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Friday, 24 March 2017

Populism, Brexit and progressive opinion

Populism, Brexit and progressive opinion
- Sir, – In conflating the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election, Fintan O’Toole (“Progressives must be the first to call out treachery”, March 21st) touches on the sense of alienation felt by key sections of what must, in a well-ordered world, constitute progressive opinion. His argument would be more compelling if he were able to suggest what policies might be followed that could detach voters from such populism.
In my country, Brexit voters do not constitute an homogenous reactionary bloc. The most important issue for half of all Leave supporters was British sovereignty. Only a third put control over immigration first, although both sovereignty and immigration as well as the economy were important to the majority of anti-EU voters. A third of black and ethnic minority voters opposed EU membership, including a majority of Sikhs and Jews.