#Brexit? OMB Wales?

I’m half welsh and was brought up to think of myself as Welsh in Somerset. I’m trying to learn Welsh and I am making a bit of progress. I’ve lived in France for 8 years and I have a French son.

Can anyone tell me why most of Wales, apart from the Welsh speaking areas, voted for Brexit? I voted remain and I’m struggling to understand why a place I always thought of as cool has backed an idea that I think is so awful for Wales, Europe and the World. Genuine feedback appreciated.

As I understand it, there are many reasons. One of the more common ones is that the EU is seen as “the establishment”, and a lot of very, very poor people are sick of an establishment that doesn’t seem to care about them. Many of the things funded by the EU are things that locals are too poor to actually make use of, many of them believe that austerity is EU imposed (rather than originating with the Conservatives), and many of them were pretty much completely ignored by the majority of politicians - except, of course, for UKIP, who somehow managed to create an impression of a privately educated former stock broker as a champion of the working class. Many of them realised that the economy would suffer due to uncertainty, but from the perspective of somebody who pretty much already has nothing, uncertainty can only bring hope for improvement. Then, immigration is blamed (falsely so far as I can tell, but still) for a number of social ills: lack of jobs (primarily caused by globalisation and soon to be made worse by automation) and struggling public services (primarily caused by lack of funding from our current government) being the main ones, and many believed that we need to reduce the number of EU migrants coming in.

These are a couple of reasons; largely based off of what I’ve heard from the North of England, where the leave vote was also particularly strong. There are no doubt many others.


They were perhaps voting as much (if not more) against London than against Brussels.

No-one on this forum or any other can give you a reliable answer to your question.

Most people in Wales incuding myself have voted on this life-changing issue and their/our answers will inevitably be based on their/our own perspectives. If you want to get a feeling for individual views (including my own) held on this forum, you might check out post 29 and beyond on this thread: not-politics-honest-eu-referendum

  • but PLEASE don’t take any of our remarks as representative of the whole or part of Wales - the statistics tells us they can’t be.

(It should be clear, however, that many people share your bewilderment and, IMO your question is completely understandable. You appear to be wrestling with the question of why your own country voted the way it did. I am wrestling with the question of why some of my own **** family voted the way they did,)

There are still a lot of raw nerves on this issue and still a lot of ugliness to come, which is why my own preference from now on would be to let the battles and debates take place in other arenas and keep this lovely forum a haven of blissful happiness. :worried:


To @garethmac
Here is a link to a set of PMs in my box
click here if you are interested
Recently, it seems clear that a lot of people have suffered from austerity and have seen no way of doing anything about it, so decided to vote “against the establishment” (i.e. all establish parties) with the idea that, from where they were, nothing could get worse! Here in Scotland, SNP have managed not to get too tagged with “establishment” despite being ‘in power’ for years, possibly because everyone knows they can’t spend what Westminster won’t let them have!
p.s. Nobody else who hasn’t been ‘invited’ into my box can get there!

Clicked for test reason. Yes it is true as you say and i agree with @hewrop saying

And besides … we’ve discussed referendum a lot in the topic Huw put a link in his post though.

You have more or less summed up how I interpret it too.

I would add: a sense of frustration and powerlessness that no one seemed to be listening to their experiences and problems. Very little of the ‘economic success’ that Britain has experienced has found its way out to the traditional working-class communities. I think the vote was felt as their way of getting their ‘voice heard’. Considering that these are the communities that are going to feel most of the economic pain that is to come, I think that is very sad.

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That is the real tragedy.
I agree with @tatjana’s sentiments and @hewrop’s last sentences, but it doesn’t stop me feeling very sorry for those who will suffer.

I suspect these communities have calculated that whatever happens, they lose. Things never seem to get better, despite the European money, devolution, the Thatcher years, the Blair years, the Austerity years, things get worse and then stand still for a bit and then get worse again. Why not try something desperate, a last throw of the dice? I can’t do any harm, can it?

Those where rhetorical questions, by the way.


