Tuesday 26 September 2017

Brexit debate and US presidential race are fuelled by toxic politics

While Cameron and the Remain advocates have won the economic argument, the tragedy is that people are more motivated by emotive issues, such as immigration (Stock picture)
While Cameron and the Remain advocates have won the economic argument, the tragedy is that people are more motivated by emotive issues, such as immigration (Stock picture)
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

As polls narrow in favour of a Brexit and the prospect looms of seismic political disruption on these islands, is it time to panic? It is certainly time for some serious interventions by people of influence.

Former British prime minister John Major's entry into the fray was timely and helpful. He was right to call out those on the Leave side, particularly in his own party, for their tactics of deliberately misleading the public for political gain. But more of the same is needed over the next critical two weeks if disaster is to be averted. Maybe an eve-of-poll speech by the Queen? What can be more reassuring for those fretting about sovereignty than a nod from the Sovereign? It would have to be her own decision of course, but it would be a game-changer, particularly for senior citizens.

The trouble is that the directional dial in favour of a Leave vote has been steady and there may not be enough time to reverse it by polling day. While Cameron and the 'Remain' advocates have won the economic argument, the tragedy is that people are more motivated by emotive issues, such as immigration and a perceived loss of control and independence.

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