On Brexit: the outcome of UK elections next May to be based on false promises?

Mr Cameron seems to be trying to get inside the British voter's mind! He thinks he is able to convince the electorate that the "Referendum Promise Land" is a worthy cause to get re-elected. Shot taken during the national briefings at the European Council on 20 March in Brussels. (European Council TVNewsroom, 20/03/2015).

Mr Cameron seems to be trying to get inside the British voter’s mind! He thinks he is able to convince the electorate that the “Referendum Promise Land” is a worthy cause to get re-elected. Shot taken during the national briefings at the European Council on 20 March in Brussels. (European Council TVNewsroom, 20/03/2015).

The British elections that will take place on 7 May will show whether UK’s relationship with the European Union is about to change dramatically or not. Britain has always been seeking to have a different and more privileged approach in comparison to the rest of the EU member states and now is even proposing to hold a referendum with the question to stay in or out the EU. The promise is set for 2017 by its Prime Minister David Cameron and the UK voters seem to buy it very dearly.

Every once in a while, as we get closer to the elections, you have “right leaning” studies or polls coming to the surface that “prove” how beneficial the Brexit would be. This time it is the British businesses to be in favor of this referendum supported by the report “Britain and the European Union: What business thinks”, issued by Business for Britain, which is based on a study of more than 1000 UK business leaders.

To be noted here that while the referendum would happen in two years time, if the Conservative party of Mr Cameron wins the elections, still the question that will be set remains unknown, something that makes things pretty unclear for the UK voters. At the end of the day if the referendum happens, the question might as well be formed on the basis of a “slight” modification of UK’s position but within the EU; and that only to serve the “pop myth” of the referendum.

Referendum’s scope

Mr Cameron is currently trying to gather votes from the electorate that is undecided or even “steal” votes from other parties, UKIP being top in his list. His hopes are gathered around the referendum hype regarding EU membership which he so vigorously defends in his pre-electoral announcements. Nevertheless, the percentages that he receives so far in the polls compared to the Labour party are only a breath’s distance, something that clearly reveals that this action is not as successful as Mr Cameron would expect.

On the other side, Ed Miliband, the Labour’s party leader and Cameron’s main opponent in the upcoming elections, has stated his party’s main pledges with the core idea being to stay within the EU but claiming a leadership role in it. In this way, this British politician plays it rather safe, keeping distance from Cameron’s Brexit promise land but at the same time serving the “island’s expectation” that UK should be always receiving a special treatment for the sake of its glorious past.

Mr Miliband has stated to Bloomberg the following on the matter: “There could be nothing worse for our country or for our great exporting businesses than playing political games with our membership of the European Union – I’m not going to do it. It (the referendum) threatens to leave UK businesses out of a market that gives them access to the world’s largest trading bloc. It’s simply the wrong direction for our country. If you care about strong foundations, if you care about long-term stability, if you care about prosperity, then Britain must be a committed member of a reformed European Union, not threatening to leave, not locked out of the room.”

The role of the business sector

It seems that the UK’s Prime Minister has by his side the majority of the business owners. The survey that was conducted with 1024 companies, of which 70% were SMEs, showed that 66% of them want a referendum to be held whereas only 26% voted against. Robert Oxley, the campaign director of Business for Britain, mentioned that: “just like voters, business leaders back a referendum as it’s the best way to secure meaningful change to our relationship with the EU”.

What is more, 56% of the companies under investigation supported the modification of the EU treaty in order to change Britain’s relationship with the EU, something that the leader of the Labour Party is trying to promote in his electoral campaign. It needs to be mentioned here that trade was the section that they would like to see the majority of the changes occur; one of the main reasons that a “Brexit” would be beneficial according to the think tank Global Britain.

Yesterday, this organisation also published a report about the recommended “Brexit” option-the Global Britain Free Trade Option. In this research paper, the UK would be subject to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and would be able to become “the largest free trade economy in the world by removing all trade tariffs on imports from other nations”. Thus, yesterday an exit from the EU was seen as the best choice for the UK according to Global Britain. Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe another study casts light on some other “dubious” findings.

Should I stay or should I go?

Now the “game” rests in the hands of the British voter who must state her own opinion and will. Does she really want to stay in or out of the EU? Of course the mere question stands if and only if a question like this will be the exact question of referendum in two years time from now and if and only if Mr Cameron wins the elections.

