Well, I disagree that Brexit and Immigration are two separate issues, seeing as how the EU actively tells the UK that we have to have open borders within Europe, so we - to a certain degree - can't control our own borders.
That being said, I don't even think there is a sense of "Anti Immigrant" in the majority of the Brexit camp (of which I am a member). Immigration demonstrably makes the economy stronger...but only when it's controlled,
and it's uncontrolled immigration that I have an issue with. I don't mind Immigrants who come in, work hard and use their skills to contribute to the economy; my next door neighbour is a North African immigrant (I don't think I've ever asked which specific country and if I did, I forgot (I haven't got the best memory when it comes to facts like that), but I know he's from the north of Africa) who is a taxi driver, and he works about 9 - 12 hours a day. He works hard, he's a lovely, friendly guy and I get on REALLY well with him. It's the immigrants who wander in, get set up in a council house and then just...don't do anything, living off of the benefits that I have an issue with.
Plus, there's the fact that uncontrolled immigration puts us at risk from external terrorists who can just come in with minimal checks; the amount of immigrants saying that they're Syrian who are actually from other middle-eastern countries that have nothing to do with the Syrian conflict is staggering, and the problem is that the EU hamstrings our ability to enforce our own borders. Add onto that that we have barely enough jobs and housing for the people who are ALREADY here, I don't think the UK economy can - at the moment - handle the amount of refugees that the EU wants us to take. Yes, the immigrants come from outside the EU, but they tend to enter the EU elsewhere, and then use the Open Borders to move from country to country, and the UK is unable to stop them.
Then there's the matter of the EU courts overruling UK Parliament decisions, imposing tariffs on our dealings with countries outside the EU, the fact that the EU is always trying to pressure us into adopting the Euro despite its abject failure, the fact that we have to keep paying money that we don't have
to keep propping up failing economies, the fact that we pay in more than any other country to the EU and we get the least out...I think those are all valid reasons to not want to be part of the EU any more, since it simply isn't worth it any more. The fact is, the majority of our exports are to non-European countries - like the Commonwealth - and whilst the Eurozone Economy is shrinking, we have trading partners who want to establish links with us whose economy is growing, like China, Australia, Canada and India who we can't make our own deal with at the moment because the EU has rules against that.
Similarly, for anybody saying that the EU would stop trading with us...well, they wouldn't. First off, Angela Merkel of all people has stated that if the UK leaves the EU, she will use her Veto to stop any sanctions against the UK in retaliation (ok, I trust Merkel as far as I can throw her, but it's the fact that she was willing to come out and state it on the record that counts), and secondly, the UK buys FAR more than it sells to the EU under the rules of WTO, so the chances of them refusing to deal with its biggest buyer? HELL No. The UK has Buying Power, and the other countries in the EU would come off far worse if they opted to refuse our business. And yes, economic strength WOULD come from leaving, especially considering that the UK economy grew last year, whereas the EU's shrank. Plus the alarming trend of EU countries collapsing into bankruptcy, and the demands from the EU for us to spend MORE money than we already are on other countries.
And on the subject of jobs, well, Honda and Toyota and a bucketfull of other big international companies have stated outright that they'll be maintaining their HQ in the UK regardless of whether we leave or stay, and we'd have final control over our own taxes and VAT, so we might even be able to tempt MORE businesses in. As for Obama's threat? Well, tough shit, Obama, you're not gonna be in the office after the end of this year, and since right now it looks like your people have a choice of either Corrupt Clinton or "Build a Wall and make the Mexicans pay for it" Trump, you got your own issues to deal with right now.
