Why the British parliamentary vote may matter

by on November 3, 2016 at 7:58 am in Current Affairs, Games, Law, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

No, I don’t see them voting down Brexit, any more than Republican Senators ever were going to endorse Hillary Clinton, even though many of them are rooting for her.  The more likely scenario out of Brexit is simply that Parliament stalls, demanding that Theresa May give them “the right Brexit.”  Of course there is no such thing, wrong Brexit is wrong Brexit, if only because EU-27 cannot agree on very much.  But with enough stalling, eventually another national election will be held and of course Brexit would be a major issue, probably the major issue.  That in essence would serve as a second referendum, and if anti-Brexit candidates did well enough, parliamentarians would have cover to go against the previous expression of the public will.

I give that path out of Brexit p = 0.2, with another p = 0.1 for “somehow Brexit just doesn’t happen.”

Here is commentary from Joshua Tucker.  And from Jolyom Maugham.

Addendum: The final word on Brexit rights may be held by…the European Court of Justice.

1 BD Sixsmith November 3, 2016 at 8:08 am

…if anti-Brexit candidates did well enough, parliamentarians would have cover to go against the previous expression of the public will.

Anti-Brexit candidates would make Jeb Bush look like the political success story of the decade.

2 MikeJa November 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

If I were an MP, I’d be more worried about ending up like my murdered colleague, Jo Cox. You can’t give people a vote and then ignore the result.

3 mulp November 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

If voters voted to have every citizen get paid $50,000 by government every year, and voted in a separate question to freeze tax law, each by 52%, you would as elected official feel compelled to comply?

In a way, Californians voted along those lines. Prop 13 froze tax collections used primarily to fund schools and a couple years later, to fund schools voted that about 50% of State taxes must go to schools, Prop 98.

4 Urso November 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Your question is “should elected officials be bound by the law?” and your implied answer is “no.” Think about that.

5 MyName November 4, 2016 at 7:25 am

I think the question is whether you are obligated to follow a law even when it runs into the hard wall of reality.

6 Ghost of Christmas Past November 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

In fact, this bizarre affair demonstrates how effectively the Blair government replaced British institutions with secondhand (and badly-translated) American ones. The idea that the law-courts should interfere with foreign affairs and/or constitutional matters is purely American.

Under the pre-Blairite British constitution, if Parliament were unsatisfied with whatever the Prime Minister or any minister proposed to do about the EU treaties, it could simply vote no-confidence (or perhaps impeach some wayward official). There would certainly be no need and no process known to the Common Law for a High Court case concerning treaty negotiations followed by some kind of remand to the House of Commons, whether or not on the heels of an appeal to a “Supreme Court” (instead of the Law Lords).

Indeed, even under the Blairite constitution, it is not very clear to me how Parliament is supposed to proceed after this perverse High Court ruling (assuming it survives appeal). Should Parliament vote on a motion of no-confidence? If so, why was any lawsuit wanted? If not, what else can it do?

7 MyName November 4, 2016 at 7:36 am

Did you read the ruling and actually understand it? My impression is that the question is whether the government has the power to undo domestic legislation with consulting Parliament even though the legislation was passed in concert with a foreign treaty. This is not a bad ruling and even if the outcome was not certain a prepared PM should have planned for it already.

How to proceed is clear enough: pass a bill authorizing withdrawal from the EU. Make clear as possible what this could look like to the elected representatives during the discussion on this. Stop claiming that everything is about a secret negotiating position and demonstrate that the government knows WTH it’s doing with a definitive plan. Or else demonstrate that it is incapable of Brexit and find new leadership or an election.

Forcing the government to be accountable to Parliament is not a crazy foreign constitutional import.

8 MyName November 4, 2016 at 7:37 am

Edit: Without consulting Parliament.

9 Ghost of Christmas Past November 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Do YOU even understand how Westminster-style parliamentary government works? You are repeating the American notion that there is a separate “government” (American “executive branch”) that might do something about legislation without “consulting Parliament” (American “Congress”).

This is not a case of Crown officers/civil servants possibly acting improperly under existing law– the law-courts are competent to deal with that sort of thing.

