I am surprised there has been little if any commentary about the inherent risks or insanity in regarding a major constitutional issue in the UK – leading possibly to the break up of the Union – as settled definitively by one vote taken on one day (with appalling weather conditions) on the basis of a simple majority. The acceptability of the Brexit result is further tainted by its origin as a means adopted by Prime Minister David Cameron to try to placate dissent within his own Conservative Party. The priorities of the national interest did not figure in his initiative. Moreover the successful UK Leave campaign was founded on a series of demonstrably huge lies designed to appeal to the worst instincts of voters. These lies directed voters’ often justifiable anger towards targets (the EU and immigrants) that are by far not the major source of the real problems they face, in contrast to the roles of purely British institutions and decisions. Moreover as soon as the vote was over the leaders of the Leave Campaign have repudiated their biggest lie, namely that the UK post-Brexit could enjoy the benefits of its membership (in particular access to markets) without its conditions or obligations, in particular free movement of labor.The success of endlessly repeated lies despite demonstration of their falsehood and the damaging outcome from putting Party and individual personal ambition regardless of any serious consideration of the national interest should send alarm bells ringing in the US. The very notion of representative democracy in which elected representatives apply their own best judgment and reason and do not simply and necessarily echo what their constituents call for on any particular day becomes a mockery if referenda such as the June 23 vote in the UK are seen as the sole vehicle for debating and settling crucial constitutional questions. Who knows for example what a cynically duplicitous potential Prime Minister Boris Johnson might initiate for his own purposes to bypass the role of Parliament. For the EU and UK the rallying cry should be: ” No exit negotiation before fact-based confirmation.”

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