“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
– Marcus Aurelius
We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalisation and those that embrace it, says social scientist Alexander Betts.
“A million refugees arrived in Europe this year”, he says and “our response, frankly, has been pathetic.” Betts studies forced migration, the impossible choice for families between the camps, urban poverty and dangerous illegal journeys to safety. In this insightful talk, he offers four ways to change the way we treat refugees, so they can make an immediate contribution to their new homes. “There’s nothing inevitable about refugees being a cost,” Betts says. “They’re human beings with skills, talents, aspirations, with the ability to make contributions — if we let them.”
How do we now address that fear as well as growing disillusionment with the political establishment, while refusing to give in to xenophobia and nationalism?
“EDUCATION IS KEY”
What are the arguments for and against “Brexit”???
Leave: Britain can never control immigration until it leaves the European Union, because freedom of movement gives other EU citizens an automatic right to live here.
Stay: Leaving will not solve the migration crisis but bring it to Britain’s doorstep because border controls from the Continent will move from Calais in France to Dover in UK.
Leave: The European Arrest Warrant allows British citizens to be sent abroad and charged for crimes in foreign courts, often for minor offences. Exit would stop this.
Stay: Rapists, murders and other serious criminals who convict offences in Britain can only be returned once fleeing abroad thanks to the European Arrest Warrant. Exit would stop justice being done.
Leave: Britain’s links with the EU are holding back its focus on emerging markets – there is no major trade deal with China or India, for example. Leaving would allow the UK to diversify its international links.
Stay: 44 per cent of Britain’s exports go to other EU countries. Putting up barriers with the countries that Britain trades with most would be counterproductive.
Leave: Too many of Britain’s laws are made overseas by dictates passed down from Brussels and rulings upheld by the European Court of Justice. UK courts must become sovereign again.
Stay: The exit campaign has over-exaggerated how many laws are determined by the European Commission. It is better to shape EU-wide laws from the inside rather than walking away.
Leave: The danger to jobs has been over-exaggerated. By incentivising investment through low corporation tax and other perks Britain can flourish like the Scandinavian countries outside the EU.
Stay: Around three million jobs are linked to the EU and will be plunged into uncertainty if voters plump for exit, as businesses would be less likely to invest if the country was outside Europe.
Leave: Britain does not need the EU to prosper internationally. By re-engaging with the Commonwealth the UK can have just as much clout as it does from inside the EU.
Stay: Britain will be “drifting off into the mid-Atlantic” if it leaves the EU, as Nick Clegg likes to say. In a globalising world the UK’s interests are best protected by remaining part of the EU block, with American and Chinese leaders indicating as much.
Leave: Talk of capital flight is nonsense. London will remain a leading financial centre outside the EU and banks will still want to be headquartered in Britain due to low tax rates.
Stay: Banks will flee the UK and the City of London collapse if Britain votes for exit, because the trading advantages of being inside the EU help boost banks’ profits.
Leave: The British Parliament is no longer sovereign. With the EU hell-bent on “ever closer union” and further economic integration likely after the euro crisis, it is best to call it quits before ties deepen.
Stay: In a globalised world, every country must work closer with others if the want to flourish economically. A Little Englander desire for isolation will undermine the UK, plus the PM might have won an opt-out to “ever closer union” come the referendum.
Leave: Britain could soon be asked to contribute to a EU Army, with reports suggesting Angela Merkel may demand the Prime Minister’s approval in return for other concessions. That would erode the UK’s independent military force and should be opposed.
Stay: European countries together are facing the threats from Isil and a resurgent Russia. Working together to combat these challenges is best – an effort that would be undermined if Britain turns its back on the EU.