Within a matter of days, the United Kingdom has gone from “Brexit” to “Regrexit.” It’s not surprising. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the U.K.’s pound sterling took a massive hit after the vote. There’s also a very real possibility that the decision to leave the European Union could have triggered the end of Great Britain as we know it.
However, if you really want an apt summary for the reality of Regrexit, look no further than Cornwall. According to both the Washington Post and Independent (UK), the British county saw 56 percent of its citizens vote “leave” in the recent referendum. The Guardian reports there was a 77 percent Cornish turnout.
And yet Cornwall’s collective vote ended up being a blatant example of voting against one’s own best interest.
— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) June 25, 2016
Cornwall literally cannot afford for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. It represents one of the poorest counties in Britain. As such, it relied heavily on EU funding.
The Independent explains the situation.
“Cornwall, which has a poor economy and as such has received millions of pounds in subsidies from the EU each year for over a decade, voted decisively to leave.
“But this money is now threatened following the severing of ties with the EU.”
Why would the impoverished people of Cornwall be pro-Brexit despite this important detail? The short answer is that they might have been misled. Certain promises were made by the “Leave” campaigners. For instance, there were guarantees that these funds would continue even after Brexit was a success. Now anxious Brits realize that there was never a proper exit strategy.
Conservative Leave MP, Boris backer: "there is no plan. Leave campaign don't have a post Brexit plan, Number 10 should have had one"
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) June 26, 2016
As the reality of this situation sets in, officials in Cornwall are desperately trying to hold onto vital EU funding.
John Pollard, the leader of Cornwall council said: “Now that we know the U.K. will be leaving the EU we will be taking urgent steps to ensure that the U.K. Government protects Cornwall’s position in any negotiations.
“We will be insisting that Cornwall receives investment equal to that provided by the EU programme which has averaged £60m per year over the last ten years.”
Unfortunately for Cornwall, it’s only one of many poorer U.K. counties that will be negatively affected by Brexit. In fact, many of the sections of England and Wales that voted for Brexit seem to be the most reliant on additional funding from the European Union — vital funding that might be off the table or severely downsized. Cornwall simply isn’t in a position to convince anyone to keep funding it, as it’ll likely be one hungry mouth among many, all desperate to be fed.
— Plymouth Herald (@PlymouthHerald) June 25, 2016
With the European Union collectively miffed at the United Kingdom, there’s no indication that negotiations will leave Britain better off than it was as part of the EU. Instead, it’s possible that Britain is headed for a terrible recession, one that was completely avoidable. In the short-term, the outcome of Brexit will be devastating for regions like Cornwall. It’s hard to know if the already impoverished county will even have a hope of recovery over the long-term.
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) June 25, 2016
As mentioned earlier in the article, the pro-Brexit Cornwall is a strong example of voting against one’s best interest. And Cornish “Leave” voter Nick Carey is a prime example of the motivations that might inspire one to vote against their best interest.
“I want our sovereignty back. I want control. And, yes, I’m worried about immigration. It’s fine to share what we’ve got with others, but let’s make sure we’re OK first. Since the result and all the fuss, I must admit I’ve got a bit worried the economy may suffer, but we’ll get through – the British stiff upper lip and all that.”
Carey’s vote, fueled by anti-immigration sentiments, ignores the increasingly adverse outcome by relying on purely British stereotypes to cope. It’s bizarre but not quite as strange as the basis for “Regrexit” expressed by his countrymen. Some voted to leave as a joke or not realizing their vote counted. Some didn’t even know what the European Union was until after having voted to leave it.
And yet, Cornwall’s example out does them all. Should everything slide in a predictable direction, history will remember this impoverished county as cheerily voting to leave behind the very institution holding it back from the brink of utter despair. We can only hope that enough people learn from what’s happened with Brexit and Cornwall: One should not make uninformed decisions that have the possibility to devastate their entire future for years to come.
[Photo by Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images]