Robert Kuttner in AlterNet:
What was the narrow British vote to leave the European Union really about?
In recent days, you have read commentaries with variations on the following themes, ad nauseam. All of them contain pieces of the truth, but all miss the basic point:
Irrational Racism. This vote was a mostly racist reaction on the part of Brits who resented dark skinned foreigners in their midst, and mistakenly blamed the E.U.
Britain actually has more control over its borders than most E.U. members, since London never signed the 1985 Schengen Agreement, which got rid of border controls for travelers throughout most of the Union. Before entering Britain, Europeans must still go through passport control, just like Syrians or Americans.
Scapegoating the E.U. for Economic Frustrations. Britain actually has a better deal than most E.U. nations. For starters, it retained its own currency, and controls its own monetary and fiscal policy. But as a member of the E.U., Britain does get to send tariff-free exports to the continent and London operates as a major European financial center. All of this now at risk.
More here. [Thanks to Sarah Ives.]