Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dear Brits: Don't listen to the U.S. on 'Brexit'

By Professor Justin Hughes

This op-ed originally appeared in the June 15, 2016 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Dear British friends, I’m writing to say I’m sorry my president has been meddling so much in the debate about “Brexit,” your June 23 vote on whether to remain part of the European Union. The speeches, the BBC interview, the op-ed in the Daily Telegraph — it’s all been a bit much.

Still, good friends cannot help but offer advice. I’ve watched the polls swing back and forth — a recent Guardian/ICM poll suggested leaving is up 53% to 47%, while poll aggregators see a dead heat with about 10% of you undecided. As an American who’s worked in international affairs, lived in the EU, and loves both Burgundy wines and Devon clotted cream, let me offer you this bit of advice: In this existential decision, don’t let experts and politicians — yours or ours — scare you. Take everything with a dose of salt.

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