This Post is Not About Politics

My policy is to not write about politics. I will write about minimalism, about productivity, about self-care, but not about politics. That said, this post is kind of, sort of, about politics, but it’s really about the simplify, create, thrive ethos in action.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the United Kingdom can say “never mind” and just walk away from the Brexit, basically no questions asked. Call the whole thing off. No more freaking out about making deals before the deadline, renegotiating treaties, all of that kerfuffle. Membership remains intact, under the current terms.

Some folks are going to say “but we should honor the result of the referendum”. A lot of people would be overjoyed if they pulled the plug on this thing as quickly as possible. I have an idea as to what they should do, to respect the opinions and feelings of everyone.

Take the out, then hold another referendum.

A major complaint is that people were misinformed when they voted to leave the European Union. Many have said they’d change their vote, others say they’d vote the same. Why not eliminate all doubt? Take the out, call it off, then start a proper education campaign leading up to a new vote.

It’s clear that the UK was ill prepared for a divorce from the EU. Why not use this out to take the time to concoct a proper strategy? Cancel the Brexit scheduled for March. Then present it to the people, and take time to organize a new vote. If they still want to leave, they’ll know that it won’t be chaos again when they invoke Article 50.

Because if they do cancel the Brexit, there is absolutely nothing that says they still can’t leave the European Union at a later date. Why not do it with some better structure in place? Maybe require a 2/3 majority of the voters, or some sort of quorum where a certain percentage of the electorate has to turn out, rather than a simple majority of whoever shows up? Why not have a clear exit strategy prior to triggering Article 50 and its 2-year running clock?

Or, you know, stay in the European Union.

Either way, take the opportunity for a do over, and do the whole thing right this time.


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  1. It’s rare to see anyone writing sensibly about this contentious matter: perhaps you can do it because you have no dog in the fight! My view is simple, my allegience is mine to give, not anyone else’s to dictate. If the UK insists on leaving, there should be an option for those who wish to remain EU citizens to do so. Nobody seems prepared to address this. Probably unsurprising, given the complete shambles of the Brexit negotiations, following a campaign that hit an all-time low even by the poor standards of UK political campaigns!

  2. My philosophical dog in this fight is that I am a citizen of one nation working toward becoming a citizen of another. The citizenship that I hold is an accident of birth. The citizenship that I am pursuing is the result of an informed choice. In the Brexit vote, I think that very few people actually had the opportunity to make an informed choice.

  3. My perspective on this is also informed by living in the United States. I know that the EU is not America and the UK is not a state. But every single state in the union loves to be American when it suits them, but also likes to scream about states’ sovereign rights and how unfair it is that people in faraway Washington, DC are making decisions on their behalf. I get that.

    But my mother was from Pennsylvania. My father was from Virginia. A grew up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I met Katie in New Mexico. She was born in California but grew up on Indiana. Her mother was from Indiana, but her father was from Michigan.

    There are cultural differences, to be sure, and definite differences in political ideologies even among people nominally on the same side.

    And here in Finland we have friends that include a Swiss citizen married to an Italian, an Estonian married to an Englishman, and a Croatian married to a Finn. And just like in the US it doesn’t matter what state you are from because you’re all American, everyone lives here and gets along because they’re all European. That’s incredibly cool.

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