Brexit: an historic decision dictated by contingent reasons
So much it has been said, and so much will be said about this night that will have repercussions for an entire generation of British but also European citizens and, more indirectly, for the rest of the world.
Only a few months ago polls showed an advantage of Remain in double figures. What happened? They were completely bogus polls? British people have had in the meantime the opportunity to inform themselves and to better understand the issues at stake and then decide with greater awareness?
This is the view of those who argue the priority of direct democracy, that see the referendum as the highest expression of the will of the sovereign people.
I have, however, a different view. The referendum has been won by the Brexit side for a purely conjunctural reason and, at the end, fortuitous: who had the led of the Brexit campaign, the people who were there at that time, has been more talented of those who were found to drive the campaign of Remain.
They were better at grasping the feelings of the electorate. They won for the heart, partly helped by the not exactly idyllic feeling that the population (not just the British one) has in this historic period for the political representatives.
By contrast, those responsible for the campaign Remain, on the one hand have failed to communicate the true values associated to EU membership, and on the other, focusing on paternalism (“Beware, if you vote for Brexit it will happens the end of the world!”), they make themselves even more unpleasant.
It is not just the ineptitude and the low level of confidence of Cameron to be blamed, if the Remain lost. Even the “external campaign” has certainly not helped. Mr. Junker, the President of the European Commission (another not really “loved” politician) and other European leaders have insisted on the message “If you choose Brexit, we will punish you!” …not really a message of peace and love for the British people.
In short, supporters of Remain, instead of focusing on the common values of the European project, the friendship between the people of UK and the other European nations, have bogged down in warnings about the financial and commercial risks of Brexit, giving even more the impression of a gray and bureaucratic Europe.
Yet another indicator of how this vote can be seen as a protest vote, made by heart more than by reason, has been the prior assessments of the voting made by the brokers. All (or most) were convinced that the Remain still would have won. In these conditions, I can express my protest vote more serenely, without worrying too much about its consequences (this is also the reason why in the voting for the European Parliament, considered quite useless, they often prevail protest movements in comparison to national elections).
Then, British citizens have really voted because they consider an England without Europe more efficient and more secure? In my opinion no (after all, rationally, they were already out of the Euro currency and outside Shengen). They voted because the campaign of Remain has paradoxically managed to make them feel Europe even more distant, and perhaps more than the financial and commercial problems (which will be resolved) this is the most worrying legacy this election will leaves.