The simple fact of the matter is that outside of the EU, the UK would have more freedom in its decisions, it would have independence to make its own rules, wouldn't have to answer to the EU Courts - which the UK never agreed to in the first place; we joined back when it was simply a Free Trade Agreement, not the League of Nations 2.0 - and we'd have MASSIVE freedom to trade with economies MUCH stronger and MUCH more consistent than the EU. Honestly, the best case scenario is if we strike a deal similar to Norway; that is, we're outside the EU, but within the EFTA (European Free Trade Association). Worldwide, Norway has among the highest capita per head and the highest standard of living and one of the strongest economies, and it's got nothing to do with the EU past the EFTA, which should serve to blow the "Stay" Campaign out of the water. The "Stay" Campaign has been one giant Fearmongering attempt, and - if recent polls are to be believed - people ain't buying it any more.
Honestly, I think the UK is better off outside the EU (though ideally still within the EFTA, but we can do well outside the EFTA as well if we have to, just by trading with China and The Commonwealth, and if you think the USA will stop trading with the UK when we're one of their biggest buyers, you don't understand business or how American Capitalism works) and it is
a bit insulting to read the posts and articles claiming that Brexiters are just "Scared of immigration" or are just "Nationalistic assholes who don't know what's going on in the world."
I agree that neither campaign has been particularly honest in its tactics, however; I wasn't convinced by either of them. I've held this opinion for a long-ass time, longer than this whole referendum thing has been being planned.
Also, I can't recall who I saw say it, but...no, "most top economists" aren't on the side of Remain. As I recall, the supporters for Brexit and Remain are fairly evenly split; if I'm correct in my recollections, about half of the top economists and businesses support Remain, and the other half support Brexit. Of course, some companies don't care either way.
Here's the thing: It's a sensitive issue, and neither side has been completely honest with the facts, but if we don't leave now, the EUC is gonna want more and more powers, and that's something the UK public should be very concerned about, considering what it's done already over the past few years. Their economy is failing, they want us to pay MASSIVE amounts of money into the EU while getting very little out, and they consistently overturn our parliamentary decisions or enforce new and more and more intrusive rules into the country. Considering that we never really agreed to it prior to joining the EU, and considering how much authority they're willing to exert over us and our democratically reached decisions...well, leaving is the best thing for the UK, and leaving won't hit us anywhere near as hard as a lot of Remainers are trying to make out. Hell, in some ways, we'll be better off since we can set our own Tariffs on trading with countries not in the EU, and since we buy and sell more to countries outside the EU anyway,
well...I fail to see how our economy would be destroyed when it has been growing in recent years despite
the EU, rather than because
But that's my spiel. I'll be voting to leave the EU, since I honestly think it's what's best for this country, and I do find it rather insulting when I hear people belittle my position by stating that I'm just an anti-immigration nationalist who is largely ignorant of world events. It's kinda like how I feel when I explain my rationale for not believing in God, and then being faced with people saying "Oh, you just want to sin" or "Why do you hate God?" Or when I express my doubts about 3rd Wave Feminism and get met with "You're just a misogynistic Anti Feminist, so shut the fuck up and go away." I just wish people would engage with the arguments rather than erecting a strawman of the position to beat up on before declaring that the opposition is a horrible person, so must therefore be wrong. It's demeaning to both parties, it's frustrating to people who just want to have an honest discussion, and it's dishonest to assert that your opposition is "only" something negative. Declaring that the Brexit campaign is just made up of racist xenophobes...well, it's intellectually dishonest and helps nobody get to the nub of the matter, and I just wish people would stop instantly using Ad Hominem attacks as arguments against peoples positions.
I know you said you didn't mean that, Hamish, but...well...
"Basically, a large portion of the British electorate are going to vote Leave Europe on the basis that they don't like Asian immigrants."
That's precisely what I'm talking about. Instead of actually engaging with the arguments, you simplify and exaggerate and then use that to denigrate the opposite position. Again, it might not be what you meant, but it's certainly how it looked. I believe I've laid out my reasons for wanting to leave the EU up above, and where did I once state that it was because I dislike Asian immigrants?
I'm just bored and tired of people simplifying positions with Ad Hominem Attacks instead of engaging with the actual arguments. It isn't even an Internet Problem, it's a Human Problem, and I'm getting sick of it. >.<