This particular issue remains open. Part of the problem is that so much is opinion rather than an accepted doctrine. Recall that over sixty percent of the electorate chose not to vote. Why? Was it not important to them?
Pragmatically, the referendum was really a request to open negotiations however else it is described, because that is all that actually could be voted on. The same essentially holds true for the proposed breakup of a country.
Thus the task revolves back to the electors to negotiate a exit. What it does not obviously do is provide carte blanch as to the terms. Just how would the electors feel if England turned over the Royal Navy to the EU as compensation? I actually think that the government that finalizes the terms for an exit is likely to be destroyed in the next election when all the short term costs are applied.
The only escape from all this is to negotiate in good faith and then present the deal itself to an referendum. After all we have not really heard from the majority of electors. Such a referendum should end this nonsense once and for all.
I simply do not think that a completely informed electorate will approve any such deal.
After saying all that it is also a potential heaven send that allows real statesmen to reconstruct the political fabric of the EU for it to become truly effective. Every country has been unwilling to relinquish any actual political power and this has been a mistake. The best solution will be to implement the rule of twelve to provide direct authority to appoint a president and a cabinet. To do this, each of the tenty some countries will select one top leader as a potential president along with one aide. This generates a pool of over fifty electors. These electors then debate sufficiently in order to produce twelve prime electors for a term of perhaps one year. These electors then choose a president and a vice president.
Actual powers can then be negotiated through the core pool of fifty or so, including funding and taxation.
Unfortunately it can still be made into a very expensive mess that actually diminishes England in quite the same way socialism did beginning in 1945 and lasting through 1980. Real Statesmanship now could make Britain the prime mover of effective EU governance..
There is an incredible theory that a Brexit won't actually happen
A really crucial detail about the EU referendum has gone virtually unmentioned and it is probably the most crucial detail: Parliament doesn't actually have to bring Britain out of the EU despite the public voting for it.
That is because the result of June 23 referendum on Britain's EU membership is not legally binding. Instead, it is merely advisory, and, in theory, could be totally ignored by UK government.
This incredible detail is explained in a new blog post by Financial Times columnist and legal expert David Allen Green.
Green says that no legal provision was included in the EU referendum legislation that requires UK Parliament to act in accordance with the outcome of the referendum.
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This is unlike the last referendum held across Britain, the Alternative Vote referendum held in 2011, where the outcome had a legal trigger and had to be acted on by the government of the time.
Instead, what will happen next if the public votes for a Brexit will be purely a matter of parliamentary politics.
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The government could decide to put the matter to parliament and then hope to win the vote, Green says. In the scenario of Britain's EU membership being put to a Westminster vote, barring no dramatic change in allegiances, it is likely that MPs would vote to keep the country in the 28-nation bloc.
This is because the vast majority of the 650 MPs identify as Europhiles and would likely support a motion position to protect Britain's place in the EU.
Pro-EU MPs could even argue, ironically, that ignoring the public's will would be parliamentary sovereignty in practice - something that Leave campaigners argue has been conceded to Brussels.
Alternatively, ministers could attempt to negotiate an updated EU membership deal and put it to another referendum. Finally, the government could just choose to totally ignore the will of the public.
The only way that a Brexit vote would have weight in law would be if the government decided to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is when an EU member state chooses to activate the process of withdrawing from the 28-nation bloc.
Article 50 would make Britain's EU membership a legal matter. However, even if the June 23 referendum produces a Leave majority, the government would not be obliged to invoke the legislation.
As Green says:
A vote for Brexit will not be determinative of whether the UK will leave the EU. That potential outcome comes down to the political decisions which then follow before the Article 50 notification. The policy of the government (if not of all of its ministers) is to remain in the EU. The UK government may thereby seek to put off the Article 50 notification, regardless of political pressure and conventional wisdom.
This has to go down as one of the largest pieces of small print in British political history.
The overwhelming majority of the British public is probably totally unaware of this legislative loophole. As far as most Brits understand, Britain will no longer be an EU member if Leave wins next week's referendum.
Interestingly, parliament choosing to ignore the British public isn't as unthinkable as conventional wisdom leads us to believe. In fact, according to the BBC, MPs have already discussed the possibility.
Speaking to the BBC earlier this month, an unnamed pro-EU MP said: "We would accept the mandate of the people to leave the EU. But everything after that is
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