Rather this is a case of “the government of the day” preparing to do something about legislation. The PM and other ministers are MPs. Parliament is “consulted” in every Question Time, and if Parliament as a whole is unsatisfied with the government’s work a motion of no confidence is nearly always in order and takes precedence over other business.

The anti-Brexit court case is both (a) an attempt by anti-Brexiteers who do NOT have enough support in Parliament to gain their ends by extra-Parliamentary means, and (b) the action of those who admire the modern American system of unaccountable government (in which Congress resigns power to the President and the President deflects all complaints to unaccountable courts) to run Britain in the same fashion.

10 Alistair November 5, 2016 at 11:55 pm

…And you don’t understand or haven’t read the judgement. The problem is the 1972 European Communities act needs to be repealed, not the government authorised per se. The whole thing is a mess of judicial inference that “rights” can’t be removed without primary legislation, even when those same rights weren’t directly created by primary legislation.

Note we signed up to half a dozen EU treaties using the Royal Perogative, but we can’t withdraw from the same treaties in the same fashion. Curious, huh?

Anyway, its pointless “planning” to get things for negotiation. You make a secret shopping list of your objectives and trades, talk loudly about your fallback position, and see what price the other side will bring. Then haggle. Christ. this is an econ blog; you’d think people would know basic negotiation theory!

11 Vic Crone November 3, 2016 at 8:09 am

We should keep holding votes until we get the right result! When will they ever learn.

12 TMC November 3, 2016 at 11:45 am

Pretty effective tactic by the EU already.

13 Bill November 3, 2016 at 8:16 am

Let’s Make Great Britain Great Again!





14 jim jones November 3, 2016 at 8:26 am
15 Melmoth November 3, 2016 at 9:10 am

And Theresa May has already provided the definition.

16 Anon November 3, 2016 at 9:38 am

Brou-ha-ha may have been a better choice?

17 Adam November 3, 2016 at 8:35 am
18 David Nash November 3, 2016 at 9:05 am

That’s assuming there are just two parties in each constituency. If the 48% is for one party, and the 52% is divided between Labour, Conservative and UKIP, it may lead to a completely different map, thanks to first past the post.

19 dan1111 November 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

Yes. The leave/remain vote also significantly crossed normal party lines. 39% of Conservatives voted Remain, while 35% of Labour voted Leave.

It’s not clear how the parties would align on the issue in a general election, since these internal divisions still exist. But assuming conservatives were identified as the “leave” party and labour as “remain”, not all traditional voters for those parties are going to switch allegiance just because of Brexit.

20 The Lunatic November 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

And the odds that “Remain” would unite 48% behind one EU party while “Leave”‘s 52% would somehow split between Labour, Conservative, and UKIP?

The way FPTP and the actual state of politics in the UK combine in an election where Brexit has been voted down by Parliament is that the UKIP is the obvious vehicle to unite everybody who is pissed off that the elites ignored their winning vote in the referendum, while Labour, the LibDems, and the Conservatives split the “Remain” 46.7% (in England). The only question then is how much of the 53.3% (in England) that voted “Leave” decides that it’s okay their referendum vote has been ignored and joins the three-way split of the “Remain” vote.

If the UKIP share of vote is at least 80% of the Leave share in each constituency, UKIP gets an unassailable majority in Parliament. If the UKIP share of vote is at least 60% of the Leave share in each constituency, UKIP is a party of government, because no other possible coalition is viable. (Seriously, Tory-SNP-Labour?) “Remain”, to be secure after the next general election, requires a majority of the people who voted “Leave” to nod their heads and go along with their vote being ignored . . . or for Labour and Conservative “Remain” voters to become a united bloc of single-issue pro-EU voters.

21 Alistair November 6, 2016 at 12:17 am

Plus Labour is led by Corbyn and is disappearing off into socialist la la land. He’s toxic to English voters. Even with Brexit muddying the waters, Labour is in existential trouble.

22 Art Deco November 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

You keep hoping. This is amusing.

23 The Original Other Jim November 3, 2016 at 10:07 am

No, it was amusing a month or two ago. We are well into “pathetic and sad” territory now.

What’s amusing is that he has to throw a completely unrelated anti-Trump comment in there, with imaginary agreement from “many” GOP senators. Talk about mood affilliation. I can only imagine what Tyler has to ingest to go to sleep at night.

