One of the main reasons Brexiteers (those who voted to leave the EU) gave was that once the UK was out of the EU, it would give the country complete management of its borders. They complained that globalisation was killing jobs at home and that British jobs were going to non-Britons. But according to Hans Timmer, a World Bank economist responsible for Europe and Central Asia, British voters who voted to leave the EU concerned that globalisation was killing jobs, will not benefit from Brexit. “The changes that are in the making will not help these people. They haven’t lost their jobs because of immigration but because of technology and globalisation which the UK will still continue because they still want to be part of the global trading system.” He warned against the idea that quitting the EU was a remedy to many of the issues the voters were enduring.
While the anger about the EU stems mainly from EU laws set in Brussels by what Britons call ‘unelected officials’, the opening of European borders to Eastern Europeans mainly from former communist countries like Poland, exacerbated the issue with Polish citizens entering the UK in their hundreds of thousands and making themselves available in the UK for any job at very minimum rates. These people seemed to be jacks of all trades, being able to strip and paint a whole house at very minimal rates, able to easily open up car washes that have sprung up almost everywhere in the UK and earning vast sums of money within no time. During the referendum campaign, those wanting to leave the EU didn’t speak about how difficult it was going to be to change EU laws back into British law. As I write this, the very same people are mulling over the enormous task this will involve, the amount of money it will cost taxpayers and many have no idea where exactly to begin.
As a European citizen, I will continue to enjoy visa-free travel all over western Europe until the UK finally leaves the EU, but many like me who travel frequently across Europe have not seen any assurances from either Theresa May or the EU that we will continue to enjoy this privilege. For all we know, we could soon be lining up at EU embassies in London to get visas to France, Germany or Spain. Possessing a European passport has been one of the best thing that ever happened to citizens of Europe. While the British passport can still take one visa free to 150 countries, it will never feel the same as travelling around the globe as a European citizen. We are definitely falling off the Dover cliffs and have no idea what awaits us at the bottom.