Recently, tensions have grown in the United Kingdom as the nation has the respond to the BREXIT decision voted upon by the population in June 2016. This vote means that the UK has decided to leave and lose all ties to the European Union. The United Kingdom has been a member of the EU for over 40 years, since 1973. This decision is one of the largest actions taken by the country in recent years. Britain would also lose all benefits it currently receives from the European Union and would have to re-negotiate deals and agreements with many countries in the two year time frame the country was given to officially leave the institution.
Almost 8 months later, the UK is facing another difficult decision, as now the parliament has to initiate the process of leaving the EU after a decision of the Supreme Court which will force the parliament to either go on with BREXIT or to abandon it. The problem here is that even if the majority of the population voted to leave the EU, most parties in the parliament do not share the same opinions as the public and thus do not want to leave. It is ultimately up to the parliament to make this final decision. Does the parliament go ahead with the majority of the population or does it chose to turn its back on 51.9% of the people who are in favor?
This major contradiction between the parliament and the people is extremely difficult to answer. This also raises ethical and moral issues. If the parliament goes against the choice of the people, then they are betraying an entire nation, and this will have severe consequences on the UK as the state will be looked upon as deceiving and sly. This will lower the reputation of the country significantly and the United Kingdom would lose international respect and more importantly legitimacy. Even the people who voted against BREXIT would be distraught, as they would look at their government as untrustworthy and unfaithful. A nation cannot operate effectively if their own people dislike their own government, a decision like this could potentially create mass protests and chaos. A government should never turn their backs to the people.
On the other hand, within the parliament, parties such as the conservative and liberal party are against the decision, but have to agree to move on, as this is the wish of the people. This poses an even greater problem. Does a party conform to the majority of the population, in turn going against the people who voted for them, or does a party stay with their principles and the people who voted for them? The moral answer here would be to initiate BREXIT, because this is what the people want. There are greater consequences if a party decides to change their mind here because they would also lose trust and respect with future voters. If a party changes, then their supporters would look at them as hypocrites and in turn lose their support. Hypocrisy has hurt many leaders and parties in the past. In the recent US election, one candidate thought by many to be a hypocrite was Hilary Clinton, because of this she lost many supports and votes which ultimately lead to he loss. The best option here would be for the parliament to initiate BREXIT as it is in the parliament’s own interest, and parties always do what is best for them in the long run.
Even if this referendum is extremely complicated and has cause controversy, these situations are very important for a nation to progress. Referendums can be very useful tools as it allows the people of a country to vote and have a say on important matters. The whole idea of a democracy is so that everyone has a say and that the public opinion is heard.
The recent BREXIT ruling is puts the British parliament in a very tough situation that pits the society vs the parliament. Whichever way the ruling body decides to go, people will be upset. The only thing left to do here is to wait and see how this historic moment pans out.