Don’t worry big guy – the drunken, concussed lifelong felon is going to cruise to victory. What with the 130% turnout she is going to enjoy in every American city. Sleep well on that.

24 prognostication November 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

That isn’t really “imaginary.” It’s certainly hearsay, but there have been plenty of stories over the past several weeks about how GOP senators are privately telling people they won’t vote for Trump, even many of those who publicly say they will.

25 chuck martel November 3, 2016 at 11:12 am

Do the votes of GOP senators count for more than the votes of illiterate janitors? Why would anyone care how a particular senator votes, even if they had actual knowledge?

26 anon November 3, 2016 at 10:38 am

Apparently you do not have the self-awareness to know that “drunken, concussed lifelong felon” and “a sling of Vodka just to get out of bed in the morning” are appeals to others of low character.

Baseless and viscious claims say much more about who you are than Clinton or Cowen.

Deplorable much?

27 anon November 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

That’s an interesting question. Does anyone actually believe InfoWars? Or is it all a grand game of linking to things the authors and subscribers know to be false, but also know to be annoying ..

28 TMC November 3, 2016 at 12:03 pm

“appeals to others of low character.”

Well he is trying to sway Hillary supporters, right?

29 Chuck November 3, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Has Article 50 been triggered yet? Bwahaha!

I support Brexit by the way.

30 prior_test2 November 4, 2016 at 1:05 am

As do I, but there was no way the City was going to allow Brexit to happen without pulling every single string it could first.

31 Alistair November 5, 2016 at 11:58 pm

I find myself wondering nowadays how many of those nice shiny windows in the City are breakable….

Let’s see what the odd riot will do to their precious FTSE100.

32 David K November 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

Issue, though, Tyler, is that the UK government can call a vote at will. I don’t see how Parliament can “stall, demanding that Theresa May give them the right Brexit” when Theresa May is the one with the power to call the vote.

33 Pat Gillett November 3, 2016 at 9:14 am

So do you give Brexit occurring p=0.7? This is surprisingly high given your earlier arguments. I concur with many of those, and give Brexit p=0.45

34 Michael Savage November 3, 2016 at 9:18 am

It means that anti-Brexit MPs can vote ‘yes’ to Article 50, because that was the referendum outcome, but ‘no’ to the content of any final deal, which cannot be spun as ‘respecting the will of the people’ because they’ve already voted to uphold the referendum result. I think that is the government’s political calculus. A vote on triggering Article 50 makes it harder to win the vote on final terms.

35 MikeJa November 3, 2016 at 11:04 am

Invoking article 50 starts a 2 year period to negotiate a deal. It doesn’t allow for a review of the eventual deal. If the UK rejects the outcome then the alternative isn’t status quo, it is Brexit with no deal.

36 Michael Savage November 4, 2016 at 5:36 am

In practice I think there will be more politics involved though. It’s actually not clear what does happen if there is no deal after two years. UK is no longer in the EU, so rights and obligations are extinguished. But that will leave an awful lot of loose ends, like reciprocal rights of overseas nationals, pensions for UK citizen employees of the EU, ownership of EU assets etc. Neither side wants that uncertainty, the requirement for unanimity to extend is challenging … so some kind of fudge seems likely.

37 Alistair November 6, 2016 at 12:01 am


Yes; once the trigger is pulled, it’s deal or no-deal time after 2 years. Not deal or status quo ante.

38 A Black Man November 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

The interesting thing here is the slow retreat from liberal democracy by the people taking over our countries. Whether or not it was a good idea to have this vote is immaterial. They had the vote and people committed to liberal democracy would adhere to it. Instead, the people in charge are publicly working to evade and undermine the results.

We see similar things in our elections. The rigging of the Democratic primary to install Clinton as the nominee is one example. You can be sure the Republicans are looking at that and scheming how to change their rules so they can avoid democratic results. It is not unreasonable to think that within a few decades, our elections will be non-binding.

39 The Other Jim November 3, 2016 at 9:39 am

Clinton will almost certainly rig the Presidential election on Tuesday. If she wins we need to stand strong and protect our democracy from this demon. 2nd Amendment remediese may be our only course of action.

40 A Black Man November 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

The very fact that the head of a crime family is probably going to be the next ruler suggests “our democracy” is long gone.

