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Should Britain Have a Choice in the Brexit Debate?

 

In this series, professionals discuss how the EU referendum affects the business community. See the stories here, then write your own (use #Brexit in the body of the post).

 

“Wait a minute Russell? What sort of question is that? Is this some pathetic attempt at clickbait to jump onto the #Brexit bandwagon?”

 

Well, no, I don’t write about politics lightly, and especially about an issue which will have such wide-ranging implications for our future, but I simply want to ask a question….

 

If we elect politicians and leaders to make choices for the good of our country, why are they giving the British people the free choice to decide our destiny – without TRULY giving us the ammunition to make the decision?

 

You, see when you work in government, you understand the realities of working with Brussels. You see the political challenges on the horizon, and you have a fair idea of what the next ten years in Europe will look like and what the implications will be for our country. You are informed, in every way, and if you do your duty to your electorate, you will be able to make an informed decision.

 

Now, with the current levels of inflammatory rhetoric and political games increasing with every day, the great British public might be able to choose “remain” or “leave” on the ballot paper on the 23rd June, but is it entirely ethical to give us the decision to potentially change the historical direction of our country without being a lot more specific about the details and the potential consequences?

 

The political arguments are heavy on fear and low on facts. We have all made emotional decisions in the past, and many of us will have lived to regret them. If we vote to leave, will our country get a huge post-Brexit hangover recession? If we vote to remain, will the EU squeeze our country dry of every possible thing that has made us great? The vast majority of the UK won’t have solid reasons for voting one way or the other, it will simply be a gut feeling that has been fuelled by the media, and there is every chance that no matter how we vote, the vast majority of the country will feel like passengers rather than participants in this whole debate. Why didn’t we see normal people debating each other on television? That would have been far more interesting than the political mud slinging.

 

Ah, listen, of course we should have our say, but it is tragic that our opinions are not more informed. Maybe this will change over the next week or so, with the information war ramping up to new heights, but something tells me that when we get to polling day, I would rather have 1000 informed (and impartial) politicians making the decision than tens of millions of partially-informed (and terrified) voters.

 

After all, if politicians make the wrong choice, we vote them out. That is politics, but at the moment, the responsibility is being utterly shifted onto our shoulders.

 

Let’s hope we make the right choice.

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