Sunday 21 October 2018

Brexit - The majority for Brexit has died of old age!

Team Brexit making their case
I didn't attend the Peoples March for a Second Referendum yesterday. Some of us have to work on Saturdays. Some of us have businesses to run and bills to pay. I run a music studio and my customer base is going to be one of the hardest hit by whatever Brexit turns out to mean. Unlike businesses like The Sun and The Daily Mail, who have an elderly and dying off customer base

The Sun  2018 - 1,545,594.  2017 - 1,666,715. 2016 - 1,787,096

Daily Mail 2018 - 1,343,142. 2017 - 1,511,357. 2016 - 1,589,471

my business is growing, our customers are mainly young people and  many have only just become elegible to vote. The reason I had to work was because I was training a new member of staff. He is 18 years old and like many people in London he is not of British origin, although he was born and raised here. His Mum is Chinese and his Dad is Croatian. His parents run a restaurant in East Finchley, but like many people they have no idea what Brexit will mean to them.

As Brexit was a hot topic yesterday, one of my customers asked what I thought. I said that it will be a disaster for the UK Music industry. Many of my customers make their living and pay their wages by touring in Europe. If they have to get work permits to perform and customs clearance and carnets for gear, it will mean that for many it is simply not practical. This will not affect bands like the Rolling Stones, who are huge, multi million £ businesses and have the people to sort it out, but it will massively hit what we call third tier bands. Those who earn a living wage and get by. At present, they get a phone call from a tour agent, and then simply  jump in the van and go to the gig, be it in Hamburg, Rotterdam or Paris. If they have to pay for a working visa or a work permit, clear their goods in and out of customs and pay the associated charges it becomes a completely different business.  Furthermore, they will require different work permits for different countries. Anyone who has ever had to deal with such bureacracy knows it is a nightmare.

The young man I was talking to gave me a bit of a strange look. I don't think he'd expected a long, boring explanation of why it is bad for musicians. he said "but what do you think of it". I realised he simply wanted to know whether I was pro or anti, and my answer hadn't really explained. I said "I think it is a bad thing. I have kids your age and it will have a really bad effect on their life prospects. It will limit their opportunities and as a parent, I can only think that is a terrible thing". He then said "It really isn't fair, is it.. I'm 19, I didn't get a vote, young people are overwhelmingly against it. The older people are the ones who voted for Brexit and they will be dead by the time the effects are felt".

I thought this was a bit of an exageration, but it made me think. By March 2019, when we leave (allegedly), it will be three years since the referendum. The margin between the Remain and Brexit vote was around 4% of the vote.

Single Year Three Years Change Remain Change Brexit Net Change
New voters per year 748,000.00 2,244,000.00 1,683,000.00 561,000.00
Deaths per year 598,000.00 1,794,000.00 717,600.00 1,076,400.00

2,400,600.00 1,637,400.00 763,200.00

Brexit 2016 17,410,742.00

Remain 2016 16,141,241.00

Brexit Majority 1,269,501.00

Adjusted for changes

Brexit 2019 17,051,942.00

Remain 2019 17,263,241.00

Brexit Majority -211,299.00

Based on 75% Remain vote for 18-25 year old 

60% Brexit vote for over 65's

So based on the figures I could find, what he was suggesting was actually true. Assuming the patterns stay the same, the majority for #Brexit will have passed away by the time #Brexit arrives.  Just under two and a quarter million voters will have not had an opportunity to vote on the biggest issue likely to affect their working life. Democracy should reflect the views of those affected by the decisions that are made. Disenfranchising over two million and a quarter million voters, whilst setting in stone the views of one million, seven hundred and ninety four thousand people who have died is simply perverse. Had the initial referendum given an overwhelming majority for Brexit, this would be a fatuous argument, but it didn't. It gave a slender margin that is now demonstrably not in line with the likely wishes of the present generation of voters. That is not democracy.

Of course, many people may have changed their minds since the vote. Many Remainers could now think Brexit is a good idea. We have had nearly three years to learn all about the pro's and con's of the debate. If the supporters of Brexit believe that the argument has been won, they should have no fear of a second vote. Every single day since the 2016 #Brexit vote, over 2,000 young people have become old enough to vote. Sadly every single one of them is completely disenfranchised by what has happened. We owe our young people, who are our future and who will care for us when we old better.

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