41 The Original Other Jim November 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm

I wish she were only the head of a crime family. She’s literally a demon sent from Hell to torment us all and destroy this great nation. Yes, literally.

42 MyName November 4, 2016 at 7:52 am

It is impossible to “rig” a presidential election or any other national office. This hyperbolic BS is more dangerous to democracy than any single leader. Accept the result, bury this “2nd amendment” fearmongering nonsense, and actually get involved in politics if you’re worried about what the government is up to. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

43 anon November 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

When you talk like that, we know who you are.


44 A Black Man November 3, 2016 at 10:36 am

The board’s racist thinks the one black member is of low character.

Thanks for chiming in Adolph.

45 anon November 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

Again, character. I have been much more MRs resident anti-racist. That is public record. If anything I have faced charges that anti-racism causes racism.


46 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

Self-styled brave and stunning anonymous Internet commenters FTW!

47 anon November 3, 2016 at 10:52 am

That is actually the amazing thing. If it is so low cost to get to the good and moral position, why don’t more people try?

48 anon November 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

I forgot, those without character think it is cute to say “concern trolling” when others do.

49 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

You are your own parody account. Well played.

50 Sam Haysom November 3, 2016 at 11:18 am

Because low-status, lonely people using virtue signaling to acrue status isn’t the good and moral position. It’s the pathetic and cloying position.

As A Black Man put it- when you are attacking the only black person who posts here maybe you maybe all that anti-racism you’ve been flinging around isn’t working on a personal level.

51 anon November 3, 2016 at 11:30 am

Brian, seriously. When it is easy to say things like “of course we should all try to live Dr. King’s Dream” why do so few do it? Maybe you can help me understand.

Sam, I will ignore the low character insults and answer the question. The idea that Clinton did not win the primary democratically is dishonest, and therefore I thought tied to all the rationalization in the tablemag article.

I didn’t think it showed character to make that argument.


Facts should matter.

52 anon November 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm

ABM, if you honestly believed that Clinton rigged the primary, I will withdraw the “character” insult. I think you are wrong, but if that is what you honestly believe, not dishonest.

I would hope you would agree that the link is good though, because “racism is bad” and “character is good” should not be minority positions at MR or anywhere else.

53 TMC November 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm

1. If you need to cite media matters you are losing the argument.
2. Call Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to see if the primary was rigged. Use the home number, the work one seems to be disconnected.

54 Anonymous November 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm

“That is public record.”

anon wins today’s award for unwarranted self-importance.

55 anon November 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm

TMC, “never believe media matters” is both lazy and dishonest. Fact is every reputable site that looked for rigging found none.

Bernie Sanders says the primary was not rigged:


Never believe Bernie Sanders?

Anonymous, I think any one of us gets a pass on self-importance because we have zero value we can take away from these forums. We score zero status. We are anybody.

Public record is just old-school for “look it up.”

56 anon November 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

I suppose “never believe 538” is just par for the course,


57 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm

” the only black person who posts here”

whoa, whoa, i thought we were all black people

58 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

^^^ That’s not me. I suppose I should be flattered by this dipshit’s antics, though.

59 Urso November 3, 2016 at 5:14 pm

My character is beyond reproach. Just ask myself.

60 Ricardo November 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

The U.S. is a liberal democracy and we have never had a national referendum as the U.K. just had — it is not a necessary component of liberal democracy.

The real world is a lot more complex than simply choosing between being in the EU and not being in it. There is a whole menu of options and contingencies that Parliament will need to decide on while negotiating with the EU. For instance, does Scotland remain a part of the post-Brexit U.K.? Will Scottish Parliament get to vote separately on Brexit, which it seemingly should as per the Scotland Act 1998? Will there now be full immigration controls on the Northern Ireland-Ireland border, something that could disrupt the delicate peace there? Will the U.K. remain part of the single market and therefore commit itself to accepting immigration from Eastern Europe and continuing to be bound by rules set in Brussels (as Norway is)? The answers to these questions can only come from negotiations between the U.K. government, devolved governments in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the EU.

61 A Black Man November 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

I think you should put the brakes on the talk about the world being complex until you demonstrate the ability to comprehend my rather simple post.

Having a plebiscite is not essential to liberal democracy, which is why I never said any such thing. The rulers respecting the results of a plebiscite *is* essential to liberal democracy.

