On Thursday 23 Britain will vote to decide if to remain or not in the European Union, exactly a week after the killing of Jo Cox, the British MP of the Labour Party.
It is said that when the aggressor (Thomas Mair – 52 years old) was attacking Jo Cox, he shouted “Britain first” and later, when the judges asked his name he answered “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.
Jo Cox was a convinced Europeanist and she was part of the political group “Remain”, clearly in favor of the stay in the EU, in opposition to the group “Leave”, that instead wants to exit the Union.
Just to briefly clarify the situation, it worths remember some points:
- Last year the right-wing Prime Minister David Cameron, during his political campaign, promised to organize the referendum on the British stay in the EU in case he would have been elected. So, he maintained the promise. That’s because he needed to calm down the members of the Party that are firmly against the EU and demand British exit.
- To date, the ones who want to STAY in the EU are:
the Prime Minister Cameron; half of the Conservative Party; Jeremy Corbyn and almost all his Labour Party; the Liberal Democrats,;the Scottish National Party; the Welsh National Party and the Green Party. In the business sector, most of the big firms and banks. But also many people belonging to the cultural environment, such as Nobel Prizes and scientists, actors, film directors, screenwriters, writers and the Church of England.
They want to stay BECAUSE:
Britain could benefit from the European Common market and free trade among its members. It is also thought that the cooperation between them has permitted to maintain peace in these last decades and nowadays it is particularly important in the light of Islamic terrorism. But maybe, the strongest reason to remain in the EU is that if Britain exits, it cannot reverse the decision and nobody knows what would happen.
- The ones who want to EXIT the EU are:
Half of the Conservative Party; almost ten Labour Party members; the Democratic Unionist Party and the Ukip; the UK Independence Party (anti- EU; anti-immigration) and in the business sector many small firms and enterprises.
They want to leave BECAUSE:
They are firmly convinced that Britain must become again a sovereign Country, with the absolute control of its boundaries. They promise that, if Britain exits the EU, it will close the boundaries and stop the immigration from the other EU countries, that is considered excessive. London will re-negotiate the bilateral commercial agreements with the allies and the rest of the world and continue to be a strategic financial centre without being subdued by the rules coming from Brussels.
But what about the fashion world?
I’ve always considered the fashion sector as a perfect mix of business, culture, psychology, aesthetics, beauty, politics and diplomacy.
In this context of very high uncertainty, it is comforting that the fashion world takes a position.
And in fact, British fashion says NO to Brexit.
According to a survey conducted by the British Fashion Council that includes 500 designers, the 90% of them want to remain in the EU, while only the 4.3% prefer the exit and the rest are uncertain or don’t vote.
The demonstration of what I wrote few lines above, that Fashion is also politics and culture, is that during the male runways of the London Collections many designers like Christopher Raeburn, Lou Dalton and Daniel Fletcher showed openly their support to the stay in the EU with catchwords on the T-shirts presented in their shows.
Vivienne Westwood also wore a T-shirt that encouraged young people to vote, with the slogan: “Don’t let an older generation decide your future.”
Last month more than 300 people belonging to the “creative world” (actors, writers and so on) wrote an open letter in order to support the Remain Campaign.
Among them we can name Keira Knightley, Jude Law, helena Bonham Carter, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristin Scott Thomas, Bill Nighy, Sophie Okonedo, John Hurt, Steve McQueen, Richard Curtis, Paloma Faith, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Tracey Emin.
As reported by the BBC in the letter we can read : “”Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away. Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.”
The signatories state: “From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders. From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires the world. We believe being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage. Let’s not become an outsider shouting from the wings.”
To date none can tell what will happen next Thursday, because polls change everyday.
According to the survey conducted by YouGov for the Sunday Times, the two fronts are even (44% remain – 43% leave) and the undecided are still many.
A second survey from Opinium for the Observer (the Sunday number of the Guardian), the situation is perfectly even at the 44% and 12% of undecided or probable abstained.
The Sunday Times specified that the surveys have been conducted on Thursday and Friday and they are not influenced by the assassination of Jo Cox, but they express the preoccupations about the economic impact of UK exit from the EU.
The experts say that the electoral turnout will be decisive: more people will go to vote, higher the possibility for the UK to remain in the EU.
Some of them also takes into consideration the weather conditions because if it rains, many tepid voters won’t vote and the most motivated Brexiters will face the storm to make the UK exit the European Union.