Summary : ' Demons Unleashed : Why Did Brexit Happen, And What It Mean?

1154 WordsApr 19, 20175 Pages
On Wednesday, April 12, Glen O’Hara presented the topic of: “Demons Unleashed: Why did Brexit Happen, and What Does It Mean?” He is a professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. Professor O’Hara gave a detailed argument of the history leading up to Brexit, the vote itself, and the aftermath. He made an interesting argument: voters that were in support of the “leave” campaign cited immigration as the single most important reason for their decision making. When migration in the United Kingdom moved from net emigration to net immigration in the 1990’s due to European Union policies, the United Kingdom Independence Party (or UKIP) became a factor in the multi-party British political system…show more content…
Furthermore, Professor O’Hara noted that in both elections, the voters located in rural areas ultimately decided the election and rural voters were concerned about immigration. I think there were stark contrasts between the two elections though, and these should be discussed further. While I would attribute the issue of immigration as a major factor in both elections, I do not feel that immigration can be singled out as the sole factor that decided either election. I felt that Professor O’Hara’s lecture, while making very valid arguments, took an extremely narrow scope in this regard. The economic factors that led up to the ultimate decision of Brexit should also be considered when looking at this argument. Immigration may have been a factor, but I believe that one could argue for the economy as an underlying factor. While O’Hara briefly brushed upon the financial pressures that may have contributed to Brexit, he did not give them the merit they deserve. For example, the point about UKIP’s view that the British were spending money on the wrong things while they should have been spending more on healthcare was only briefly mentioned even though it could have been a deciding factor for rural voters with more restricted access to health care. The economy was a major concern for those in Britain, particularly for rural voters. The reason

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