Opposite to what you might think the EU-referendum in the UK is not binding. Parliament has the possibility to discard the outcome of the referendum. Of course that would be hard to explain and they would need good arguments. Which there are, increasingly so. Let’s look at a few of them:
Maybe some of the British voters overestimated themselves. The first day after the referendum the Pound crashed. British stocks lost £ 125 billion that same day – over 15 years of EU contributions. If multinationals that threatened to leave the UK and The City show that they mean it the impact will be even bigger. Was this really the intention of the Leave voters?
The United Kingdom disintegrates
Most of the Scottish voters voted Remain and do not agree with the outcome of the referendum. It’s very likely they will vote over Scottish independence again and want to join the EU. In Northern Ireland Sinn Fein calls for Irish reunification. Gibraltar is insecure about its future. An online petition to declare London independent and join the EU has been signed over 100.000 times.
A lot of the older voters seem to have voted Leave for nostalgic reasons. A British Empire that exists of England and Wales is probably not what they were thinking of.
Younger voters demand a future
The outcome of the referendum reveals a generation gap. Voters over 50 voted to leave, most voters under 50 want to stay. Younger voters blame the babyboomers for a Brexit.They feel that elderly voters had all the benefits and now leave them with less chances. They fear the loss of free trade and traffic with Europe. Can they still study in Europe and can students from the EU still come to the UK? The fear of a brain drain is real.
A lot of Leave voters now regret their vote, this isn’t what they meant. They meant for their vote to be a statement not realizing the implications. Partly due to the campaign and media it became an emotional decision instead of a rational one. There a stories of football fans who voted before the went to Euro 2016 in France and now regret there vote. As things unfold the chance that even more voters for Leave will change their mind is quite likely.
Depending on the dynamics of all these developments over the next period parliament may find ground to discard the outcome of the EU-referendum. Will they have the guts the reinterpretate the will of the people?
It will not be without political consequences. Prime minister David Cameron already announced his resignation. He is largely to blame for this chaos. He chose his career over the public interest. He made the history books but probably not in a way he ever wanted.
Another option is that parliament somehow finds a way to postpone a decision till new elections. This will force all parties to take a stand (the Tories will have to take position as a party this time) on the subject and probably allow voters to make a more rational decision. Is it no too late to change course? Time will tell.
Disclaimer: English is not my native tongue, this blog was originally written in Dutch. The text is probably not flawless but I do believe it gets my opinion across.