BREXIT is not a breakfast cereal.

It is supposedly friendlier to call it “Brexit” than it is to refer to it as telling the European Union to “Get stuffed.” Yet it is amazing how the polyglot peoples living on those beautiful isles have been squabbling on and off since the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Most recently our Scots cousins had a go at telling the English to bugger off in a hotly contested referendum. Knowing our Scots ancestors, we could correctly forecast that one. They are not only parsimonious but they are cautious of change.

But in this referendum to leave the EU, it is the forces of anti-immigration conservatism that are fighting the more liberal forces for growth. This is almost impossible to forecast. We might hope that clear heads prevail but whether you ignore the pollsters or believe them, this vote is just too close.

Listening to a pro-Brexit Brit cabinet minister the other day, he made the mistake of saying that Britain still had the Commonwealth to support them. That seemed to be whistling past the graveyard (‘ignoring the obvious’ for those not understanding the American idiom). There is no Commonwealth any more. It might be a club of cronies but it is no economic unit.

There are thousands of jobs in the British Isles with Canadian companies that are only located there for access to the European Union. No ready access across the Channel will end those jobs. And the economic impact will hurt Canada as well as Great Briton. And then you look for Canadian help?

The economic impact of a pro-Brexit vote could be an economic disaster for the entire world. The EU has to have the third leg of the leadership stool. And that has been Great Briton. Without the balance brought by the Brits to supporting the EU along with the French and the Germans, the union could fall apart. And it would be criminal for Brit bigotry over the refugee crisis in the EU to be the destructive force.

All we can do from the West is hope beyond hope that common sense prevails. We might not be able to convince the bigots and the ignorant that leaving the EU would be very foolish and destructive but we have always respected the average person on the street when it comes to voting. They will figure it out.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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