A personal view on the Referendum: Lewes voted to stay in but that was not reflected nationally. It’s going to take a long time for the decision to take full effect. What will Scotland decide to do? How will things develop in Northern Ireland? Will BREXIT promises be kept, including those on the NHS? How will the decision affect our economy and will UK government replace the infrastructure, agricultural and regional funding that has been provided by the EU? There are many questions unanswered. One question foremost in people’s minds has been migration. I’ve written an article about this to help clarify things in my own mind – please click here or on the image below to read this – I hope you find this useful.
But also I don’t think we can let things pass without commenting on the voting arrangements. I believe these were less than satisfactory:
Like many others I feel the British government should have made it easier for British people who were abroad at the time of the referendum to vote. The USA has a system to allow their nationals to vote in embassies around the world. It appears we don’t, – you can only vote by post or proxy – and you have to have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years! This means anyone under 33 and travelling aboard couldn’t vote anyway! Also, strangely we don’t allow citizens from other EU countries to vote our national elections but Commonwealth citizens can!? I’m also concerned that, unlike in the Scottish referendum, our UK government did not allow 16 to 18-year-olds to vote. We should have had regard for these younger people who, more than those of us who are much older, will have to live with the consequences of this decision. If the Government had update the voting system the result could have been to Remain.
I’m also concerned that this momentous decision has been carried on a simple majority basis. There is a petition going around to try and get a new referendum with a 60% majority requirement. I’m not sure if it’s going to work but some 4 million people have already signed it and if you want to sign it. Here is the link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215. One thought worth noting is that when the UK voted on EU membership in 1975. The vote was 67% in favour.
As I said, one of the key issues appears to have been ‘migration’ – there has been a lot of misinformation in the UK EU Referendum campaign. Over the weekend I had a conversation with a friend of mine who (I think) did vote to remain but he had concerns about migration. I believe a number of his contacts are Brexiters. He justified their position by saying that by coming out of the EU the UK Government would be able to prevent migration to the UK. I don’t think it is as simple as that, so I decided to get together my thoughts on the subject, and I’ve written this blog: (Click on the blog below to see my article):