British expats in Dubai hold Brexit referendum debate

Published:  25 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UK, Canada, Dubai, UAE, Euro, England
A heated debate on the Brexit referendum took place in Dubai’s Capital Club, attended by a good number of expats working in the kingdom.

The discussion demonstrated that being thousands of miles away has no effect on the strength of feelings of those who consider the UK as their true home. Strong opinions were stated by supporters of both sides of the argument, beginning with Gulf News Editor Francis Matthew’s reminder of Britain’s long-standing connection with Europe.

Referring to the descriptions ‘Norman’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon’ as summing up the national identity of all Brits, he declared that denying the unbreakable connection between this identity and its European equivalent is short-sighted at best. Speaking on the contentious issue of EU migrants in the UK, it’s his opinion that immigrants settling in Britain are taking less and giving more in that they pay more tax overall than they receive in benefits.

In reply, the speaker for Vote Leave, Michael Champion, referenced the fact that European institutions including the Court of Justice and the EU parliament have the last word in British law and decision-making. Britain’s inability to make its own trade deals also featured in his analysis.

For the Remain group, Gulf Recruitment Group MD Toby Simpson stated that the UK’s prosperity depends on immigrant workers as they represent the low-waged workforce necessary to keep down inflation and retain market competitiveness.Simpson also referred to EU laws which prevented harmful chemicals being used in the manufacture of cosmetics and laws which ensured trade descriptions were accurate, adding that a good many more bureaucrats and politicians would be needed to fill the gap should Brexit succeed.

Finally, Vote Leave UAE branch vice-chairman Robert Tasker pointed out that it was NATO, not the EU, which had protected the entire continent and kept peace for the past six decades. He rejected the EU’s plans for a European Union army, stating that Britain’s independence as regards defence would be lost.
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