Home/Daniel Larison/Cameron’s Increasingly Ridiculous Argument Against ‘Brexit’

Cameron’s Increasingly Ridiculous Argument Against ‘Brexit’

Last week, David Cameron warned that “Brexit” might lead to war in Europe. This was a ridiculous claim and widely panned as such, but that hasn’t stopped Cameron from resorting to increasingly stupid fear-mongering to sway the public to the side of Remain:

David Cameron has said the leader of Islamic State would be happy if the UK voted for Brexit.

So, according to the Prime Minister, would Vladimir Putin.

Both of these claims are very questionable, but the appropriate response to both ought to be: “So what?” Suppose that Cameron is right about this. Why should that make someone want Britain to stay in? There is almost nothing weaker or more pathetic than to insist on Britain’s membership in the EU because of what some foreign leader or terrorist prefers.

Besides the rank fear-mongering involved, the problem with Cameron’s claims is that they don’t make a lot of sense. If Britain leaves the EU, it makes absolutely no difference to jihadists in Raqqa or anywhere else. Jihadists gain nothing from “Brexit,” and it is difficult to see how Russia actually gains anything from it. It is revealing that Cameron keeps trying to make the case for Remain with warnings about the supposed foreign policy implications of “Brexit.” That suggests that he doesn’t have a lot of confidence that British voters can be persuaded that withdrawal from the EU is bad for Britain on the domestic front, and so he has to resort to making desperate claims that it is bad for the rest of the world. It also suggests that he thinks he is losing the argument on the merits and has to fall back on trying to frighten the public into siding with him. Maybe it will work, but the side that has to rely on alarmist rhetoric like this doesn’t have much else going for it.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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