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Saturday, October 22, 2016

The British referendum is affected by the “Russian factor”

A series of anti-demagogic methods noted British Prime Minister David Cameron, and in order to convince citizens to vote against their country’s exit from the EU. Whether, as claimed by the British authorities, in the event of a divorce between Britain and the EU Russia will have major political gains?

“We have become accustomed to the fact that the Russian factor is one such sustainable tools in the electoral campaign, but for us, a new element is the use of the Russian factor or factor of President Putin in the subject Brexit (a possible British exit from the EU), this is a new phenomenon,” – said the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. So the representative of the Kremlin commented on the recent statement by the Prime Minister of great Britain David Cameron, who said Britain’s withdrawal from the EU would be happy the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

“Russia can win both in one and in another case”

On the eve of the London Independent quoted the British Prime Minister answers after the speech, organized by the world economic forum. According to the citation, the name of the Russian leader was delivered by the British leader is not in a friendly context. Cameron said that Brexit would welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin, “I suspect al-Baghdadi (“Caliph” is prohibited in Russia grouping “Islamic state” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi). There is a typical rhetorical manipulation is when an object or person who wants to give any assessment (usually negative) is put on a par with a person having a priori such an assessment.

“In the East is Putin, and to the South of IG

This kind of “Parallels”, we note, are not new for Cameron. In February, in interview Bi-bi-si, the Prime Minister cited the following “argument” in favor of maintaining Britain’s membership in the EU: “How can we be confident that we will continue to be strong in a world where the East is Putin, and to the South of the IG. To stay strong, need to stay together with its neighbors, partners and friends”. Here again, Putin is deliberately placed in one symbolic context to the absolute evil of modern Western civilization (including Russia) – the Islamic religious extremism.

As reported by the newspaper VIEW, in March, UK energy Minister amber Rudd also decided to intimidate citizens, “the Russian threat”. “Count on energy from abroad is a risk. We have seen how countries like Putin’s Russia has used gas supplies as a foreign policy tool, threatening to cut off supplies or sharply raise prices, says it Minister. – We can’t allow our energy security to become a pawn in the political game in order to put Europe on its knees. Working together in the European Union, we are able to avoid this”.

We will remind that Russia has never threatened any interruption of supply or sudden (or even gradual) price increases. That is just an outright lie. Statements about the possible termination of transit of gas to Western Europe differed, by the way, Ukraine, but about it in Britain on an official level are silent.

The intimidation didn’t work

However, from published on the eve of the poll, which was conducted by TNS, it follows that Brexit would welcome not only the Russian President (if you believe Cameron), but the relative majority of Britons.

In any case, 41% of respondents were in favour of the rupture of relations with Brussels and, apparently, intend to vote for it to be held on 23 June referendum.

38% were in favour of retaining the country’s membership in the European Union. Thus, for the first time since February, when TNS started publishing interviews on this topic, the number euroscepticism minded Britons exceeded the number of those who support the preservation of the country’s membership in the EU. This is despite the fact that the government claim that the annual cost every British family in the event of withdrawal from the European Union amounted to 4.3 million pounds (about 6.1 thousand of dollars).

It is curious that British businessmen believe otherwise. At least may 16, nearly 300 major business and industry sector of great Britain has addressed to inhabitants of the country in an open letter with an appeal to vote for an exit. Apparently, they find the benefits in this both for themselves and for the British economy as a whole.

However, as noted by the newspaper VIEW, Cameron, in his time made efforts to ensure that the referendum was held (and received from my colleagues in the EU the assurance that “special way” of his country for the European Union is something unacceptable), now became almost the main enemy Brexit and actively involved in the PR campaign on this issue. In an article published in one of the February issues of The Telegraph, he called the referendum “the adventure of the century”.

The EU is obviously not interested closest ally. About a month ago, President Barack Obama, arrived in London, had a meeting with Cameron, where, as reported by The Telegraph, the same, the most important task for Obama was to convince the British to avoid Brexit and stay in the EU.

Local event?

For Moscow, a possible British exit from the European Union “will be more of a local European event,” says associate Professor of MGIMO, a specialist for Europe, the analyst Kirill Koktysh. If Britain eventually leaves the EU, for Russia it is a tragedy, too, will not, because Moscow maintains communication with the national States, the expert said in comments the newspaper VIEW.

“Russia can win both in one and in another case, – says the analyst. – In the case of keeping Britain in the EU format of communication will be with the EU and national States. In the case that the EU will begin to crumble, the format of communication will be with the national States. This situation actively and will not affect the Russian reality. Just to be different approaches in each case”.

The expert is convinced that Russia was doing and relies on subjectivity, that is, that the EU will be able to determine their decisions and to articulate their interests. “In this situation, the weakening of the EU will postpone his subjectivity and to turn it into an object of external influence. Therefore the victory of Russia from the weakening of the European Union is not particularly visible,” said Koktysh.

In turn, the President of the Center for strategic communications, political scientist Dmitry Abzalov believes that a British exit from the EU will make the EU less dependent on the US political entity. Earlier, in comments the newspaper VIEW Abzalov said: “If London and Brussels will lose the strategic vector of mutual partnership, then the leading role in the EU will move to Paris and Berlin. In short, the EU will become politically more independent from Washington.” The acquisition of subjectivity, respectively, would be more beneficial to developing relations between the EU and Russia.

Statement of Cameron testifies about the absence of substantive arguments of the British Prime Minister, says Kirill Koktysh. “It remains to find arguments to the contrary. That is when you can’t in any way defend your position and no rational arguments, are arguments that this can bring happiness to someone you believe the enemy. But this is just a sign of the lack of rational argument”, – said Koktysh.

“It is not necessary to rely entirely on survey data”

As regards the prospects of the referendum, its result is not a foregone conclusion.

The head of the Center for British studies, Institute of Europe of Elena Ananyeva emphasizes that data from different surveys conducted by research companies (Ipsos MORI, TNS and others) on this subject diverge. Also there are two unknown factors: turnout and vote as those who will determine its position at the last moment. “According to some polls, the opponents of Britain’s membership in the EU account for 41%, and supporters – 38%. And this is within the statistical margin of error,” Ananyeva said the newspaper VIEW.

According to her, the results of the referendum will largely depend on turnout. Moreover, the inaccuracy of such surveys showed the last parliamentary elections. Then in all the polls, the conservatives should have won, and the scales tipped three per cent of Tory supporters who are “embarrassed” to say that I support the conservatives.

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