Why did the British people vote for Brexit?



According to many newspapers, current burning issues — as immigration, european crisis, economic depression — are the cause of Brexit. 

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« What were the root causes of Brexit? Was it about sovereignty and “taking back control”? Was it about immigration? Was it just a chance to give David Cameron’s government a good kicking?

Globalisation, immigration, lows wages, de-industrialisation – all of these have been blamed as root causes of Brexit. On the other hand, some argue that was no “real reason” why people voted for Brexit, because “Leavers” are all different and all had different motivations. This is obviously true, but it’s also unhelpful when trying to craft a policy response – it’s better to try and consider broadly the reasons that motivated the largest number of people. […]  »

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 » […] Why did so many millions of people vote to leave the European Union? The idea that they were motivated by an obsessional revulsion at “Brussels bureaucrats”, or some deep anxiety about diminished national sovereignty, can be discounted.

Whenever pollsters ask the public to name the most important issue facing the country, Europe and sovereignty never come anywhere near the top of the list, trailing well behind the likes of immigration, the condition of the NHS and the health of the economy. There was no mass popular clamour for last week’s referendum.

Yet there was a high turnout on Thursday. And many millions chose to put a cross in the box marked “Leave”, despite the contrary urgings of an impressively broad and deep coalition of opinion that encompassed the leaders of the three biggest political parties, the trade unions, major business leaders, distinguished scientists, the majority of economists, Barack Obama and David Beckham.

So why did they do it? Was it about money, or rather the lack of it? Some new research by the labour market economists Brian Bell and Stephen Machin, seen by The Independent, suggests the Leave vote tended to be bigger in areas of the country where wage growth has been weakest since 1997. This would seem to support the popular theory that this was essentially a giant protest vote against the political class by people who feel economically “left behind” in modern Britain.

But others suggest it was really a cultural divide that was revealed, rather than an economic one. Another popular explanation for the mass support for Leave is that it was a protest by those who are inherently uncomfortable with the social changes in Britain in recent decades, particularly with immigration, and that the Leave vote symbolised a mass longing to turn the cultural clock back. A poll by the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft seems to support this, with Leave voters being generally much more hostile to concepts such as multiculturalism, social liberalism, feminism and environmentalism. […] »

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