Brexit shows globalisation's 'losers' must not be left out

I concur with Europe correspondent Jonathan Eyal that there were more primordial forces at play in Brexit, namely the class divide and general resentment of the establishment ("Why leave? A protest against parties and price of globalisation"; June 25).

The result of the referendum affirms this.

British newspaper The Telegraph reported that 58 per cent of the United Kingdom's north-east region, where one in three people is a semi-skilled or unskilled manual worker, pensioner or others who depend on welfare, voted to leave the European Union.

In the north-west, 53.7 per cent chose Leave, which the paper attributed to the tensions caused by high migrant populations in a significant number of cities. The same was true of the West Midlands, where 59.2 per cent of voters voted to leave.

In contrast, in London, the wealthy and cosmopolitan capital where the rich, powerful and upwardly mobile citizens congregate, the majority chose to stay.

Before the referendum, many influential leaders in business, finance and politics from around the world lent their voices to urge the British people to remain in the EU.

They strenuously argued that doing so would be to embody the twin forces of globalisation and the free economy, which are indispensable in heralding the prosperity of our times.

From this perspective, the result of the referendum amounts to rejection of these twin ideas and is nothing less than a slap on the collective faces of the world's elites.

World governments, including Singapore's, must learn the important lesson from Brexit - that globalisation and the free economy do not benefit everybody ("Brexit vote holds lessons for Singapore" by Mr Yeo Eng Buan, and "Important for Government to keep the trust with people" by Mr Lionel Loi Zhi Rui; both published on June 28).

Without proper management, these twin forces can be like tsunamis drowning out precious life.

Governments must ensure that the benefits of globalisation and the free economy do not just gravitate to the wealthy or upwardly mobile citizens, but also flow down to the masses, so that weaker strata of our society, such as the elderly, the destitute and the disadvantaged are able to enjoy the fruits.

The anguish of the "losers", as Mr Eyal aptly described, must be appeased.

Sim Eng Cheong