Brexit Or Forget It?

The U.K. has decided to leave the European Union. In a forum last week, I wrote that I wasn’t sure that a decision of such import should be left to the citizenry via a referendum.. And, while my position may have been utopian, I had hoped that a decision might come from those elected to make such decisions through calm deliberation. It didn’t happen that way.

Word has it that many who voted to leave the E.U. voted that way as they wanted to “send a message”, not because they actually believed they would actually end up leaving the E.U. So, instead of getting what they intended, they ended up with the unintended consequences.

Many people report feeling duped by those who advocated the “leave” side of the issue. They are also reporting that many on the “remain” side of the issue felt that only fear or uncertainty about the future was used to drive votes rather than stressing the advantages of being part of the E.U.

It is interesting that the day after the election, U.K. Google searches were:

  1. What does it mean to leave the EU?
  2. What is the EU?
  3. Which countries are in the EU?
  4. What will happen now that we’ve left the EU?
  5. How many countries are in the EU?

It would seem these questions would have better understood before voting. Here’s my take:

  • Will Great Britain survive Brexit? Yes.
  • Will they come out stronger? Time will tell.
  • What about short-term market upheaval? Normal. Markets don’t like uncertainty. Things will settle down soon.
  • Will Great Britain become smaller? It appears so. Scotland (and perhaps Northern Ireland) want to join the E.U.

Is there a lesson to be learned? The Prime Minister and Parliament should not have abdicated their responsibility to lead the nation on this issue rather than holding a referendum, essentially kicking the can down the road. And, now, the “unimaginable” has occurred. It’s not clear there can be a “do over” though 3.5 million are requesting it.

Thought for the week:
“The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.” – Via @petervoogd23 on Twitter

What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner

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