Most people don’t know what they are talking about. Their interest on the topic started just as the referendum results were announced and their views show a lack of understanding of how EU institutions work and ignorance about the political, economic, legal and cultural consequences of leaving or staying.
While rational and constructive arguments were not scarce, both campaigns resorted to fear mongering and scare tactics.
This is because it works better than rational arguments, sadly. Most people were convinced by rhetoric and dogmas.
The worst of the two was the Remain campaign, however, who with the backing of Hollywood launched a barrage of strawmans trying to assassinate Leave’s character.
It’s hard to identify the benefits and costs of Britain leaving the EU.
Some benefits include: saving tons of money, avoiding burdensome and silly regulations, freedom to lower VAT, more flexibility with reforming employment laws, etc.
Some costs include: temporary but deep monetary and market disturbances, temporary business uncertainty, limited and costly access to the EU markets, severely reduced freedom of movement for people, long and arduous trade negotiations, multiple standard conformity, etc.
It’s even harder to tell if benefits outweigh the costs because not all factors can be quantified to be placed on a scale.
Benefits probably outweigh the costs because Britain will likely reinstate some good elements of EU (something close to the single market and freedom of movement for some Western European countries) while avoiding the negative aspects of EU.
A great deal also depends on how Britain uses this opportunity to reform itself. Just because the UK government won’t have a boss (75% of laws were made in Brussels), the people will. Will they get more personal and economic freedom or less?
Whatever happens, the doomsday scenario some people are fretting about is never going to happen. Remember, UK wasn’t born with the EU and its future relationship with it won’t be too different from that of Norway’s and Switzerland’s — who are doing just fine.
Leaving EU ≠ isolation. Britain didn’t leave to hide behind Iceland and never, ever see EU again. Britain will continue trading with EU, agreeing on common standards, working on securing peace and safety, etc.
This outcome will send a strong signal to EU that it needs to reform itself before it disintegrates. Hollande has already picked up the signal.
It’s amusing to watch how traditional enemies of free trade (i.e. Labour, SNP, Greens) campaigned to remain in EU by citing the single market as a benefit.
The Remain campaign quickly became a bandwagon for that class of people who think they hold the moral high ground and that everyone else is wrong (read hippy baristas, celebrities, Hollywood, pundits).
The Leave campaign faced a huge PR issue: it looks bad because it’s supported by idiots like LePenn, Trump, extreme right-wingers and Communists. Guilt by association.
It doesn’t mean the cause is wrong, though.
The primary motive behind the Leave campaign was anti-immigration. They see immigration as the cause of Britain’s most ills.
This view is almost completely wrong and an easy target for people of low mental faculty. Immigration has always been a scapegoat for problems it has nothing to do with and a thorn in the eurosceptic movement’s ideology.
Anti-immigration policies will hit Britain’s economy somewhat, depriving it of the flexible workforce foreigners provide. Remember, only NHS is staffed 26% by non-British doctors. Immigration is good for the economy, not bad, just like free trade is.
This doesn’t mean voting to leave was wrong because there are other good arguments for it (see above).
Yes, most votes for Leave came from the old and the uneducated but you can’t have it both ways: if you support democracy you must accept it.
It’s farcical to see people who swear by democracy blame UK for settling this through a popular referendum.
David Cameron is an example of how a politician should act when he/she loses an election or referendum.
No, Putin isn’t celebrating. Or if he is, he has no reasons to. First, EU is not a military alliance (it doesn’t have a common foreign policy, let alone defense). NATO is and nothing has changed there. Britain remains as committed as ever to opposing Russian aggression and defending the continent. Furthermore, if the assessment is correct that both Britain and EU will benefit from this cold shower, Russia will face an even stronger foe economically speaking.