” who will probably have to re-adjust their thinking, in a good way, because of Brexit.

Firstly, the cosmopolitan, metropolitan, orthodox, university graduate, young liberals for whom “anti-racism” is a proto-religion. These nice, liberal people have for a long time disliked their country, and especially the working-class, on the basis that the benighted are sort of fascist. Brexit will reveal their compatriots to be quite nice, as it was when they haphazardly started and ran an empire, fought two world wars and intervened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and as they did their best to be tolerant whilst immigrants came in very large numbers.

Secondly, the cross, variously quite well-off and quite-poor, but mostly under-educated UKIPpers who thought they could wind back time, to some mythic period of British greatness when one could be dim but glorious. These people will find that Britain needs people to be smart, energetic, communicative, and as well-educated as their intellects allow.

Thirdly, the disaffected white working class of the former industrial heartlands of the country who believed that their woes were exacerbated (rather than somewhat, if circuitously, relieved) by the EU. They will learn that Brexit thrusts the UK on the high, uncharted seas of globalisation, where it will probably thrive, provided the country’s working class realise that almost all their shibboleths are false. The sweat of brows is what’s need, they will find, in an age when hydraulics and robots do the heavy lifting. They will discover at last that the merits of obedient muscle, herded by leftist Union leaders, were made redundant by progress, not by Thatcher or the EU.

All the above may even, with luck, come to see that under-paid and over-worked MPs, and the Establishment, the Elite, and experts in general, have all worked with a mix of self-interest and very large dollops of public spirit. What is more, three denialist factions above will variously find that the pub, the Cloud, the Crowd and Twitter and even referenda cannot replace the representative democracy they cannot be bothered to think about. They have been indulging in the easy dissidence of the well-governed.


Paul samengo-turner
I tend to agree with your points, but is seems to me that you ignore the major reason for staying in, which is contributing to the EU's leadership and which reflects the need for Europe to stay together and confront their issues together. One must be embarassed by the appalling rudeness and incivility of our countrymen. I suppose we can be grateful that we have an adult at the wheel now and a long-to-be running sitcom at the Foreign Office, but it's not very serious. When Boris says he is very worried about the escalating war of words on Crimea, do you think anyone pays attention? England used to lead and offer solutions. i fear she has commited herself to invisibility.
I do hope you are beeing too gloomy, Paul. Luckily I don't find v much incivility in my fellow-countrymen, but then I do stay away from social media. I do think BJ may become quite a good voice and note that he has not often said anything silly, though he enjoyed thinking of silly ways to say them. Now he is in office at the FCO, he may well find ways of being amusing. clever and more obviously reserved. I am holding my breath on TM. She seems to have swallowed a set of interesting agendas, perhaps from her team. Reconciling the left-Tory drift she seems to have adopted with what I suspect is her inner right-Tory social instinct will be a high-wire act. I v seriously want her to succeed.

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Publication date

27 June 2016