VOTING WILL GET UNDERWAY IN A FEW HOURS
I am one who knows the UK extremely well having spent more time there than even here in SL, but despite rejecting the offer of citizenship, that I had received, and lucrative employment, I chose to return, to contribute in whatever way I can to this Country, as amply illustrated here in this blog, and
I have not even stepped out of this Country in a decade but know the change that the EU has brought into the UK in terms of people who have moved in to contribute to the Economy and the vibrancy of a multicultural society there.
May I pontificate on this issue, as I lived and voted in the UK for entry at their referendum in the 70s, seeing the fear mongering, not unlike the Rajapakse regime’s jingoisim against “foreign” used to instill baseless fear amongst “idiot” people no matter what ills the Country faces, resorting to fiction to fool the people.
I know, when the voters go to the polls in a few hours, it is the undecided as of yesterday, who will use their irrational emotive feelings, to decide once and for all which way the UK will turn in their mark for survival, and God help those perceived as foreigners if the Brexiters prevail!
I will only concentrate on a few issues of the debate to make my case. The UK has 65Million residents at present. This includes EU nationals, who do not have the vote, and Commonwealth nationals who do! An anomaly that is irrational in any sense of the word. There are approximately 15 Million UK passport holders who live outside the UK, some holding dual nationality. They will not be voting in this UK election, as they are not registered to vote there.
Don’t forget the millions of British retirees who live in Europe, who have benefit from being part of the EU. In this comparison, I will not stoop to enter into comparisons with tin pot sizes countries that choose to be in Europe like Ireland, and Greece, or those that choose to be outside, like Switzerland and Norway, as their size and unique circumstances, do not merit discussion here.
The UK is the Country with the HIGHERST growth rate in the EU. Even higher than the resurgent Germans, who are benefitting from the influx of the Millions Syrians to drive their economy. They also have the lowest Unemployment rate in the EU. Remember this is inspite of being in the EU. No wonder then that Cameron decided to go for a referendum, to put the Country to rest once and for all, and did not foresee the Immigrant crisis, and fear of a flood of being overrun taking over the rational debate on the pros and cons of membership.
Due the English language and extremely tolerant people in general, it is a country that draws people from all over the world, despite its unpredictable weather! It is now very hard to find an Englishman in London. Even the Mayor of London, though born in the UK is of foreign parenthood and Islamic beliefs.
This goes to show the level of tolerance, of a Country that immediately accepted 30,000 Ugandans of Asian origin in 1971, when I lived there, when Idi Amin the ruler, expelled them. They came with only the clothes they wore, as Amin confiscated ALL their property, and now they and the next generation, are some of the Wealthiest in the UK. These people have contributed enormously to the new Economic miracle that is the UK now, a long way from the basket case of Europe, when I arrived there to go to school!
Will anyone acknowledge today, that the UK if they did not accept immigrants, and not join Europe, they would have been one of the poorest Countries in Europe, with an ageing and falling population, and a dying Industry, with a lazy labor force, unwilling to work due to a generous welfare system, and high taxation. IN short, a nation DYING A SLOW DEATH!
Since joining the EU, with the shortage of workers being filled by skilled labor from Europe. I remember how the Poles came and rebuilt London. I remember the soot that covered Buckingham Palace and Whitehall. The gentrification of London, from a squalid cesspit, to a clean and beautiful city, is thanks to EU. Even the arm pit called Peckham, which had worse slums than those along the banks of the Kelani River, where you could buy a whole house with sitting tenants for 1000 pounds, now refurbished can sell for more than 3Million pounds! Only those who remember then can genuinely make this statement, as even David Cameron would not have been allowed to go into those areas as boy, as being too dangerous, and where his millennials now call home.
I don’t think for a moment that if not for the EU and the UKs prime spot within it, the Financial and Tourism Hub it is would have resulted. Now in 2016 the cry to EXIT! Will they ask the 5 million Europeans to leave? They contribute 20% of the UK economy. No, even the Bxiters want them to remain! How ironic! They want to have their cake and eat it too.
Yes, European bureaucracy is stifling, and the UK parliament has lost some of its executive powers, but all countries have ceded controls of one sort or another to the UK by agreeing to join, it is part of the Globalization of the world. Yes, when Turkey enters the EU there will be 80M new consumers and producers, and a few who will want to migrate. Remember from the Sri Lankan case, those who wish to migrate are the most productive, motivated, and industrious people there are in ANY community, and they most often than not contribute to the host and NOT take from them.
