Source: Philosopher A.C. Grayling, Master, New College of the Humanities, London, in the New European, January 11
The UK of pre-EU days was “the sick man of Europe,” struggling and declining, with high unemployment and failing industries. After joining Europe the UK became the fifth largest economy in the world. That was until the mere threat of Brexit in the second half of 2016 gave the economy, and the pound, the shocks which have already caused the UK to slip down the economic rankings, until we are now below India. Much worse will follow if Brexit happens.
The outcome of the referendum vote represented only 37% of those who had been granted a vote…and this in turn represents only 26% of the UK population. Add to this the fact that MPs had been told, explicitly and clearly in a briefing document when preparing to debate the 2015 Referendum Bill – that the referendum was advisory only – would not confer a mandate because non-binding on either Parliament or government. It also stated that if it were to be considered binding – perhaps if an amendment to this effect were introduced in debate – it would need a much larger threshold majority of the order of 60% or more to be regarded so.
A system of accountability for false information in a campaign has to be devised, because in essence the kind of distortions, falsehoods and false promises of the pro-Brexit campaign is a fraud on the voters, and should be punished as such. If there are to be any more referendums involving constitutional change, the minimum threshold vote should be 60% of the electorate as a whole (it really should be 66% – two thirds – the same as is required in the House of Commons to trigger an election out of a Parliament’s term, or for an amendment to the US constitution).