62 Li Zhi November 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Ridiculous. We elect representatives who use their judgement to act in the way they see fit to protect/advance interests which the voters have decided best conforms to their own desires, attitudes and priorities. The idea that these elected officials are bound by “the will of the majority” is utter rubbish – in the U.S.A. I’m not enough of an historian (i.e. am insufficiently motivated) to check the record, but being a representative democracy has widely been claimed to be the result of the Founders distrust of “the will of the majority”. No one can seriously claim that “the majority” isn’t ignorant, fickle, volatile, manipulable, and able to hold many contradictory fantasy beliefs simultaneously.

63 A Black Man November 3, 2016 at 1:06 pm

You are talking about an election, not a plebiscite.

The topic at hand is not the definition of a representative democracy. The issue is whether or not the rulers respect and support liberal democracy.

Please try to pay attention.

64 Alistair November 6, 2016 at 12:07 am

Everyone said clearly before the referendum that the government would respect and implement the result. Everyone.

Now it’s like “We shook on it? Oh, sorry. That was an advisory handshake, you understand”. The whole thing stinks of bad faith. Too many Remainers are simply _animals_; creatures who, if not compelled by power and fear to observe their contracts, do only what immediately and directly appeals to their interests, having no bounds on their future self or action.

65 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 10:46 am

Um… “Whether or not it was a good idea to have this vote is immaterial. They had the vote…”

66 Ricardo November 3, 2016 at 11:53 am

“Um,” yes, they had the vote and the U.K.’s independent judiciary — a staple of any liberal democracy — rules that there was no basis in U.K. law for a referendum taking rights away from individuals without a Parliamentary vote. Since Brexit takes rights away from U.K. citizens, Parliament will need to vote on it. Checks and balances and liberal democracy in action.

67 Li Zhi November 3, 2016 at 12:14 pm

All they need do is check their Constitution. Simple as that. They do have a Constitution, right? I mean, how else do such controversial issues ever become settled law? It’s not as if they’ve been winging it for the last few hundred years…

68 The Lunatic November 3, 2016 at 9:44 am

Apparently ant-Brexit forces really, really want to force voters to make a Prime Minister out of Farrage.

69 The Other Jim November 3, 2016 at 9:56 am

Prime Minister Farrage would make a great European partner for the upcoming Trump administration. I think the foreign policy world looks to be shaping up pretty nicely for a Trump Administration – a new partnership with a Brexit UK, Putin’s Russia, and Trump’s USA.

70 Axa November 3, 2016 at 10:05 am

Diplomats in UTC+1 timezone should be joking around “Who do I call if I want to call Britain?”

71 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 10:31 am

It is becomingly increasingly clear that The European Project was never a device for lowering barriers between Europe and the outside world as much as a device for building a wall around Europe’s mercantilists. Kinda Trumpian, actually.

72 msgkings November 3, 2016 at 2:22 pm

The EU wasn’t ever really about lowering barriers between Europe and the outside of Europe, it was about lowering barriers WITHIN Europe, to prevent another World War.

73 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

And no one anticipated how effectively Germany would run Southern Europe out of the building under a single currency and trade area. Good job, Europe.

74 msgkings November 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Shouldn’t that be ‘Good job, Germany’?

75 Kevin November 3, 2016 at 11:04 am

The European Court of Justice angle is fascinating, and, I think, wasn’t predicted by anyone. There is a basic contraction in the Article 50 terms of secession, and that is 1) triggering Article 50 sets in motion a two-year timeline, whatever happens the country which does this is out, but 2) session has to occur according to the constitutional processes of member states, and that includes respecting rights which held by individuals, both in terms of their constitutional arrangements and at the European level. So it makes sense that the European Court of Justice, citing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is binding on all members, would find that citizens of Great Britain are entitled to vote on the actual terms of Brexit, ie. such a vote must happen, and both the two-year deadline and the principle of irrevocability are essentially unconstitutional. Obviously, how British courts interpret its constitution will have a huge impact on all of this, but I can now see a scenario where May triggers Article 50 but Brexit is thwarted.

76 Kevin November 3, 2016 at 11:09 am

Grrrr, autocorrect.

