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Old 02.12.2016, 14:21
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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"a bad thing democratically speaking" The basic problem is that the Leave message was "Leave EU" but it was never defined what exactly that meant.
  • Did it mean stop trading with Europe? I doubt it?
  • Did it mean stop immigration? Probably many people thought that.
  • Did it mean stop paying EU and spend the savings in UK? Most people thought that but how practical is it?
  • Did it mean restoring British sovereignty? Probably but what that means is difficult to know; look at the reaction to Parliament voting on invoking Art. 50.
Isn't this preciely what is mean when people speak of a systemic democracy deficit.

The vote could not have promised any of these things as the EU was not prepared to negotiate ahead of the Brexit vote, and is in fact not prepared to negotiate until after Article 50 has been invoked.

In an ideal world, there would have been negotiations ahead of the Brexit vote with one or several scenarios being put forward answering all these questions and with the EU's assurance that they would agree to that if such was the democratic will of the people. Or at least a clear set of alternatives so the voters would know what would be acceptable to the EU and what would not. But those alternatives would have had to be made in good faith and with good intentions rather than to stifly and prevent any dissent as the present situation is.

There could have thus been an orderly discussion during the Bexit campaign of the pros and cons of the different scenarios and a or series of votes taken. In reality we were just compating imagined and hypothetcal scenarios.

By slamming the door on any such pre- negotiations, the EU is effectively blocking any ordered and controlled path to a EU exit. So whereas they may claim that an exit is possible in principle, in practice there is no orderly and thought through process in place to permit an exit under known and understood conditions. Or indeed as the FMOP vote in Switzerland has shown, an orderly path to renegotiation.

The EU has thus made itself to an inflexible and undemocratic behemoth that does not offer its members any genuine alternative to further integration.
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