What a tragedy - GulfToday

What a tragedy

European Union

Britain has reached the tipping point as Oct.31 will be a red letter day for it.

That, Brexit talks are now reaching a critical moment, is across all news channels. But, seriously, isn’t Britain itself poised at a critical moment in time? (“Britain asked to stop playing ‘stupid’ Brexit blame game,” Oct.9, Gulf Today).

Whether it is a no-deal or whatever, Britain has reached the tipping point and come what may, Oct 31 will be a red letter day. With just a couple of days left before the United Kingdom is due to leave the bloc, the future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain and the ongoing squabbling is only aggravating the situation further. After three years of tortuous haggling over the first departure of a sovereign state from the EU, the rift between the two sides is widening.

The ongoing war of words shows that the Brexit blame game has begun in earnest, and that now both that sides are preparing for an acrimonious and potentially chaotic Brexit for which neither side wants to be held responsible.

But there are a lot of lessons which Britain can learn from the Brexit exercise whatever the outcome is, at the end of the month. The most obvious one is the way it should conduct future referendums. Look at how chaotic this has turned out.

A major referendum like the EU referendum should have had adequate provisions in place, should a vote tilt one way by a close margin. 52 percent voted to leave while 48 chose to remain in the 2016 referendum. The chaos we see today is because it was that close a contest. A two-thirds majority is the norm even in business setups, if the company wants to make changes in its constitution or take any major decisions. Wasn’t it foolhardy not to have a similar requirement in the Brexit referendum? The status of a nation is at stake and it is being decided by a two percent margin. What a tragedy.

Madeline S
By email