77 chuck martel November 3, 2016 at 11:20 am

Can’t have the democratic institution of a referendum messing up the wishes of the pseudo-democratic City of London oligarchs.

78 Donald Pretari November 3, 2016 at 11:33 am

Keep in mind, we’ve moved Brexit onto the “Kick the Can Down the Road” list.

79 J November 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm

The final word on Brexit rights may be held by…

No, the FINAL word is held by the British people, who if need be can sweep all the rest out of the way. Do you really believe the remainder of the EU would go to war with Britain to keep Britain in the EU?

Enough dalliance by the Parliament could result in the British people finally doing away with Parliamentary sovereignty and installing The People as sovereign with a real constitution to control the bureaucrats.

80 Brian B. Kim November 3, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Tyler: your blog means a lot to me, and that’s why I gotta ask why you seem unable to fundamentally respect a people’s decision. Sure, Brexit may be messy, but perhaps Britons don’t care and they just want more control over their lives–even if just symbolically. I think this goes beyond mere disagreement into, I’m sorry to say, a lack of respect for certain decisions by the masses. The lesson I take from Brexit is that for democracy to survive, citizens must fundamentally tolerate and accept as legitimate different views. Don’t have to agree with them, but at least see the merits of, for example, the pro-choice or pro-life position, and respect our fellow citizens for their choice. Surely you can see some merit in the Brexit position? Of course you may be arguing that Brexit will be difficult at a logistical and bureaucratic level. Perhaps. Then a government worthy of respect will still do its utmost to faithfully carry out the people’s will. My sense is that PM May’s government is such a government. If not, then the idea of democracy will suffer everywhere.

81 WillS November 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm

“That in essence would serve as a second referendum, and if anti-Brexit candidates did well enough, parliamentarians would have cover to go against the previous expression of the public will.”

This is fantasy.

The only anti-Brexit parties of note are the Lib Dems (around 8% in the current polls) and the SNP (Scotland only). There are anti-Brexit, or at least remain voting, MPs in both the major parties but most of them are now on board with the leave vote having studied and been terrified by how their own constituents voted in the referendum. Particularly Labour MPs representing Northern English constituencies where UKIP came second last year.

The election (and the timing of that is the only thing that will potentially be impacted by this ruling) will be fought on traditional party lines, with brexit being one of the themes alongside the traditional ones of the economy and the perceived competence of the party leaders.

A comment has been made:

“It’s shocking how far Tyler Cowen will bend over backwards to indulge his mood affiliations.”

Perhaps, but it’s Tyler’s blog and he can bend how he likes. I’m just happy that he’s confident enough to allow us all to criticise him in the comments without (I think) deleting those comments he objects to or which show him to be wrong.


82 Brian Donohue November 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Very good comment.

83 prior_test2 November 4, 2016 at 1:15 am

‘to criticise him in the comments without (I think) deleting those comments he objects to or which show him to be wrong’

Actually, in my experience, the comments most likely to be read by only a select few are the ones that actually provide facts with links that demonstrate certain aspects the broader picture in which this web site is a part. One can certainly agree that Prof. Cowen is entitled to delete whatever and whoever he wants, at least until commenters learn how to indulge in self-censorship.

Sailer is another commenter who carefully modulates what he writes here, because even Prof. Cowen has a certain limit that cannot be exceeded in this woeful world of ours, drowning as it is in political correctness.

84 GoneWithTheWind November 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I expect that Brexit will be delayed, slow walked, obfuscated, ignored, bureaucratized, kicked down the road, etc. until finally it is forgotten or a more serious problem rears it’s head and then no one really cares about it anymore.

85 BikeRound November 3, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Could Professor Cowen tell us what qualifications he has exactly to be making prognostications regarding British politics? I understand he is a great economist, but from everything I have seen his knowledge of political systems is unimpressive.

86 msgkings November 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm

This is his blog, he can opine on whatever he wants.

87 Jeroen November 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

How difficult is it to understand that the results of a non-binding referendum need to made into law by Parliament? How is that silencing the voice of the people? Do Brexiteers even understand how government works? Parliament is likely to support Brexit. So, again, what’s the problem? If they don’t, vote ‘m out and let the next lot do it instead.

88 Ian Leslie November 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Trouble is, there are no anti-Brexit candidates.

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