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“One Chance to Leave the EU?” Insultingly muddle-headed reasoning.

June 20, 2016

divorce

In the last few days of the campaign, this “one chance to leave the EU” shout will get louder and louder.  It’s a desperate and illogical slogan, and the Leavers will not want people to think too much about it.

It’s illogical because the balance of “last chanceness” lies entirely with the Remain argument.  If Britain votes to “Remain” – would it take a while and be difficult to organise another “Leave” referendum?  Yes.  But not half so difficult as to organise Britain’s re-entry into Europe.

Leaving the EU is essentially a unilateral decision.  No member state is constrained within the EU against its will.  Joining (or rejoining) the EU is a multi-lateral decision, requiring the consent of other member states.  Turkey cannot join the EU without British approval. (This point has been made time and time again but it has to keep being made apparently.) Nor could an errant Britain rejoin the EU without persuading other European nations that British membership was (this time) a good idea.

Think of it like a marriage.  There are many “last chances” to save a marriage but never a “last chance” to wreck it.  Any individual in a marriage can unilaterally wreck that marriage but saving a marriage requires the effort of both parties.

So it’s painfully simple – if any voter is doubting about which way to vote, then they have to be sure that leaving the EU is absolutely and forever what they really really want – because all the urgency of preserving a “last chance” lies with the Remain argument.

Wrecking a relationship is easy.  Preserving, reforming, renegotiating and redefining a relationship is difficult.  But it’s that very difficulty that is the essence of acting as an adult human in the world.

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