The Brexit vote is almost here! Brits vote on June 23 on the decidedly less sexy-sounding issue of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, aka #Brexit (it needs a hashtag). Over the past half year, we at Bombs and Dollars have written a lot about Brexit, EU politics, and Euroscepticism in general. Here are six must-read articles to understand the issues at hand in the vote.
Why B+D reluctantly supports “remain”
“The EU is a vile organisation, and I loathe a superstate, which throws its weight around, has blatant disregard for nation and borders and national interests, and is a Byzantine unelected technocracy, and I despise it as a Realist, a democrat and as a free market proponent. But the question that plagued me for so long is what after? I will be stable in my position, as an educated urban metropolitan elite. But do I want to live in a country ruled by the likes of Nigel Farage and Jayda Fransen? Where “expert” is a reviled word? Do I want break up of a union which has guaranteed the longest peace of our times?
The answer is No.”
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Brexit and the art of deception
Brexit campaigners make a strong case for why Britain would be better off on its own. The problem is their claims are not accurate.
As Daniela Zordova writes, EU countries and their citizens still have a big say in what the EU does. Major treaties need to be approved by countries, and integration proceeds at the behest of the countries.
“The European Union is not a state. It might become one in the distant future but the recent developments suggest that even if the Union is heading that direction, it will take longer than predicted and desired by its Founding Fathers. The European Union does not have the powers of the state. Its Member States voluntarily conferred competences to the Union through the medium of the treaties. The power the Union enjoys has thus been delegated to it by means of the legal process, in contrast to unwritten social contract governing the relations between the state and citizens. Member States retain their sovereignty and the Union can only exercise its feeble enforcement power in case of non-compliance with laws in areas under its competence.”
Barry crashes the Brexit party!
Foreign leaders from around the Western world are trying to convince Britain to stay. From the embarrassing, like foreign legislatures reading poems, to the irrelevant, like Dutch newspapers carrying anti-Brexit covers, it is questionable how much of an impact many of those actions will have.
U.S. President Barack Obama decided to get into the act, too, urging Britain to stay. While Maitra said Obama had made some good points, at the end of the day, it might not be taken kindly by many Brits; “it is unbelievable to think any country, or even the British PM urging Americans to sign and ratify UNCLOS, or form a borderless union with Mexico and Canada, or join AIIB led by China. Not going to happen. Ever.”
Read full article.
THIS…is what majoritarian ultra-nationalism looks like
Sumantra Maitra says, following the assassination of Labour MP Jo Cox, “Never since the early 1980s, had it been so toxic.”
And: “For far too long, British white nationalists has been regarded as stupid idiots who can’t spell or construct a single English sentence, but not anymore. They are a threat, just as much as ultra nationalism across Europe and US, and they need to be identified and dealt with firmly, with extreme prejudice, if necessary.”
Exclusive: Greek far-right organising violent anti-refugee rallies
The controversy over huge numbers of refugees and migrants in Europe has fueled the right-wing. Across Europe, right-wing anti-immigrant parties are doing better than before, and protests–sometimes violent–are frequent occurrences. The situation is especially bad in Greece, which is the first stop for many migrants, where the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has won legislative seats.
Katja Lihtenvalner has been reporting on developments there for B+D. Here is a section of her report on recent anti-refugee riots and assaults:
Shouts rang out at a demonstration held by far-right Greeks protesting against refugees last weekend in Piraeus, a port city south of Greek capital Athens. More troubling was the chant, “Knife into the heart of every antifascist!” That chant would be taken into action with fists and clubs.
Just an hour before Greek rightists reportedly carried out an attack, led by Golden Dawn MPs Yiannis Lagos and Ilias Kasidiaris. They attacked the group of anti-fascists who gathered to protest a Golden Dawn rally.
Among Lithenvalner’s other articles are:
Just another Greek general strike, with a few Molotov cocktails
Anti-migrant performance on football match in Ljubljana
A girl named Sanaa Taleb: “My name is Sanaa Taleb. I come from Morocco. I am being imprisoned for 7 months in detention facilities Elliniko and I demand my freedom.”
“New Cold War” and policies to confront Russia
Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine and saber rattling generally has driven a schism through EU unity. The Eastern European countries are fearful. Some in Western Europe do not want to take on Russia. In fact, right-wing Brexit-supporting entitles like UKIP seem to buy into Russia’s propaganda.
Editors Sumantra Maitra and Mitchell Blatt argue that major steps are needed to combat Russia and lay out those steps:
“No matter how much German foreign minister tries to Germansplain Medvedev’s remarks, there is no questioning that is true. Russia is a shadow of the former Soviet self and simply lacks the capability for global political, military, economic and ideological confrontation. However, that doesn’t make it any less important, because unlike last time, the West is not united. Many in Western Europe and the U.S. and Canada are complacent and accommodating this time around. But for the Baltic countries and Ukraine, they are in big trouble, and they know it.
To deal with this new development, we need to understand and more importantly accept that we’re in a geo-political conflict. Here’s how.”
Read full article.
Featured photo by Photo by Jeff Djevdet of speedpropertybuyers.co.uk