When news came out last week that UK voters chose to leave the European Union, it was presented by the news media that it was a done deal. The United Kingdom would invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and within two years, would be out of the EU. Except that’s not correct.
The referendum itself was advisory, rather than legally binding, and nothing was legally set in motion as a result of the vote.
Theoretically, the government could ignore the result, although doing so would presumably prompt an angry reaction from the 52% of Brits who voted to leave.
“The referendum doesn’t itself trigger Brexit,” said Kenneth Armstrong, professor of European law at the University of Cambridge. “It still requires the decision of a government.”
This scenario certainly makes more sense. Being that the Brexit vote wasn’t legally binding, the outcome didn’t really matter.
If something like this had taken place in the United States and the outcome was not in sync with the will of the elite, it would have been blocked by the courts. The votes would have been repeatedly recounted and reasons would have been concocted up to disallow certain votes. Something like Brexit would never happen in the United States. The elites in power would never allow anything substantive be decided by a popular vote.
The British people decided to leave the European Union. June 23rd’s historic BREXIT vote was in favor of leaving, 51.9% to 48.1%. From the New York Times:
Not long after the vote tally was completed, Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the bloc, appeared in front of 10 Downing Street to announce that he planned to step down by October, saying the country deserved a leader committed to carrying out the will of the people.
The stunning turn of events was accompanied by a plunge in the financial markets, with the value of the British pound and stock prices in Asia plummeting.
So David Cameron is out. Too bad the United States doesn’t have leaders who were committed to carrying out the will of the people. Our leaders carry out the will of lobbyists and special interest groups.
The United Kingdom will now need to officially exercise its right under Article 50 of the European Union treaty. Once that happens, they will have two years to transition away from the European Union.
One of the main issues that will need to be worked out is immigration. Under the European Union, citizens of one member country can live and work in any other member country. When the UK is officially out of the EU, citizens of EU countries will need a passport and a work visa to live and work in the UK. The same will apply to UK citizens living and working in EU countries.
Immigration was one of the principal issues for leaving the EU. As a member to the EU, the UK had little control over the immigration into its own country. By voting to leave the EU, the British people have chosen to get their soverntry back.
Good for them.
Patrick Stewart became Sir Patrick Stewart last year. Too bad the Queen didn’t do the deed with a real life Bat’Leth instead of a non-Trekkie sword. The fact that this photo is a photoshop doesn’t diminish its coolness. The “real” photo can be seen here.
I like the fake one much better.