Brexit: Stoke the fires of natonalism and you’ll get burned

by , under Enrique Tessieri

After the United Kingdom decided Thursday to exit from the European Union, the question remains: why?

In many respects, the answer to that question is a similar one that you hear in some European countries why such-and-such country has seen the political rise of populist anti-immigration party.

Finland is a good example of the latter. The populist anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won 5 seats in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Four years later that number rose to 39 seats.

Nationalism and ultranatonalism, is one of the worst social ills inflicting Europe today. Speech that divides and incites nationalism has its consequences as we saw Thursday in the United Kingdom.

One of the questions we should be asking today is what is the United Kingdom’s and the Tory party’s end game after Brexit. It shouldn’t surprise us that they are probably in the dark about where their nationalism will take them.

Are they going to eat their imagined take-Britain-back nationalism at the table or what?

There is one matter for certain this week: Thursday’s referendum will not only impact Europe but especially the United Kingdom economically. It will fuel as well social ills like Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and many other social ills that socially exclude minorities.

And for what? So that Prime Minister David Cameron gambled to unite his party and lost big time?

What can we learn one important lesson from Brexit? Don’t stoke the fires of nationalism because you’ll get burned.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

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