Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brexit Vote Underway: Polls Showing Statistical Dead Heat

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Through rain, and conditions that even led to the flooding of some polling places, the voters are coming out in record numbers.  The United Kingdom is voting on whether or not to remain in the European Union, and by a very slim margin, the supporters of remaining in the EU seems to be in the lead.  The political and economic fallout for either decision will be substantial.

Britain has never accepted the EU's monetary unit, the Euro.  They have been a wary member of a union with the rest of Europe, and the battle over whether or not to stay in the European Union has been a true battle of the ages.  Today's vote could influence financial markets vastly, determine if Britain will continue to be deluged with foreigners, and play a part in how global politics is waged.

A British exit, or Brexit, would remove from the EU a key component that enables the EU economy to be a viable one.  Britain is the second largest economy in the EU.  Militarily, the U.K.'s exit would also be a difficult pill to swallow, considering that the United Kingdom is one of the EU's two main military powers.

In the face of socialism failing at an epic rate in a number of European countries, and the threat of Russia in Ukraine and Islamic aggression both through war and through internal invasion in the guise of the flight of refugees, the fallout from a British exit could be devastating for the EU. . . but in the long run would be better for Britain, and the global landscape overall.

Through the four months of campaigning, the polls of Brexit have remained close, though "remain" has been leading until a couple of polls just before the vote saw that lead flip.  The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been a vocal supporter of "Remain", hopes a vote to remain in the EU will end decades of debate over Britain's ties with Europe.

The "Leave" campaign says Britain's economy would benefit from a Brexit. "Remain" says it would cause financial chaos and impoverish the nation for years or even decades to come.

In the case of a financial collapse (of which conservatives say is inevitable) of Europe, it's a matter of should Britain man a lifeboat now, or go down with the ship later.  A number of Scottish heavy-hitters have said that if Britain leaves the EU, Scotland will depart from the United Kingdom and join the E.U. independently.

The "leave" group in the Brexit battle says that if their side wins, it would be considered as Britain's Independence Day.

The deep divide in Britain regarding EU membership is nothing new, but with this vote the lines are becoming more visible.  "Independence Day" was the front page headline of the Sun tabloid, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, while the Daily Mirror warned "Don't take a leap into the dark".

In China, the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, warned Britain would lose its influence globally if voters backed Brexit.

U.S. President Barack Obama to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, have called on Britain to remain in the EU, a message supported by global financial organizations, many company bosses and central bankers.  Political conservatives in the United States, and around the world, have been supporting the British push for leaving the EU.

Internationalists, especially bankers, claim the value of the pound could fall dramatically if Britain votes to leave.  Those supporting that the U.K. leaves the EU say a fall in the value of the pound would boost exports and has found support among some financial specialists and small businesses. It has urged voters to ignore what it calls the "establishment" which it says has the most to lose from Brexit.

The ground gained by "Leave" has been largely fueled by an anti-establishment sentiment that has been growing among the British.

The EU has struggled with migration and economic crises and a Brexit vote would boost opposition to it within other member states.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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