In a little over twelve hours, polling stations will open across the UK. Within their walls we will cast our votes to either open, or close, the doors on Britain’s relationship with mainland Europe. However, the quality of the arguments presented by Leave and Remain campaigners has changed little since the campaigning started.
Last night’s televised debate from Wembley, in front of an audience of thousands, failed to shed any new light on either the reason we should ‘Brexit’ or ‘Remain’. It was, once again, more about the egos and ambitions of those on the podium and shed no new light on facts with which we could make an informed and rational decision about our future.
Immigration, the economy, fear tactics, personal insults and the repeated mantra of ‘we can regain control’ all featured heavily. Sadly, no solid plan was offered as to how these aims can ever be achieved.
King Boris repeated his favourite chant that immigrants from the EU would magically be replaced by ‘good’ immigrants from places like Australia and New Zealand. We were promised our National Health Service would be enhanced overnight by the alleged saving we would make from not paying membership to the EU. He failed to mention, however, that ‘professional’ (dare I say white?) immigrants would almost certainly not work for the same financial reward as those we already have and instead would raise the NHS wages bill considerably. Surely, based on past performance, few of us are ready to be taken in by a promise that any savings from leaving Europe will ever be filtered back for the good of the general population?
I fear that ultimately our continuing relationship with Europe will be decided on nothing more factual than prejudice, bigotry, fear, choreographed media misinformation and a newly discovered tolerance for racism.
Whatever the result of the referendum, none of this bodes well, for a country that is almost irrevocably divided.