E UK In Chaos Post-EU Referendum

“We don’t have a government, we don’t have an opposition,” said satire magazine editor Ian Hislop on BBC’s Question Time, Thursday.

The Prime Minister appeared on the morning after the EU Referendum vote to announce his resignation, effective a long time hence. Since then, the ship of State has been not so much rudderless as uncaptained. Mr Cameron’s irresponsibility is lamentable: just before impact, he has left the bridge for others to steer the country off the rocks.

The Referendum was always going to be divisive. But with US Presidential elections, the often very bitter and unscrupulous fight beforehand is followed by a period of reunification under the flag. In Britain, this has not happened so far.

A major reason is the prolonged failure to declare the result completely irrevocable. There were no "hanging chads": 52 percent to 48 is a clear margin and many divisions in Parliament are decided on less. More British people voted on the Leave side than have ever previously voted for any issue or political party.

But the losers’ hope continued, because nobody in authority squelched it fast. Cameron’s restrained - and patently regretful and reluctant - call to “respect” the outcome invited talk of the Referendum being non-binding, especially in a perfervid atmosphere in which mutual respect was often absent among the public. The amateur propaganda, insults and smears in social media over the last couple of weeks intensified as it seemed possible that there might be some way to declare the result void for lack of a greater majority; or to re-run the vote because of alleged misinformation prior to the ballot and “buyer’s remorse” after it. Some even said young people’s votes should have more weight, because they have longer to live with the decision!

So 4 million people signed an online petition reading, “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based [on] a turnout [of] less than 75% there should be another referendum.” [By the way, it turns out that 77,000 of the signatories seemed to originate from the Vatican – population 800 - but that’s another story, and it still leaves a lot of unhappy activists, if a few keystrokes counts as action.]

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David B. Johnson 4 years ago Member's comment

Yes, chaos is the only winner here. Though I think the #Brexit vote was pretty close and many of those who did vote, are now regretting it. I'd say it's more an issue of #regrexit rather than people being sore losers.

Rolf Norfolk 4 years ago Author's comment

Hi David, and thanks for your comment.I think we will eventually see that the escape was worth it. Imagine if Blair had actually managed to get us into the Eurozone. This is not going to be cost-free, but many of the bad things that will happen were on their way anyway, because of longstanding economic mismanagement - Conservative as well as Labour. The EU is about to tighten its grip on the remaining members and the disparities between them will worsen, perhaps to the point of major crisis. As to buyer's remorse, people have had years to consider their position, and must take responsibility for their actions.