Its the last day for people to register to vote in the upcoming EU referendum. Everyone, from laypeople to experts to politicians, are telling you that this is the vote of a generation. That the outcome will radically change the UK one way or another. I’m not convinced. If we look at where the power lies on both sides of this referendum, we see extremely similar proposals and campaigns. It’s not to say that there aren’t radical ideas being developed. On the Leave side, there is David Davis, Steve Baker, Douglas Carswell, the Traditional Britain Group, the TUSC party and the Flexcit campaign, an assortment of radically libertarian and decentralist ideologies and campaigners. But they’re not going to be in power after June 23rd.
Instead, it’s a choice between David Cameron and his successors, and Boris Johnson and the major players of the Leave campaign. Neither side disagree massively on the major issues surrounding economic and political reform. They follow the same trajectories, the fundamental difference being whether we’re in the EU proper, or we’re in some equally pathetic trade agreement.
If you’re for open borders or limited migration, for free trade or protectionism, for free markets or a socialised economy, this vote does not matter. These are all false dichotomies that are played upon by the powers that be in this referendum. Leaving, or staying, is not going to suddenly present these things as the new normal. This referendum is just a political ploy for contesting leaders of the Conservative Party. It’s boring nonsense for politicos and hack journalists to have a field day with, and it will not radically change anything. With power being vested where it is, if we stay, things stay the same. Power gets further centralised, and a corporate economy proliferates. If we leave, things stay relatively similar. Power is simply centralised in the UK government, rather than in the European Commission, and the economy remains a regulated mess easily exploited by big business.
For those who think this vote counts, it doesn’t. If you believe in decentralisation and a radical break from the status quo, this referendum presents nothing for you, so stop thinking this is the apotheosis of your beliefs and ideas. Rather, keep fighting, otherwise nothing will change.