Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit - A Decision to Live With?

Brits went to the polls yesterday to vote on a referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union. Then polls had just closed when I was getting ready for bed and only a few locations had reported their results. With the vote expected to be close, I went to bed as I figured that the result would be known by the time I woke up.

It came to 51.9% to 48.1% in favor of leaving.

Much like what happened in the Scottish Independence referendum, I had expected people who were dissatisfied with the system to do a last minute realization and vote to stay. Again the lessons are that all votes count and never underestimate the electorate.

Now that Leave has won, PM Cameron will be leaving. Perhaps the government will fall as well? Also, the UK will have to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the exit process which will probably take a couple of years. This is going to give the Brits some time think about what they have done and until Article 50 is triggered, they still have time to walk back from the cliff.

Most of the powers in Westminster and London will want to stay in the EU but now the will of the people has spoken. They can either live with this decision or find a way to get what they want. Parliament is supreme and they could refuse to accept the result. Not very democratic, though, is it? 
Personally, I think they should dissolve parliament and call for new elections, campaigning on whether to elect a government to affirm the exit or to not or perhaps on a second referendum.

Considering that the pound had taken a plunge in value, markets are being volatile, Scotland is talking about another independence referendum, and uncertainty about their own government, I wonder if the Brits are waking up with a hangover.  

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