The pandering to older, lower-income, uneducated voters with anti-immigration rhetoric has many parallels with Trump’s GOP campaign.
By Sheryl Estrada
U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage’s use of anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobia while fanning the fears of white, working-class Britons helped usher in a referendumvote to leave the European Union, which will result in economic disaster. There are very close parallels to Trump’s campaign and his vision for the country if he is elected president of the United States.
Trump cheered Britain on Friday for the “Brexit” vote to leave the EU.
“Basically, they took back their country,” he said Friday morning from Scotland, where he was promoting his golf courses. “That’s a good thing.”
When asked where public anger is the most prominent, he said: “U.K. U.S. There’s plenty of other places. This will not be the last.”
Farage has been a champion of British separatism or the “Leave” movement, calling for a break in the country’s legal and economic ties to Europe to reset itself as an independent nation. He has also been fueling the flames anti-establishment sentiments and Islamophobia.
“There is an especial problem with some of the people who’ve come here and who are of the Muslim religion who don’t want to become part of our culture,” Farage said in a 2015 interview. “People do see a fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us.”
According to The Guardian, “Farage [made] immigration a key plank of his election campaign [in 2015 for his target seat of South Thanet in the general election], saying the party would reduce numbers by leaving the European Union, banning unskilled migrants for five years and bringing in an Australian points-style system.”
The UKIP leader also said that race and other anti-discrimination legislation should be abolished in the U.K.
When Britons went to the polls Thursday, 51.9 percent voted to leave the European Union and 48.1 percent voted to remain. The majority of votes to leave came from older, white, lower-income Britons. People in areas where many residents have college degrees, like central London, were far more likely to vote “Remain.” (60 percent of Britons ages 65 and over voted “Leave,” while 73 percent of Britons ages 18-24 voted “Remain.”)
Thursday night, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation from office, and said he willlikely be gone by October.
An article published Friday inThe Economist states, “The vote to Leave amounts to an outpouring of fury against the ‘establishment.’ Everyone from Barack Obama to the heads of NATO and the IMF urged Britons to embrace the EU.”
As a result of the vote, the British economy will suffer. The pound hasalreadytumbled to 30-year lows.
The Economist predicts a recession:
“As confidence plunges, Britain may well dip into recession. A permanently less vibrant economy means fewer jobs, lower tax receipts and, eventually, extra austerity.”
EY Global Chairman and CEOMark Weinberger offered his take in a statement:
“Today’s U.K. referendum results on European Union (EU) membership will mean more uncertainty for businesses around the world as they navigate the complex implications of the U.K. leaving the EU. In a global economy already struggling with a slow growth, this may further dampen the outlook. The broader consequences to the EU also remain uncertain at this time. The U.K. has strong political, economic and financial systems and is well able to deal with short- and longer-term effects of Brexit. At EY, our U.K. firm and the global organization are focused on helping our clients to deal with these effects, both in terms of addressing the immediate shock and working through longer-term issues such as employment law, trade deals and tax and other policies,” he said. “The British people have spoken and it is essential now that business and government work together enact pro-growth policies as the U.K. moves ahead.”
Economists have warned that a Trump presidency would cause hardship, globally. The Economic Intelligence Unit found a Trump presidency poses a top 10 risk that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the U.S. and increase security risks for the whole country.
Marcus Brauchli, a media investor and former executive editor at The Washington Post, tweeted Thursday night the Leave campaign was built on lies, similar to the Trump campaign:
As Leave wins, worth remembering that campaign was built on lies and pandering to fears–tactics visible in US, too. https://t.co/caEx5AyozG
Marcus Brauchli (@mbrauchli) June 24, 2016
Even after all of the proven falsehoods and rhetoric Trump has spewed (his statements were awarded PolitiFact’s 2015 Lie of the Year), anew Quinnipiac University pollshowsthat in crucial states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, heremains statistically tied with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
From repeatedly stating that he intends to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, to announcing on Dec. 7 a call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.,” to pandering to white Americans who may feel disenfranchised and angry with the government, Trump indeed has much in common with Farage.