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“Working class tantrum towards immigration” spurred the Leave vote and Brexit

Wednesday, October 4th 2017 - 08:02 UTC
Full article 6 comments
“You could feel blue-collar, urban, traditional Labour opinion going viral for Leave”, Sir Alan Duncan told the audience in Chicago  “You could feel blue-collar, urban, traditional Labour opinion going viral for Leave”, Sir Alan Duncan told the audience in Chicago

One of the reasons for the Brexit vote was working class voters throwing “a bit of a tantrum” over immigration, UK government minister Sir Alan Duncan claimed before an audience in Chicago. He said the campaign had “stirred up a lot of sentiment” about migration among people who do not usually vote.

 The foreign office minister campaigned for Remain in last year's referendum.

During a Q&A at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he was asked if the Brexit vote had surprised him.

He said he had predicted a Remain victory, and went on: “You could feel blue-collar, urban, traditional Labour opinion going viral for Leave. They were stirred up by an image of immigration which made them angry and made them throw a bit of a tantrum.”

Sir Alan also pointed to an “anti-establishment feeling” and a “badly conducted” campaign in which the former government of David Cameron and George Osborne “hogged” the limelight, allowing Leave to attract anti-government votes.

And asked about the example of Boston in Lincolnshire - which strongly backed Leave - he said this was “one of the paradoxes” of the campaign when the local agricultural sector was dependent on migrant workers from Poland.

“Lincolnshire folk if you like said 'Oh, they are coming to pinch our jobs'. Well, they wouldn't do the jobs themselves anyway so it was a slightly artificial anger,” he added.

Labour shortages in the NHS and the care sector as a result of Brexit could cause “quite a lot of damage,” he predicted.

Sir Alan, who was appointed minister of state for Europe and the Americas by Prime Minister Theresa May after the June 2016 referendum, said the government was now trying to “make the most of what we are now required to do” by the result.

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • DemonTree

    “a bit of a tantrum”

    And they wonder why people call them elitist!

    Maybe if they took people's concerns seriously instead of dismissing them as tantrums, no referendum would have even been needed. Before Poland et al had free movement, the seasonal work like fruit picking was done by workers on a visa, who went home again afterwards. And the rest of the agricultural work was done by the locals because it had to be. Boston was pretty clearly in decline before the immigration from Eastern Europe, but it's also not the sort of place where people who want to be in a dynamic, multicultural society choose to live. If people would rather be poor but stay within their own familiar community, shouldn't they have that choice?

    Oct 04th, 2017 - 09:20 am 0
  • Islander1

    Actually was it not a LABOUR Govt that allowed open borders and no visas?

    Oct 04th, 2017 - 01:32 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    Yes it was; they could have limited free movement temporarily but chose not to. But no one objected at the time because they didn't know so many would come. Once people started having concerns, then the government, whichever it was, should have taken them seriously.

    How do people in the Falklands feel about immigration? It's supposed to be necessary for economic growth, but it must change the community too?

    Oct 04th, 2017 - 02:47 pm 0
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