My superficial impression of the Brexit controversy – which I tried to express in two words in a comment to this post – is of a high downside-to-upside ratio. Lots to lose and not much to gain.
Of course it is a matter of measuring, or weighting, the downside. For instance, the European arrest warrant can be seen as an outright erosion of the rights UK residents have always taken for granted. The expansion of Europol’s powers should also be a cause for concern. The big question is whether it is absolutely necessary to quit the EU to reverse these dangerous developments.
Ferdinand Mount writes in The London Review of Books of the temptation to see a certain insular disposition of mind – “Brexosis” – as underlying the pro-exit campaign. His worst suspicion of the Brexiters is that
they would be quite happy to put their supposedly beloved country through a period of prolonged turmoil and stagnation simply for the exhilaration of being on their own at last. No one since Greta Garbo has said ‘I want to be alone’ with such feeling. Or perhaps it’s not so much Garbo as the chant sung by the fans of Millwall FC that I should be thinking of: ‘No one likes us, we don’t care.’ At the time of writing, Millwall are lying fourth in Football League One. For the uninitiated, this is really the Third Division.
Millwall features in a great many movies, however.