Brexit Round Two

Kudos to Hamodia for pointing out what few others have acknowledged, namely that the results of the non-binding Brexit referendum of 2016 were not at all clear and therefore accorded no real mandate for change.

It is well-known that in most business corporations, as well as shul boards of management for that matter, major change requires the assent of a two-thirds majority. Clearly a four percent margin on a vote to leave on a 72% voter turnout fell way short of the mark. There was absolutely no reason, in my opinion, for David Cameron to resign, and no justification for the U.K. to change course on the basis of such a slim margin.

So what is the best course of action now? It is difficult to see a more satisfactory answer than to have another referendum. To my mind, this would be justified on the basis of the Talmudic question invoked with regard to regretted vows. In terms of Brexit: “Had you known, when you voted to leave in 2016, that the vote would result in the chaotic mess in which the U.K. has now found itself, would you have still voted the way you did?” (And all this from someone who was among the 33% of U.K. citizens who voted to leave the EC back in 1975!)

Of course, there is always the danger that a new referendum may yield a similarly indecisive result. But does anyone have a better solution?

Kesivah vachasimah tovah!

Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM, New South Wales, Australia

Author’s response: : Thank you for your letter. It’s good to know that we have engaged readers Down Under! The issue of a second referendum, with more specific questions, is still being debated here and we can only wait and see what will happen next.