Brexit: 10 Things to Watch For + My Prediction
1. The referendum question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
2. Who can vote: British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be able to cast a ballot.
3. Spending limits: The official campaigns — Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe — received grants of up to £600,000 ($888,0000) with an overall spending limit of £7,000,000 ($10,361,000), plus campaign broadcasts, freemailshots and free access to meeting rooms.
4. Polling hours: Polling stations will be open from 7:00 am (2:00 am ET) to 10:00 pm (5:00 pm) on the day of the referendum vote.
5: Results announced: The counting of ballots will start promptly when the voting ends, but trending results will probably not be known until 4:00 am (11:00 pm ET) at the earliest. Many local TV producers are planning to lead the morning news with the official results by 6:00 am (1:00 am ET) on Friday, June 24. BTW, BBC World News will air a special with Katty Kay starting at 5:00 pm ET on Thursday.
6. How would the Britian leave: There would be no instant change. The process of decoupling would officially begin only when the British government chooses to invoke a previously unused provision of the bloc’s governing treaty, known as Article 50, that sets out the basics of the withdrawal process over a two-year period.
7: UK campaign trail foreshadows the US campaign trail: Globalization and economics are driving both the Brexit and US presidential campaigns. Americans “believe that the political system and economic system is rigged against them,” according to pollster and communications pro Frank Luntz. “Do hardworking, taxpaying citizens fundamentally trust or reject half a century of globalization, integration, and innovation? Have the promises of the political and economic elite helped improve their daily lives? Or is it time for a rethinking and redrawing of our political and economic systems from the ground up?”
8. Will the “status quo bias” hold? The “status quo bias” is our desire to keep what we know and are used to. The bias plays a crucial role in many of our decisions, and well known to many behavioral psychologists. Political analyst Peter Kellner has shown the status quo bias working in five out of the six referendums that the UK has seen in the last 40 years. In three cases, opinion polls swung sharply towards the status quo option in the last weeks of campaigning.
8. Why the vote matters — short-term: Some have called this the Y2K event of the pro-globalization Davos crowd. It is evident to me we are at an inflection point regarding the future of our politics. Candidates and campaigns will need to decide if our politics will be outwardly focused, with an open global economy and optimism, or will our politics be more nationalistic, negative, and more inward looking and a sense of being closed to the world?
10. Why the vote matters — long-term: Regardless of the final result, it is apparent many voters believe the consequences of the global economy is creating a feeling that they need to take control of their country and their destiny once again. After decades of feeling betrayed by faceless bureaucrats, jet set elites, and multilateral organizations that are now telling voters to support the status quo, voters appear willing and ready to take matters into their hands and have more “control” over their lives. Brexit is just the beginning of this debate and not the end — waking up on Friday, June 24 will seven decades of globalization have finally reached its zenith?
David Cameron stays on as Prime Minister.