Saturday, September 07, 2019

You can Brexit any time you like, but you can never leave

Democracy in Europe only works if you vote the right way.  National Review: "The Brexit Saboteurs":
Christopher Caldwell pores over the anti-democratic European playbook in a superb essay in the Claremont Review of Books. In EU-land, it’s perfectly normal for referenda to be ignored. In 1992, voters in Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty, then they voted the proper way in 1993. Irish voters rejected the EU Treaty of Nice in 2001, then in 2002 were ushered back to the polls, when they voted in accordance with EU wishes. After Ireland rejected the Treaty of Lisbon in 2008, the voters returned to the polls to deliver the EU-desired result in 2009. “These do-overs had become a Europe-wide symbol of contempt for voters,” Caldwell writes. “And that is why Parliament voted overwhelmingly in March 2017 to validate the referendum, activate the E.U.’s Article 50, and fix the date for British withdrawal.” That date was March 29, 2019, which turned out not to be all that fixed after all. The currently mooted terms would delay Brexit at least another 90 days past October 31, pushing the saga into 2020.
Writing in City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple writes in "Endless Tantrum" that Brexit should not have been decided by a referendum vote but - once it was - the UK had an obligation to follow the voters' wishes.
In normal circumstances, Members of Parliament are not obliged to vote according to what the population wants. They are representatives, not delegates with a clearly laid-down mandate to fulfill, and governments have to make hundreds of decisions without reference to the electorate’s wishes, except in a general way. But, having canvassed public opinion in a supposedly binding referendum on a vital subject, to ignore the result can only strengthen the impression that the political class is a law unto itself.
It's weird (to me) that the once-proud Brits would allow this endless supplication to Brussels, along with billions of Euros, rather than just pull off the Band-aid.

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