Michael Crowley examines how the Leave campaign's exaggerations have led Britain to a bad situation.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on the 23rd of June 2016, the first country to do so. A campaign that clearly showed the disconnect between politicians and the public and which became the theme of 2016, was fraught with lies over the workings and the cost of the EU. However, the lies prevailed and now it is time to face the consequences.
Karma has a way of meddling in all of our lives. If we are lazy, then our work can get harder. If we are dishonest, then we will usually suffer worse than if we were honest. Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU based on such grievous lies, (the supposed £350 million for the NHS for example) they should face the consequences of those lies. Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU to take control of immigration, they should face the consequences of that fallacy. The United Kingdom must suffer the harsh reality of a post-Brexit world, to show the world the danger of lying.
Now, I imagine people will read this and consider that politicians lie literally all the time. It's part of the job. But the level of intense lying has increased in the past year, as we witnessed the rise of a man whose worldview is completely distorted become the US President, and saw a country coerced by a generally pleasing but impossible reality. Lying may always have been a fixture of politics, but it has never risen to the same level as it is now. And when it has risen to a more unacceptable level, there have been repercussions. To assume that the world has shifted away from this tradition of punishing those who deceive others is to assume that our morals and opinions have undergone a fundamental change over the course of a year.
Britain seems to believe that its position as a country who voted to leave the EU allows it to be heavy handed in the discussions of its ‘divorce’. However, this is the perfect opposite of reality. Britain is a single country among many in the world, and has never been as crucial a member of the EU when compared with France or Germany. Theresa May’s threats towards the EU in regards to security are unfounded, as the UK already cooperates and has agreements with EU members. Britain believes that it is important, perhaps bolstered by the lies which drove its campaign to leave, but it is not special. It is a single country among many. Europeans do not see Britain as special, but they do notice that the British perceive themselves as such. Thus, we may see a more heavy-handed discussion and resolution from the European Union, pushing to curb a more snobbish attitude from the United Kingdom. The lies have bolstered a false strength, and already the EU has shown it will not give in.
That is the main reason why the United Kingdom will fall. The country must suffer the consequences of its misdeeds. There can be no Britain-benefiting deal to come from this process. The European Union's continued existence is more pivotal for the stability and peace that has emerged in Europe than the existence of a vestige of a conquering and overbearing power. Already Scotland has chosen to assert itself within the halls of parliament, and one way or another it will try to crawl away from the pit the English have carried them into. The island of Ireland will not remain unscathed from those who were inconsiderate enough to consider its turbulent and unstable balancing act. While Scotland has chosen to vote again for its independence, Northern Ireland has had a snap election with no government or compromise in sight. Amid this background their ruling parliament chose to leave the stabilizing force of Europe. Their inconsiderate action must be punished.