Brexit: Reasons and Lessons to Learn

The result of the June 23rd referendum in the United Kingdom apparently markes a significant milestone in history. However, its reasons and consequences are much less obvious. It would be at least ignorance or even a serious mistake to consider it solely an internal affair of the UK, and blame the national politicians for being populist, taking risks or not being able to control the situation. British were always skeptical and critical towards the EU, and mainstream politics could not respond to the trends of the last years when these sentiments became stronger and stronger. If it had not been decided at a referendum, the issue of the EU membership could have dominated the national election anyway. This is why British voters had to be allowed to vote on the future of their country – just like the Scottish were given the same opportunity.

Although David Cameron made several mistakes in this case (the promise of the referendum was the smaller one, the unsuccessful Remain campaign was the bigger blunder), he is certainly not the only one to blame for the present situation and the uncertain future. The extremely divided Conservative and Labour Party both contributed to the Brexit, and their failure in the Remaincampaign reveals significant structural problems in regard to their capabilities to convince and mobilize the people. …

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