DEMOCRACY: In this documentary, we meet both people who voted for the UK to leave and to remain in the EU, as well as experts like Noam Chomsky.


Timothy George Kelly


It has been said that the referendum on whether Britain should leave or remain in the EU became a vote that was not necessarily concerned with a continued EU membership but rather immigration.

When I was studying minority psychology at the university, I wrote a thesis about what is is that actually make people so afraid of immigration. Among the theories that could explain these feelings, I found Samuel Stouffer’s theory on relative deprivation – or, as coined by Gudmund Hernes and Knud Knudsen, relational lack – one of the most fascinating theories. This documentary certainly seems to support this theory. In practice, it means that one feels that other groups get what one really is entitled to get and that this poses a risk of losing even further rights as resources decrease. In Norway and the UK, we have social welfare that is available when needed and funded by the community. In Brexitannia, many express that immigrants help themselves to their resources so that less is left for them to have.

Are immigrant workers to blame? As a citizen in a country with social welfare, you also work to contribute to the community – so that social welfare is there in case you need it. Several of those being interviewed in the documentary show great concern about the loss of work and housing, and about b e c o m i n g e x t r e m e l y poor after refugees and immigrants have taken their social welfare so that there are not enough r e s o u r c e s left to take care of the country’s own citizens. A young man tells stories about his friends who lose their jobs to people from Eastern Europe. This is where the consequences of the EU membership play a role; in practice, immigrant workers coming from other EU countries often means that cheaper labor comes to the UK and takes the jobs from those who demand normal wages.

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