World correspondent Zack Beauchamp writes for VOX about his take on Brexit, saying that it “isn’t about economics, it’s about xenophobia.”
As he writes in his piece, “…anti-immigrant demagoguery has become politically potent. The UK Independence Party (UKIP), led by a Donald Trump–style populist demagogue named Nigel Farage, began life as an irrelevant anti-EU party in the early ’90s. But in the past 10 years, UKIP’s poll numbers have soared: It got 4 million votes in the 2015 election, the third-largest national vote total in the country.
UKIP has done this by focusing, obsessively, on the threat from immigrants, both from inside the EU and out. Muslims are a favorite Farage bugaboo. Since the European migrant crisis began, he has warned that EU membership will force the UK to let in large numbers of Muslim refugees.
‘There is an especial problem with some of the people who’ve come here and who are of the Muslim religion who don’t want to become part of our culture,’ Farage said in a 2015 interview. ‘People do see a fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us.’”