News | Noticed in the Press 2016

Noticed in the Press – July 08, 2016

In the July 8 edition of the Hungarian weekly Élet és Irodalom, an opinion piece by István Dobozi: "Nagy-Britannia Gorbacsovja?"


In his opinion piece "Great Britain's Gorbachev?" Coalition member István Dobozi comments on the controversy besetting British prime minister David Cameron's decision to hold a referendum on Britain's memebership in the European Union.  Contrary to prevailing views, the author calls  Mr. Cameron's decision thoroughly justified and democratic to address a great existential dilemma.  Since 1973, the European Economic Community has been transformed beyond recognition toward an overbearing institution rapidly evolving into an economic an political union. For a long time, the British political elite and public have already been deeply split over the EU.  The uncontrolled immigration in recent years has become the touchstone issue that has brought the public grave concerns about the out-of-touch Brussels and the EU to a tipping point.

Cameron had hoped that the Brexit referendum would settle the question of Europe in the Conservative Party and the nation once for all.  The author warns that even on large national existential questions leaders are sometimes forced to make gambles.  In 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev  held a historic referendum to revive the collapsing USSR.  He lost and the USSR fell into pieces.

Cameron also lost his bid but he didn't deny democracy its chance.  Mr. Dobozi takes issue with those who claim that the British voters were defrauded by right-wing populism and acted out of ignorance about the costs and benefits of EU membership.  The distribution of the Remain and Leave votes along largely social class lines contradicts these views. Actually, the referendum laid bare deep-seated fault lines in British society.

In conclusion, the author notes the lessons from Brexit, highlighting that "business as usual" is not an option.

Brussels must address the legitimate concerns of Eurosceptics about the increasingly supranational directions, including cultural homogenization, the EU has embarked upon lately.


In the July 8 issue of The Washington Post, a commentary by John V. Berry: "My clients fare worse than Clinton".



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