Well some of the reasons I heard first hand- Seeing the most visible results of money from Europe going on what are seen as vanity projects or “optional extras”, seeing small businesses and the self employed pushed out of business by regulations from Europe which favour large companies in eg tendering for public sector contracts, and seeing the way that Europe treated Greece.

I voted remain, but heard many reasonable arguments for leave.
[And heard unreasonable, unpleasant arguments for leave- though few first hand. And heard many over-simplistic sixth-form politics arguments for stay - though few first hand.]

I voted stay, as I say, but like many people - indeed, like most people I know- saw it as the better of two bad choices. For what it’s worth, if people were to put their passion and energy into saying whether Wales should be independent of the U.K. Rather than in or out of Europe, this country would be a better place. I am far more bemused by the colonial attitude of Wales in that matter than I am over Europe.


Yes, but most are scared that all the best raw materials are used up and don’t have the confidence in our country to run itself, because 601 years is a long time to be a colony! (sorry @aran - delete this if you think best!)

indeed. Many people do believe such propaganda. Hence my mention of colonial mentality. Yes, many raw materials were squandered - but most independent countries do not have the wealth of raw materials that Wales had, so that is not a reason not to have independence. Wales has a trade surplus even by official figures which do not include energy or water, the figures regarding taxation published by the government regarding estimates on taxes and spending veer a long way from the truth- all such estimates will be skewed in the establishments’ favour.


I know all that Owain bach, it isn’t me you need to convince! Apart from anything else, I don’t have a vote! I’m in Scotland, voting for Nicola et al!!!
Currently I’m trying to find any evidence for whether anyone from UK ever pointed out to G.W.Bush that al qaeda regarded SH as an enemy, not an ally! But that’s nothing to do with this forum either!


I’m not trying to convince you, just putting the countering ideas down for anyone else reading it :blush:

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I have often thought that what the UK needs is a federal system. (Like the one we imposed on Germany after the war…although to be fair, they had a long tradition of decentralised government already). The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would become the United States* of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The state of Wales would be responsible for everything that took place within its borders without reference to England. (only defence and external affairs would involve London). It would do everything else including economic policy. It would decide its own taxes & interest rates, and to do this properly it would need its own currency, e.g. the Welsh Punt, and its own central bank, the Bank of Wales. Like the old Irish Punt, it would aim for parity with the UK Pound, but could float in either direction as required. However, its main use as I see it would be as a local currency, a bit like the Worgl experiment

(Admittedly, that would mean that it was even more decentralised than Germany, as the Länder never had their own currencies, even before the Euro, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible).

(* - Edit: Well, for practical and historical purposes, you’d keep the name the same as it is (until we become a republic anyway, which would be fine by me, but let’s not go there today… :slight_smile: ).

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Defence currently involves nuclear missiles. Yr Alban wants rid of them. I don’t think Cymru wants them. I actually suspect England only wants them for kudos and to claim ‘top table’ status and does not want them in e.g. Devonport, the Mersey, the Ouse, the Wash…no need to mention the Thames… in other words, only in Scottish, Northern Irish or Welsh waters!
I have always advocated Scotland floating the pound Scots as the Republic of Ireland based its currency on the pound and let it float. Ireland, then, wasn’t rich, but the difference between them was really very small when I went over for the rugby! I’d be surprised if the pound Scots didn’t do quite well! Punt Cymru? Not sure.

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Control your currency and control the banks, and then you are their master and not their slave. The UK ,managed to keep control of one, but lost control of the other. I’d hope an independent Yr Alban or Cymru wouldn’t make that mistake.

Can you really see either setting up a strong, state controlled central Bank? Well, maybe Cymru might, but Yr Alban already has its notes printed by three different banks, one of which, I think, is now Australian!!? (Clydesdale). I hope Nicola can sort out a proper State Bank, but i wouldn’t put money on it! :grin: :older_woman:

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Talking of governments destroying attempts to set up local currency, are you familiar with Richard Williams and his (initially successful) attempt to print a Welsh promissory note currency?

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No, I had never heard of him. Fascinating! Diolch.