THE VAST gap between the rich and the poor in Britain can help explain why a majority of voters chose the ‘leave’ option in the 2016 EU referendum, an academic from Oxford University has said.
Professor Danny Dorling will be in Shetland next week to give a public talk on Brexit at the Shetland Museum and Archives. While in the isles, he will also address the AGM of the local branch of the trade union Unison.
Dorling has written extensively on the subject of inequality, social class discrimination and how it holds Britain back.
Speaking to Shetland News ahead of his visit next Thursday, Professor Dorling said that based on his analysis Britain had very little to gain from the trade talks with the EU that got under way earlier this month.
“The UK is the most economically unequal large state in what was the EU28,” he said.
“This might help explain why it was the first to try to leave the EU – because troubles caused by inequality at ‘home’ were blamed on the EU and especially on migrants from the EU.”
He said he would be using his talk Brexit: do we need our sovereignty back? to share some of the very latest research on who voted to leave the EU, who did not vote, and who voted to remain a member of the European Union.
“And I’ll suggest some reasons as to why a group of people, based mainly in the south of England wanted to leave the EU so very much,” he added.
The talk is based on his book Rule Britannia: from Brexit to the end of Empire, published in January of last year and co-authored with Sally Tomlinson.
Dorling said a second updated edition of the book is due to be published in June this year.
“It is very hard to see that Britain will gain anything from the trade talks. However, whatever happens it is very likely that they will be painted as being a great success,” he said.
“I’ll show some data on what other countries in the EU have to lose if the talks go badly; but in short, for the most powerful countries, it is not much.
“When Greenland left the European community a long time ago, its bargaining position may have been stronger – it came to a deal within just three years which was advantageous to both sides; and which appears not to have had long term damaging effects.”
He added that he was looking forward to hearing what the people of Shetland think about arguments for independence for Scotland in the current political climate and set of circumstances.
Professor Dorling’s talk has been organised by local promoter Ragged Wood. Tickets for the talk on Thursday 12 March at 7pm are priced £8 and are available from The Little Box Office or on the door.
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