The Brexit Vote: The Wrong Question for Britain and Europe

Referendums are supposed to provide decisive interventions in the affairs of state. Yet the referendum theory is in fact deeply flawed. European ‘membership’ for a country of Britain’s size, influence and location should be less a matter of ‘yes or no’ than one of ‘more or less’. The reduction of a complex and graduated choice to a basic dichotomy simply does not reflect the position or serve the interests of the vast majority who will be affected by the outcome. What is more, and worse, the crude logic of either-or plebiscitary politics threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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