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Today the United Kingdom will decide via referendum whether or not to remain in the European Union... What's at stake?
The New York Times has this good summary of the issue. The Economist offers another good option here. And finally, Slate offers its version of everything you need to know.
Recently on EconLog, Alberto Mingardi, Scott Sumner, and Emily Skarbek have offered some (conflicting) commentary. You can also find Richard Epstein's "cautious yes" at the Hoover Institute.
Bloomberg offers a tracker here, noting, "We won't know the outcome for sure until the votes have been counted."
What are your thoughts on the outcome of today's vote?
I feel that occasional institutional disruption is healthy. It reverses the steady march towards institutional capture by special interests. No individual lobbying effort is worth individuals fighting. But disrupting the whole means by which favours are allocated is worth doing.
I don't worry too much about the conservative argument that institutions are the guarantors of democracy. I think that is cultural.
Also, Rule Britannia, et cetera.
The only defensible arguments which I've seen in favour of Brexit are high-minded, romantic ones about the nature of the nation state. I think Matthew's comment fits into that category.
The problem is there are a huge list of practical problems with Brexit which would impact negatively on Britons - from accommodation of xenophobia and racism to clear financial pain.
On vested interests, I'm not sure it's so easy to be sure that any one route is the best one. This quote has been widely reported from when Rupert Murdock was asked why he favours Brexit:
"When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice."
"The nation is being invited to confirm the surrender, and the permanent surrender, of its most precious possession: its political independence and parliamentary self-government, and the right to live under laws and to pay taxes authorized only by Parliament and to be governed by policies for which the executive is fully accountable through Parliament to the electorate. Above and beyond all the arguments about butter mountains and Brussels bureaucrats there lies that stark fact, undenied and undeniable." - Enoch Powell 1975
Still right after all these years.
As a Frenchman married to a Brit (but living in the USA), I hope they vote to remain, but the vote is likely to be close, and that means the UK is doomed to a series of "neverendums" for the next decade or two like Canada and Quebec separatism in the 90s.