Brexit Was Sold As A Victory For The Working Class. It Isn’t. | ThinkProgress — Working class voters in the U.K. disproportionately voted to leave the E.U. and greatly influenced the outcome of Thursday’s vote. But if the working class enabled Brexit to happen, they had remarkably little to do with leading the revolt. The primary figures in the Brexit saga have been wealthy politicians, who have ridden the recent European wave of anti-immigrant sentiment and fears over refugees into a position of power — where they likely won’t suffer from the economic repercussions of Brexit in the same way that others in British society will.
Many of these leaders are members of the same elite that working class voters view as being corrupt and out-of-touch. U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage — who played a large role in leading the campaign to leave the E.U. — is a wealthy former commodities broker who has come under fire for tax-dodging and has claimed poverty despite earning a six-figure salary. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, another Brexit champion, once described his own annual salary of £250,000 as “chicken feed.” Still, through an expert campaign that painted immigrants and refugees as a threat to the economy and British jobs, these leaders were able to sway many voters in favor of Brexit.