What I tell my friends when they ask about Brexit
As we draw closer to what promises to be a momentous vote for both the future of the UK and Europe – the British referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union – I have observed a peculiar phenomenon. My friends, profoundly concerned about the likelihood of Britain leaving the EU, have gone into a state of mind ranging from a self-inflicted semi-trepidation to downright hysteria.
I must confess: as it happens, most of my friends and Facebook acquaintances are no fence-sitters on the issue of Brexit. They want the UK to stay in the EU and they fear the worst: that Britain will pull up its draw bridge and return to its 19th century ‘splendid isolation’ policy. Their worries stem from the same epiphany that serves as a cause for exaltation for the Leave campaign: the opinion polls.
A sceptic by nature, I take these polls with a pinch of salt. Pollsters do not always get it right (if at all). But my sentiments about the validity of the opinion polls do little to simmer down the fear. And so I try other tactics; I use reason. I tell my friends two things:
First, do not despair. If you are fed up with the withering remarks, disdainful snorts, misinformation and downright lies, there are only so many days left in the campaign until people cast their votes and decide.
Second, I recite the list of reasons why I believe Britain will ultimately make the decision to remain in the EU: