If you travel to Britain now, you can almost hear the sounds of the Clash singing, “Should I stay or should I go? / If I stay there will be trouble / And if I go it will be double.” That tune springs to mind as the people of my homeland, Britain, prepare for the Brexit referendum, in which they will decide on June 23 whether Britain exits the European Union. And there’s a lot riding on the vote.
Britain’s politicians, who at times can make Donald Trump sound measured, are venting their frustrations with the EU. The beef is basically what can London do, or not do, while still remaining inside the EU. There’s a long history of, shall we kindly say, this sort of tension. This time, a lot of it involves questions of migration and who can claim pricey British social benefits. So Prime Minister David Cameron has renegotiated the membership deal, at least enough in his view to recommend that British people vote to stay in the EU. That’s where this referendum is quite different from an election, because in the run-up to the big talks between Europe’s leaders there was every incentive to look like the country would bail. Now that the deal is done, the discussion about leaving the EU has taken on a life of its own, with a high-profile member of the ruling Conservative Party recommending people to vote to exit. Read more here.