Brexit: Mudslinging begins as mixed messages, propaganda and misinformation dominate debate

Brexit:  mixed messages, propaganda and bad info Who to believe? Mixed messages, propaganda and misinformation dominate Brexit debate
Batten down the hatches and tie them tight. There is a storm coming and it’s going to hit everyone. It’s a political storm of course, so expect copious mudslinging from all sides.

The storm is not named Desmond or Imogen, but is the breakfast bar sounding Brexit, the UK’s exit from the European Union. Engineers and manufacturers can expect to be at the cliff face of many arguments, with both the for and against camps claiming it will lead to copious job losses and general doom.

The problem with all of this is the lack of actual data. Real facts are hard to come by. If it was a court case, most evidence would be dismissed as hearsay. As engineers, we like those tangible things that we can weigh up, trade off, work around and figure out. The problem is that Brexit is as much about egos as it is anything else.

The arguments and headlines are full of ‘could’ and ‘might’, and are bursting with journalistic bias, with everyone from the BBC to the Telegraph going predictably to the left or right, depending on the employer. I, for one, have no idea who or what to believe.

In the coming months, however, like most I will be keeping an eye and ear on developments and will be trying to talk to as many engineers and UK manufacturers about their concerns and views to try and get some balance. While UK manufacturers do an immense amount of trade with the EU, the barriers of trade with other nations – notably the US – are hardly prohibitive, are they?

The UK should also not underestimate its influence on the EU either. As a nation, on the whole, we have been a positive and level headed player that has helped bring about many positive changes in EU countries. And the EU has done the same for us. Not the cucumbers of course, but nothing’s perfect.

Science and engineering in the EU are, however, perhaps the strongest in the world, and any Brexit would be a loss for the UK in that respect. It is just another thing to consider, and one of many that will be used to sway opinion, sling mug and make you eat that politically infused Brexit bar in the coming months, whether you want to or not.

Author
Justin Cunningham

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