Don’t use the daily imagery of migrants crossing the channel to detract from the argument. The attempts to cross to the UK will in fact increase when out of the EU, as they will not help to stop the flow, and will look the other way, when the “flotilla of reverse of Dunkirk sets sail to the white cliffs of Dover” Will the UK coast guard, man their guns and shoot all the boats in midsea? That is the ONLY way to stop them after leaving the EU!
What I say is DON’T confuse Immigration with Brexit, they are frankly not related in this context of the world where people are desperate to leave, and unless you want to be a Barbarian like Australia, to send them to desert islands and let them stew, you are bound to have this, until the Countries that people leave from are more livable. That is an international crisis that the wealthy nations have a duty to solve for their own sake, let alone the greater good of humanity.
I am concentrating on the main the issue of Brexitiers, their TRUMP card, to quash their whole argument out of sight. Simply put, I don’t believe exiting the EU will PREVENT the immigrant draw into the UK, and the UK will not have any MORE control of that due to their inability to date despite the ONLY Country with border controls, to manage to prevent leakage.
We know now that Brexit will result in the pound crashing. It will initially boost exports, but will the EU their biggest market remain so, as barriers will be put, in preference and Turkish goods will flow easier. Skilled Turkish workers will man the big German Industries, that are desperately short of workers. The competitive prices will mean that more Benz cars will come to the UK than the reverse! Making a complete mockery of the argument in the first place, as the British Industry is going to suffer from the EU market loss, rather than gain.
Then look at the plight of the UK pensioners in Southern Europe, escaping from British weather and costs, living on their UK pension. Will they have to leave? If they return the strain on the health services, will be unbearable. The non-productive oldies, will replace the young enterprising migrants. Will it turn the UK into a land of starvation and misery, with a strain on a welfare system that will not be able to cope, instead of the reverse, which the Brexiters have been fear mongering about.
Brexit fears the UK schools will be under pressure, due to migrants. Any country that has youthful migrants will have young families that have children, and schooling means more BUILDINGS and TEACHERS. So what is the problem with that? More construction jobs, but that may go to the immigrants because the locals don’t want to work. HAVE WE NOT SEEN THAT HERE IN SRI LANKA? Remember the Migrants do the jobs the lazy British (even University graduates) don’t want to do.
This is the reason Sri Lanka is stagnating. There are 250,000 vacancies in Sri Lanka today, with the people who don’t want to do those jobs, either because the pay is too low, or because they are in areas that people don’t want to go and live in. Either way, the only way they will be filled, is giving 100,000 work permits to unemployed Indians from Tamil Nadu to work here. They will take the jobs that are on offer, which will double the output of many Sri Lankan firms, that can both provide the domestic demand, and supply export markets. It will grow the Economy. This is the same argument against Brexit!
Yes, the White Englishman is a dying breed! Brexit will not stop that at all. They will be extinct in 50 years, just like the Sinhala Buddhist will as well. Hey at least the British were wise about that, they got their Royalty, from Germany, when the British royals lost their sperm count and could not produce heirs!
If there is a lesson about Brexit for SL, it is the argument of an Island mentality at war over the Global mentality. SL is already SUNK IN a Global world with 2 million of our people working and living abroad, with some remitting their earnings back to Sri Lanka. We cannot close our borders to anyone or anything. We MUST make our Country livable, to retain the most productive, and the Island mentality will ONLY make them leave our shores at a faster rate than ever, and it is the Global mentality that will encourage them to stay.
It is therefore again to the benefit of the UK to remain in a globalized world, giving an opportunity to the best of the world to build the value of their HOST country, and it is time Sri Lanka learns its lessons from this same argument as to how we can move forward with enlightenment and not be stuck in the past.
I hope the UK will remain. If they leave, it will be a lesson in democracy, that we have not done a good job in educating people yet to be global citizens, instead, are still hankering after a past that does not exist and will not return. The UK killed off its hedgerows, and Brexit will NOT bring them back.
We must always look forward to a vision of a world, where we can all live in peace and harmony, and make all currently unlivable places more livable. I live in an area, where people are desperate to leave as they have NO HOPE. I want to bring that hope and love for their Village back with positive thinking! CAN DO SPIRIT of regeneration with NEW TECHNOLOGY, to improve the quality of life.