Brexit - SILM® analysis

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Brexit - SILM® analysis

Post by silmcoach »

Any analysis of the factors that led to Brexit for the UK cannot follow a linear cause and effect path because of the complexity involved. A SILM® analysis will adopt different perspectives, a fundamental tenet of the approach.

SPATIAL - The vision from the Leave camp was about "taking back control"; "take back control of our borders"; "we are a great country that should decide on it's own future"; "make it's own laws"; "not be governed by an unelected bureaucratic elite in Europe". Such slogans arouse emotions, and the more emotion the less rational thought. Remain argued "Economic experts agree the UK is bettor off in the EU" and "The weight of evidence is overwhelming" citing support from prominent individuals in business, the arts, and science, and "the heads of the Bank of England & Trades Union Congress". Not particularly stirring stuff, all appealing to rationality and lacking any positive vision.

INTUITIVE Because of the complexity involved in weighing up all the different factors, and the impossibility of predicting the likely consequences of either Leave or Remain, the decision as to which way to vote may well have been based upon a gut feeling for most people. Gut decisions are based on feelings, the Leave Camp aroused them, Remain didn't. Kahneman & Tversky argue that intuition is at the heart of human thinking. If the Remain camp had applied this understanding of human decision making their campaign approach would have been different, and so too might the outcome of the referendum.

LOGIC The Remain Camp (according to the Leave Camp) pushed "Project Fear" offering several statistics as to how much worse off financially we would all be if we exited the EU. Several commentators suggest that the voters just didn't believe such claims as a family will be "£4,300 worse off"; "House prices will fall"; "leaving the EU will cause financial turmoil"; "there will be a recession". The Leave Camp focussed on how much better off we would be, not having to pay Brussels £350M a week, which could be better spent in the Health Service (a claim Post-Brexit promptly retracted).

MATERIAL The main argument of the Leave Camp with regard immigration was that public services and basic needs (Health Service, Schools, Housing etc.) were being stretched due to the rapidly increasing population, boosted by immigrantion. Pre-Brexit interviews with people who intended to vote Leave highlighted difficulties in getting an appointment with their GP (Doctor's appointment), struggling to get children into the local or chosen school, difficulty in gaining access to social housing etc. We heard nothing from the Remain Camp about how they intended to address these concerns, or in fact any plan at all from the Leave Camp.

This brief SILM® analysis is not intended to argue the case for either Leave or Remain, only to illustrate how the theory can be applied in any analysis.
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