How Does Religion Affect the Brexit Vote?

Uncontrolled entry of immigrants is influencing the vote.

The Brexit referendum is the abbreviation of two words “British Exit”. It is meshed with two issues of immigration and economics. There are also different ideas of what serves the UK best. However, it is seen that voters are also influenced by religion.

How Does Religion Affect the Brexit Vote?[/tweetthis]

Both Muslim and Christian communities within the UK have shown diverse stances when it comes to remaining within the European Union. The campaign by “Muslims for Britain” has pushed the idea that the country should exit the EU. Its rationale is that if the UK does so, there will be increased and more free trade with Commonwealth nations like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. On the other hand, there are Muslims who insisted that the UK should remain. Their rationale is that Muslims are much safer when they live within a diverse community and any leave decision means more growth of Islamophobia.

Proponents of Brexit have argued that only by staying outside the EU can the UK effectively restrict immigration and control borders. The anxiety of unbridled immigration is not only being afraid of losing employment opportunities to foreigners, but also the fear of terrorist attacks being carried out by Muslim extremists having EU citizenship. Many of these terrorists went to Syria to do jihad and then returned to the EU and its travel freedoms. The last is restricted by the refusal of Britain to join the Schengen passport-free zone. It means that any foreigner who wish to enter the UK is liable to be checked. However, it is seen that most terrorists from inside the EU can enter Britain with ease.

Like the Muslims, there is also a schism among Christian communities. The “remain” vote is favored by Roman Catholics. The “leave” vote is favored by most Protestants. According to Alison Milbank, a professor of theology, the origin of the EU is divine as it promotes cooperation among nations. In contrast, Lord Carey, the past Archbishop of Canterbury provided biblical evidence of the UK leaving the EU. He quoted from book of Exodus, comparing the liberation of Israel from Egypt, adding that this situation will permit Britain to govern its own borders and enact laws suited to Britain.

The debate on religion on the subject of Brexit is simply not concerned with theology or faith. It also reveals a number of concerning issues like diversity, fear, unity and safety. These concepts formed the core of arguments of both sides.



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