Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
On Saturday the Prime Minister announced the date for the EU Referendum to be 23rd June 2016. This followed what can only be called one of the most demanding and exhaustive EU wide diplomatic campaign by any British PM ever. PM Cameron has proved to be a man of his word. He promised a referendum and that is exactly what we got. He promised a series of measures the EU would have to agree to before he would put his name to the ‘in’ campaign – and by any measure you have to conclude he has become the most successful British Prime Minster ever in negotiating such a dramatic deal with the EU.
So based on this one might well conclude that the ‘in’ campaign will sail through the referendum and win on the 23rd. However this omits to take into account the elephant in the room. Frankly speaking in my view it’s now become herd of elephants.
So what am I talking about?
The referendum will be won on the streets of Great Britain. It will be won by what the people think and believe in, it will have little relevance to what the politicians are saying. In fact I would doubt if even the business community can say anything that would make any sizeable impact.
Under any other circumstance the Prime Minister would have won this vote easily. However the biggest elephant in the room is the Middle Eastern and North African refugee crisis. People have seen for themselves what has happened in countries like Greece, Italy, France, Germany and even Sweden. Many of these countries were championing an EU wide open arms welcome to all the refugees. Some countries like Germany even stated that they would absorb a million refugees. This one-upmanship of EU leaders trying to outdo each another by showing how wonderful they were has now resulted in total chaos across Europe. The very people that came out in the streets of Germany to welcome the refugees are now abandoning Chancellor Merkel by the thousands on a daily basis. And this story is repeated time and again all across Europe.
Contrast this with Great Britain that basically pulled up the draw bridge and opted to filter compassion with pragmatism. This limited the numbers coming to Britain, and those who have been allowed to enter are the most needy and directly from the refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.
The Prime Minister has negotiated as good a deal as was possible with the EU. However I don’t believe this will register with the voters in the way it probably should. The mentality of mass hysteria will hit our streets and as the weeks go by and the weather gets better, we will witness another massive influx of refugees into Europe. The voters will put this right at the top of their agenda. This referendum has been high jacked by the refugee tsunami hitting the EU and increasingly one can see that it has the momentum to drown out all other arguments in this debate.
The most important decision by this country in over five decades will probably be based on people’s fears rather than rational thinking. It will be a miracle for the Prime Minister to win this vote even though he has personally delivered on his promise. If the vote is lost no doubt politicians from all sides will gun for him to go. It would be profoundly silly for the Tory party to fall into this trap. They know that the PM will step aside at the end of this Parliamentary term. If they want to win, and win big again they have to show discipline, loyalty and patience. In the end history will show the Prime Minister in much better light for not only did he deliver on the EU referendum pledge, but at the same time he has forged very strong links with the emerging giant economies of the east. In particular his focus on UK/India relations will prove to be the saviour for the country.
So where do I stand? I stand with the Prime Minster but, and this is important – I will still vote for BREXIT. In this regard I am with my friend Priti Patel. The bottom line, I cannot trust the EU to keep to their word and I suspect when the refugee crisis gets out of control, the UK will end up with little control over its borders. People on both sides of the equation are good and compassionate, so don’t let the megaphone politicians or the loony left media try and tell you otherwise. The people of Great Britain have shown their compassion time and again. We are one of the highest donors of aid anywhere in the world. That is aid by the Government, but also aid generated by people putting their hand in their own pockets. I suspect people will decide with a heavy heart to leave the EU. Border control will be the deciding issue and on that their compassion will focus on maintaining the very fabric of British society first.
The hype will continue with claim and counter claim. The more the politicians get involved, the greater the probability that BREXIT becomes a reality. My advice, wait till the last 7 days and you will see drama on a scale not seen hitherto. And watch out for what is happening over the channel, the EU will be embroiled in a nightmare of their own making, and that in the end might be the tipping point.
I commend the Prime Minister for trying so valiantly but I suspect in the end it might be just a touch short of the winning line.