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miércoles, 16 de noviembre de 2016
The political brand Brexit
Without a doubt, the recent referendum in which the citizens of the United Kingdom unveiled its position so the country leave or stay in the European Union will be remembered as one of the news of the year. The result is known to all: almost the 52 per cent of Britons chose to leave the block.
The political and economic consequences correspond to those issues experts, It is not something we are going to assess this article. We will concentrate on what we are specialists: the communication of both sides that competed in the election.
In this sense, There is no doubt that the first achievement of the output of EU supporters was semantic: the name which referred to plebiscites and all the phenomena that revolves around is neither more nor less than the word which became a virtual slogan of supporters of the exit: "Brexit". This term is the result of the combination of the words"Britain” y “exit"-while those who drove the permanence used", without greater success, terms lacking all charm and sensuality: "Remain” y “Better Together". "The truth is that"Brexit"was not even original, "because it's an adaptation of the"Grexit"that used the Greeks when they were also raised, in the middle of its mega economic crisis, leaving the European Union.
However, the slight difference in favor of the position separacionista -51,9% Vs. 48,1% of those who aspired to follow integrated into the European Union- allows us to suppose that a better communication strategy could have tipped the balance in the opposite direction.
Let's see, Therefore, What were the various cultural factors, politicians, Economic and communicational they impacted on the result of the plebiscite.
UNITED AND INTEGRATED?
The history between the British and continental Europe has always been pendulum: sometimes more integrated and in other more remote. Already in 1975 the British raised is whether they should remain in the then European Economic Community, and the vote was imposed by 67 by hundreds of votes. However, Since then several voices that questioned the terms of integration occurred, and that they were imposing - or tried to impose- their own terms. The most obvious example was to continue using the pound sterling rather than the euro, and this will set its own monetary policy.
Over the years, a new political and economic reality altered the rules of the European Union. At the beginning, Great Britain, France and Germany maintained a healthy balance of power. But as the powerful German industrial machinery won spaces in world trade, the power of the block Center was running into German territory, to the extent that today the European Union moves according to the pulse of Germany. The result was disastrous for English pride, causing a deep resistance to the German power, as noted in numerous messages from supporters of the Brexit campaign.
The "recovery" of British sovereignty It thus became a powerful slogan of the electoral campaign.
This second election factor - politician, Economic and cultural-, It ended up also playing a role in the campaign of the supporters of the permanence, that it should appeal to the slogan of a Great Britain stronger, but inside Economic Union.
Was a good try, but not enough to oppose the yearnings of a time in which the country moved the needles of their own destiny without the need for partnering with other Nations.
The third factor that played a role in the vote, and that was very well exploited by politicians in favour of the Brexit was the growing rejection of immigration, as acknowledged it the Prime Minister David Cameron when he met with their counterparts in the European Union.
While supporters of the permanence they speak mainly of economy and very rational terms, the Brexit campaign focused on political sovereignty - what we saw earlier- and the brake to the immigration. It was a strongly emotional campaign, He pointed to the feelings of pride and security of the British. For some, even, He appealed to the instinctive feeling of "fear". For example, one of the arguments used is that the accession of Turkey to the European Union in the year 2020 significantly increase immigration from that country to Great Britain, until you get to the 5 millions of Turks in the year 2030. That image, added to the terrorist attacks that occurred in Belgium, France and other countries, and the feared consequences of job losses for the British in the hands of immigrants, they once again turned the scales in favor of separation.
THE DOMAIN OF SOCIAL NETWORKS
As we said, the emotions gained the votes of supporters of the Brexit.
People who used to stay in the European Union held up a rational and mature discourse, based on economic and political expediency.
On the other hand, Brexit supporters appealed to national pride and the rejection of immigrants. Psychology was much more powerful than logic.
And this strong emotional tone led to numerous actions in the social networks that created trend and exceeded by far to the partisans of the permanence. And as we know, trends in social networks tend to be contagious and join many undecided, and so became a fourth factor which explains the Brexit campaign: digital communication, as shown by recent studies, was key during the electoral process.
In synthesis, those who led the campaign of the Brexit appropriated the same semantics, They defined the agenda of discussion topics, they dominated the emotions of voters -mostly the older English and those of lower socio-economic levels- based on national pride and rejection of immigration, and they created trend and accession with digital communication actions.
The leaders of the Remain also they could have carried out a campaign with a more emotional approach, even appealing to rational arguments such as the economic impact of the output of the European Union in the pocket of the British. But they chose another way (the following images are proposals for listings of campaign that were rejected and never saw the light).
What remains, Therefore, they are lessons of political communication, and the economic and political consequences that only time will allow to evaluate.
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