Brexit and the UK
July 1, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Not a believer in referendums — at least not those in the UK that turn a simple democracy into a mobile vulgus ochlocracy. I didn’t vote in the one last week on Brexit but in terms of UK democracy, last week’s Brexit referendum vote was as democratic as any electoral or parliamentary vote and more democratic — in terms of the popular vote turnout — than any other post war referendum.
Following the Brexit referendum there are many of whom we might say, They think it’s all over¹ and that we are out of the EU, this is not yet the case. It now appears that many people voted to leave the EU not understanding that referendums have no legal status and cannot supersede parliamentary sovereignty. As David Cameron has said recently, “This is our sovereign decision and it will be for Britain, and Britain alone, to decide.” Intending — I assume — that parliament itself must invoke article 50, thereby beginning the process of Brexit. Quite how Cameron’s remark will be interpreted by the now varied political factions in Westminster is a matter of pure speculation.
Monday — Britain votes to leave the EU, here’s what happens next: The law governing Brexit is found in Article 50 of the EU Treaty. This is a provision adopted by EU member states in 2009 to govern Brexit-like scenarios. It puts a two-year time limit on withdrawal negotiations. When the two years is up (or on the date any agreement reached before this enters into force) the UK is officially out of the EU.
Tuesday — Brexit | Legally and constitutionally, what now? The Government is not legally obliged to trigger Brexit however, Political reality is something else entirely. It would, self-evidently, be astonishingly political difficult for the Government to ignore the outcome of the referendum, and there is, in effect, an insuperable political obligation to fire the Article 50 starting-gun. That does not, however, mean that the UK Government must — or should — immediately do so. Given that it is not obliged by UK law or by EU law to start the Article 50 process, it can, if it wishes, bide its time — in order, if nothing else, to take stock and work out who, and by reference to what strategy, the negotiations will be conducted.
Wednesday — David Cameron on Brexit turmoil: Not my problem: I suspect that Cameron is being deliberately obtuse, unless of course he really is the buffoon who gambled his and other peoples political future on the throw of a referendum dice that he had the ability to load in his favour.
I’m increasingly reminded of the film Destry Rides Again, feeling as I do that I find myself in a rigged poker game and wondering if David Cameron is Destry Jr or Kent? Is Boris Johnson Washington Dimsdale, George Osborne Hiram J. Slade and Theresa May Frenchy? Are Michael Gove and his ilk part of the outlaw gang that shoot Dimsdale in the back and do for Frenchy, only to be vanquished when Destry rides again? Perhaps Cameron is Kent and no Destry Jr will arrive to resolve the Bottleneck chaos!
Thursday — They dismissed it as Project Fear: now welcome to the bitter reality of a bungled Brexit vote: A country that thrives on its political and legal stability is descending into chaos. Honourably, but with his legacy as prime minister in tatters, David Cameron has resigned; the gambler finally lost, big time.
Friday — How the UK could turn the Brexit ship around: The majority of voters chose to leave the EU, but there are four ways in which the UK could still remain part of the union. With the help of an economist and a law professor, the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) explains how the UK could exit the Brexit.
Finally — An English idiom inadvertently created by the BBC TV commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme in the closing moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final and two haiku:
’They think it’s all over’ has now become a popular English idiom, which is often used in its complete form as, ‘They think it’s all over — it is now’.¹
Triumph is always
That brief moment of glory
The victor basks in.
Defeat is always