Brexit, the issue of our generation, just the word itself is polarising. The mere mention of being Pro Brexit is likely to see you littered with streams of abuse, referring to you as a Xenophobe or more despicably, an idiot. The prevailing idea of our ‘Liberal’ establishment is one of greater globalisation, the erosion of the nation state and the implementation of super state like structures used to subjugate the working class.
To understand how Brexit can help the working people’s, you must first understand how globalisation and neoliberalism have. Globalisation refers to the contraction of the world, at least at a metaphorical level. Take the EU’s freedom of movement of ‘goods, capital, services and labour’ an issue that has been disingenuously adopted by some right wing figures who care little for the real impact of such policies on ordinary people.
The idea that this freedom of movement is of benefit to workers is laughable. The labour movements power has always been drawn from the power of workers, the populace majority, to withdraw/withhold their labour as a negotiating tactic. The freedom of movement of labour has completely killed this tactic. Quite simply, for employers having a greater stream of potential workers ensures that you have no real incentive to consider the real life impact of your decisions on your employees.
A look at a GDP map of Europe from 2012 shows the clear difference in a he economic state of Western Europe when compared to Eastern Europe. This is a result of plenty of differing factors, that would require another article if I were to even try and explain. However in short, what is clear is that the economies of Western and Eastern European countries are vastly different. As such greater European political integration has benefited the East much more so than the West.
There are currently around 1.4 million Eastern Europeans living in the United Kingdom, totalling more than the 1.3 million brits who are spread across the continent. Fundamentally what you have is a shortage of labour in Eastern Europe and an abundance of labour in the West. But who benefits from this?
Well the working class Western Europeans do not, that’s for certain. More workers means more competition for said workers, but not only for jobs, for housing, healthcare, school places for their children etc. But do the Eastern Europeans benefit from this? Well the answer is yes and no. First generation immigrants undeniably benefit from the higher standard of living, but what about their children who is then become part of the future abundance of labour? Freedom of movement allows for corporations to recycle labour throughout Europe and as such destroys the value of labour.