Local Brit would vote for exit
Although Travis Casey is not casting a vote in today's Brexit referendum, the British-turned-Brainerd man knows where he stands. "I'm hoping they will leave and return sovereignty to Britain itself," Casey said. The European Union joins together ...
Although Travis Casey is not casting a vote in today's Brexit referendum, the British-turned-Brainerd man knows where he stands.
"I'm hoping they will leave and return sovereignty to Britain itself," Casey said.
The European Union joins together such a wide swath of cultures and nationalities, he said, it's difficult to have a one-size-fits-all approach.
"It's almost like Canada and Mexico and America all playing by the same laws and rules," Casey said. "That would be very difficult to pull off."
Casey, an author who spent 22 years in England before moving back to the United States two years ago, is a citizen of both countries. He has other concerns with the country's membership in the EU. This includes the financial support Britain offers to countries such as Greece, when that country was the recipient of a financial bailout.
"Other countries benefit from the hard work of the British people," Casey said.
Another concern for Casey is Britain's robust social welfare system, which he said attracts Europeans from poorer countries to live in Britain. Those with EU citizenship can move freely among all member countries.
"If they can't get work, they know they're going to get the government handouts," Casey said.
Although he said this has not impacted taxes for citizens substantially, he sees an undercutting effect on the British workforce due to the potential for cheaper labor.
Casey's assessment of where loyalties lie among British citizens is that those of older generations tend to skew in favor of exiting the EU. At 54, Casey falls squarely in that camp.
"The younger generation, it's all they've known," Casey said. "They don't know, how is it going to be different?"
In response to concerns raised by those in favor of Britain remaining in the EU, including potential economic and trade consequences, Casey said he believes returning to previous arrangements will not be a problem.
"It's probably made it easier to trade, however, they got along fine before they opened up the borders," Casey said.
He added Britain's reticence to being part of the union shows through in its insistence on maintaining its own currency.
"I've always found it strange that Britain tried to keep itself out of it, to large degrees," Casey said. "They weren't willing to jump in completely into the whole European system."
CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .