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Old 06-28-2016, 06:12 AM   #301
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I wasn't aware that the referendum isn't binding - that puts an interesting spin on all this. I would hope that Parliament, if they are the ones to make the final call, lets things settle down a little bit before deciding whether to stay or leave. Acting in the midst of the immediate economic aftershock, when things are bound to look especially bad, would probably not be wise.
many were/are not aware - the penny does not seem to have dropped yet (although the pound has har har /lame joke) - the government have said very little (actually nothing?!) about this, other than constantly claiming that the referendum outcome would be respected and Cameron himself said all along he would trigger the exit clause immediately, so i guess everyone assumed it was done and dusted...

i am actually dreading the backlash from the Leave lot (especially the hateful racist contingent - terrifying escalation in hate crime, anti-foreigner abuse in the past couple of days) if parliament do ultimately vote against it - we will be in for an even worse shitstorm i imagine... as if things weren't getting bad enough in Blighty already
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:22 AM   #302
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The leave vote was mostly driven by sovereignty.
no it wasn't - it was driven by empty promises (NHS funding, retracted instantly) and anti-immigration sentiment

i think sovereignty was actually a non-issue in the campaign - people seem to think EU countries are all the same and do not understand that we do in fact have different national laws - for instance, the health system and education system funding in France and Britain are wildly different (free university tuition and generously means-tested maintenance grants in France, versus £9000 tuition fees and massive student debt in the UK), not to mention wildly different labour protection and employment laws! the things many of the Leave lot were protesting about pretty much come down to national govt issues

i strongly believe this was a protest vote against the UK government and the EU was scapegoated for national government failings
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:41 AM   #303
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Methinks this referendum, or the one in the Netherlands a few months ago, again prove why direct democracy is a bad thing. Most people lack the informed knowledge to understand the complex issues at hand and just vote with their emotions. Made worse by whichever political arsonist is throwing petrol on the fire for their own personal gains. Of course the Ancients already knew this. This was why the first thing the victorious Spartans did after defeating Athens in the Peloponnese war was to abolish Athenian democracy. Not because they believed in autocracy themselves, but because all to often demagogues had stocked up the Athenian electorate in making stupid decisions that had helped cause and prolong the war.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:08 AM   #304
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Methinks this referendum, or the one in the Netherlands a few months ago, again prove why direct democracy is a bad thing. Most people lack the informed knowledge to understand the complex issues at hand and just vote with their emotions. Made worse by whichever political arsonist is throwing petrol on the fire for their own personal gains. Of course the Ancients already knew this. This was why the first thing the victorious Spartans did after defeating Athens in the Peloponnese war was to abolish Athenian democracy. Not because they believed in autocracy themselves, but because all to often demagogues had stocked up the Athenian electorate in making stupid decisions that had helped cause and prolong the war.
what's it looking like in The Netherlands right now? i hear the extreme right are calling for a referendum there too?
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:22 AM   #305
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Question: I know that the UK has a fairly new Supreme Court. Is this the sort of issue that they may eventually intervene in?

I ask because it seems like some people think withdrawing will require a parliamentary vote, while others think that this can be done unilaterally by the PM. I ask because even if Boris Johnson wins the Tory leadership contest and the government isn't dissolved, it sounds like he might have a hard time keeping the Tories together enough to actually get parliament to approve activating Article 50. If he can do it unilaterally, that's another story. So I have to wonder if there will be some sort of constitutional crisis if he tries to activate Article 50 unilaterally.


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digitize, the PM definitely cannot do this unilaterally - constitutional obligations and the different options summed up below:

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Before an Article 50 declaration can be issued, Parliament must enact a statute empowering or requiring the Prime Minister to issue notice under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, and empowering the Government to make such changes to statutes as are necessary to bring about our exit from the European Union.

Is this a mere formality? The political reality might be “yes”. Parliament might consider that following the referendum it must pass a statute in these terms. But the answer in constitutional terms is “no”. As a matter of constitutional law, Parliament is not bound to follow the results of the Brexit referendum when deliberating this legislation. A number of options are constitutionally open to Parliament.

First, it could decide not to grant this power at all. As some of the core claims made by the leave campaign unravel, Parliament might decide that the case for Brexit has not been made – or was gained under a false prospectus. As Edmund Burke taught us, ours is a representative, not a direct, democracy. Those representatives whose consciences required them to reject the referendum vote would have to justify themselves to their electorates at the next General Election – an event that is likely to arrive quite soon. We should make clear that we take no position as to whether Parliament should adopt such a course, but it is undoubtedly open to Parliament as a matter of constitutional law. Parliament is, after all, sovereign.

Secondly, Parliament could conclude that it would be contrary to the national interest to invoke Article 50 whilst it is in the dark about what the key essentials of the new relationship with the EU are going to be, and without knowing what terms the EU is going to offer. Parliament might well conclude that to require the Government to issue the notice immediately would be contrary to the national interest, even if Parliament is committed to leaving the EU, because the legal structure of Article 50 would place the UK at a seriously disadvantageous position in negotiating acceptable terms. Surely, Parliament is unlikely to require the Government to issue notice under Article 50 if it considers that the Government might be forced to accept exit terms which do not protect key aspects of our economy. Parliament may therefore require the Government to engage in extensive informal negotiations or even to seek to negotiate exit from the UK by formal Treaty amendments rather than through the Article 50 process.

If the UK seeks to obtain some form of framework agreement on key terms before invoking Article 50, once these terms are in place, Parliament could then trigger the Article 50 procedure to effect exit, perhaps with only details left to negotiate by the Government. Immediately upon an agreement being finalised the UK would no longer be part of the EU. This option would comply with the outcome of the referendum.

Finally, of course, Parliament could decide to authorize notice under Article 50 at once by empowering the Prime Minister to issue the declaration.
obviously if Brexit were to be blocked by parliament, there would be a possibility of a complete meltdown among the population as people would surely feel their voices had been ignored - the UK govt would have to take drastic measures to listen to the valid concerns of the Leave voters and take steps to resolve these issues - our politicians are so disconnected from reality, it's unreal
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:28 AM   #306
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what's it looking like in The Netherlands right now? i hear the extreme right are calling for a referendum there too?
The current government in The Netherlands say they think a referendum on this topic is a bad idea.
Also according to Dutch referendum law, a referendum can only be requested in regards to a new law. So, technically, a referendum about leaving the EU is not even a possibility.
And while the right wing part of the country is loud enough, I don't know of any polls that suggest we would vote to leave if there would be a referendum on the topic.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:04 AM   #307
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The current government in The Netherlands say they think a referendum on this topic is a bad idea.
Also according to Dutch referendum law, a referendum can only be requested in regards to a new law. So, technically, a referendum about leaving the EU is not even a possibility.
And while the right wing part of the country is loud enough, I don't know of any polls that suggest we would vote to leave if there would be a referendum on the topic.
thanks! that's really interesting!
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:27 AM   #308
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Methinks this referendum, or the one in the Netherlands a few months ago, again prove why direct democracy is a bad thing. Most people lack the informed knowledge to understand the complex issues at hand and just vote with their emotions. Made worse by whichever political arsonist is throwing petrol on the fire for their own personal gains. Of course the Ancients already knew this. This was why the first thing the victorious Spartans did after defeating Athens in the Peloponnese war was to abolish Athenian democracy. Not because they believed in autocracy themselves, but because all to often demagogues had stocked up the Athenian electorate in making stupid decisions that had helped cause and prolong the war.
That's exactly right.

Some issues are far too complex to be left to a referendum IMO.

The talk of Quebec separating is now essentially dead in Canada but for many years, both before the referendum and afterwards when a follow-up referendum was threatened, it was patently clear that most of the voting public just did not understand the implications. For example, if you looked at the polls, most people thought that leaving = putting up border crossings, getting a new passport and your own Olympic team. When you dug a little deeper, suddenly what happened to your currency, the enormous payments now received from the federal gov't, federal funding for public institutions, your portion of the federal debt, pensions, etc. The people wanted NO changes to any of that, as if citizens of another country should consider to support you with their tax dollars.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:31 AM   #309
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obviously if Brexit were to be blocked by parliament, there would be a possibility of a complete meltdown among the population as people would surely feel their voices had been ignored
Yep, I really don't think the referendum can simply be ignored, even though parliament is entitled to do that. The consequences would be dire; I'm sure even many Remain supporters would be angry to see the public will defied brazenly.

But I'm also not convinced the UK will actually go through with leaving. I think it's time for the tried and true political technique of getting somebody else to kill the process so that the government can say "well we were committed to implementing the result of the referendum but now that is out of our hands". The obvious routes are to let Scotland or Northern Ireland block it. "So, Brexiters, do you still want to do this if it means the union collapses?"

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The current government in The Netherlands say they think a referendum on this topic is a bad idea.
Also according to Dutch referendum law, a referendum can only be requested in regards to a new law. So, technically, a referendum about leaving the EU is not even a possibility.
That's interesting. Do you have no provision for plebiscites alongside referenda? Here in Australia we maintain a distinction between referenda, which are on constitutional issues and the results are binding, and plebiscites, which are neither constitutional nor binding. Under our definition the UK poll was a plebiscite not a referendum. And on the topic of whether a simple majority is enough, Australian referenda require a majority of the national vote and a majority of the vote in a majority of states to pass; plebiscites in theory only need a simple national majority (there have only ever been two, both of which failed, so that lower threshold for success hasn't been tested).
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:32 AM   #310
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what's it looking like in The Netherlands right now? i hear the extreme right are calling for a referendum there too?
The problem the EU has in the Netherlands is that most political parties are loath to come out and proudly support it for its accomplishments but are very quick to criticize it for its failings, or, even more important, use it as a convenient scapegoat if they have to enact unpopular legislation.

'Oh no, we have to do this unpopular thing, it's not our fault, Brussels made us do it!'

All Brussels does is carry out policies that the member states themselves agreed upon. Which means give or take. If it means Brussels makes you do something then whichever minister was in charge of the negotiations did a crap job on it. But why admit that when you can put the blame on Brussels. And then be amazed by rising Eurosceptiscism?

Euroscepticism is like any other conspiracy theory. It turns something into that which it could never ever be. I could only wish that Brussels was as powerful and omnipotent as Nigel Farrage and Geert Wilders make it out to be. Because then we wouldn't have had these giant cock ups like Greece going bankrupt and hordes if immigrants drowning on our shores and trekking across the Balkans. If anything these cock ups prove that the EU can't do shit unless its memberstates get their collective heads together.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:06 AM   #311
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'Oh no, we have to do this unpopular thing, it's not our fault, Brussels made us do it!'



I think this really is the problem. The English leave camp celebrated "independence day". The perceived notion that someone in Brussels is deciding what's best for the UK is what made many vote to leave imo. And that is precisely why I think the Parliament ignoring a majority vote will well and truly cause the UK to implode with far worse economic consequences than what's anticipated now.

I still believe the UK needs to focus on making the best out of this shitty situation and negotiate terms that will continue to allow migration and free trade. Stroking the fire with continued talks about not following through is only going to create further instability.

The irony of the whole thing is that just like in Switzerland, Brussels will continue to call the shots for the UK through bilateral agreements, except now the British won't have a voice at all in decisions being made.

As far as democracy is concerned, there is no doubt that an authoritarian regime is far more efficient economically with the right policies, but that doesn't mean that we should discount the voice of the people.
I still think it's a very dangerous path to just say people are too dumb, let's abolish direct democracy. I'm not sure there is a happy medium between the two extremes however.




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Old 06-28-2016, 10:13 AM   #312
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That's interesting. Do you have no provision for plebiscites alongside referenda? Here in Australia we maintain a distinction between referenda, which are on constitutional issues and the results are binding, and plebiscites, which are neither constitutional nor binding. Under our definition the UK poll was a plebiscite not a referendum.
According to Dutch law only non-binding referenda exist.
They can only concern new legislation.

Fears that The Netherlands will now soon leave the EU because of that buffoon Wilders are unfounded.
Scotland is 20 times more likely to leave the UK then that we are of leaving the EU.
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Old 06-28-2016, 11:53 AM   #313
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Any European posters here who think the UK might have made a good decision for themselves ?
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:20 PM   #314
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To nobody's shock, Corbyn lost his vote of no confidence. But it's nonbinding and he's trying to ignore it.

Also, Nigel Farage made an absolute ass of himself, and looked totally desperate, on the floor of the EU parliament. I *hate* him.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:58 PM   #315
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Methinks this referendum, or the one in the Netherlands a few months ago, again prove why direct democracy is a bad thing. Most people lack the informed knowledge to understand the complex issues at hand and just vote with their emotions. Made worse by whichever political arsonist is throwing petrol on the fire for their own personal gains. Of course the Ancients already knew this. This was why the first thing the victorious Spartans did after defeating Athens in the Peloponnese war was to abolish Athenian democracy. Not because they believed in autocracy themselves, but because all to often demagogues had stocked up the Athenian electorate in making stupid decisions that had helped cause and prolong the war.

You have incredible faith in politicians.

I think Brexit was a revolt against entrenched political systems in Europe. A bloodless rebellion.


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