A last month’s poll showed that UK voters do not base their final decision on the factor that is called Europe (only 8% consider Europe important) but on others such as the national health system (38%), the economy (31%) and immigration (25%).

Nevertheless, they should bear in mind that even if they don’t see Europe as a crucial and influential factor for their decision in the national elections, a possible “Brexit” will have serious impact on their economy and immigration as well. What kind of impact? It seems that there are plenty of studies showing this or that but nobody can really sign a contract about it. Doesn’t it seem like Brexit is too vague for the voter to grasp at this point?

The Promise Land

Consequently, a more thorough investigation of the pros and cons of a UK exit from the EU should be weighted by all UK citizens before the 7th of May. The problem is, as always, that the vast majority of voters do not have either the knowledge or the time or even will to dig into this; their daily routine and problems keeps the busy enough already.

But more so, even the “connoisseurs”, political leaders, opinion poll companies or well-known British economists find it too hard to accurately estimate the “Promise Land” at this stage. An isolated UK would be able to trade with everybody through WTO, as the recent study reveals, but what is really there to trade in the UK the study did not tell us. UK is definitely neither Germany nor France in manufacturing production; instead a substantial part of the country’s GDP (78%) is produced by the services sector, while the financial sector in London is already some 10% of the British economy.

With no serious economist being able to put his signature on a clear forecast of the Brexit’s economic outcomes and the British average voter being unable to grasp the matter in its full length, it seems that the outcome of the UK elections next May is bound to be based on false promises.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases

AI is transforming cybercrime. Here’s how we can fight back

More than 750 million people around the world would migrate if they could

Advice on fighting COVID-19 from the Red Cross, a chemist and academics around the world: Today’s coronavirus updates

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

5 ways to fast-track the transition to a carbon neutral world

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

How interoperability establishes blockchain’s utility and effectiveness for trade finance

Journey of my life

State aid: Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate Alitalia for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

UN launches new project to address link between terrorism, arms and crime

€2 billion to fast forward the creation of the European Innovation Council

Governments urged to put first ever UN global migration pact in motion, post-Marrakech

Young people demand a transparent job market: new campaign launches on international interns day

European Youth Forum warns of a Peter Pan generation as a result of financial crisis and response to it

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

A health approach to climate change

Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Chicken soup for the digital soul: how to bring community back online

How many websites are there?

Respond to ‘legitimate grievances’ of Sudanese people, UN human rights experts urge, following protests

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

Tragedy of Mediterranean deaths continues, as seven drown, 57 rescued: UN migration agency

Air Pollution: Responsibility of Technology and Medicine

These are the countries where it’s still illegal to get an abortion

The Great Reset and digital trust: 3 lessons on digital tools from the COVID-19 crisis

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

AXA and Fremtind discuss how AI and analytics is changing insurance claims forever

Companies need help to overcome rising

How the mobile industry is driving climate progress on the scale of a major economy

Integration of migrants: Commission launches a public consultation and call for an expert group on the views of migrants

Suriname’s climate promise, for a sustainable future

Finland is a world leader in clean energy. Here’s what’s driving its success

Africa’s shrinking lake shows the impact of climate change on women and indigenous people

Chart of the Day: This is how the $88 trillion global economy is spread around the world

What’s really driving corporate climate action?

Trump to subject the Fed, challenge the ECB and make Wall St. bankers even richer

Autumn 2019 Economic Forecast: A challenging road ahead

Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms key for peaceful polls in DRC – UN mission chief

Who cares more about taxpayers? The US by being harsh on major banks or the EU still caressing them?

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

OECD sees rising trade tensions and policy uncertainty further weakening global growth

The countries most ready for the global energy transition

Direction Wakanda: finance methods to make Africa a superhero continent

A Young student assesses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

UN health agency welcomes Facebook pledge to stop vaccine misinformation from going viral

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

Berlin to pay at the end for Eurozone banks’ consolidation

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

These LGBTQI Davos leaders shared their advice on coming out

EU budget deal struck with Parliament negotiators

National parks give a $6 trillion boost to mental health worldwide

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

Rural Bangladesh has already embraced renewable energy. Here’s what the rest of the world can learn

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s