Should I Stay or Should I Go? What’s Up with Brexit?

Part 3 of 3

Will Gun Crime in the UK Influence Brexit? History shows that traumatic events can changes the course of legislation.

Brutal shootings of elected leaders can shape public opinion of historic legislation.

Fear, uncertainty and disgust with UK politicians inflamed the British electorate less than a week away from the Brexit vote on June 23. Then tragedy hit 41-year old Jo Cox, Labour MP, and the Brexit campaign was halted out of respect for Cox and her family.

Britons are in mourning and the “Should I stay or should I go” decision has taken on a life of its own.

Labour MP Jo Cox, a first term lawmaker, was simply trying to meet with business leaders and people in her district when she was stabbed and gunned down. The alleged attacker is Thomas Mair, who has ties to extremist group The National Alliance and a history of mental illness.

All of a sudden, the security of British ministers meeting with their constituents has become an issue. This also highlights the low rate of gun crime in the UK. Helen Poole, a Coventry University researcher who focuses on gun crime, points out in a Wall Street Journal interview, “Britain has low prevalence of gun crime in comparison to the EU and nothing compared to the US.”

The shocking attack has caused the lawmaking community to pause Brexit. Charlie Cooper of the Independent writes, “Since this brutal killing, British politicians decided postpone the Brexit vote. The rival EU referendum campaigns have suspended campaigning until at least Saturday following the murder of Jo Cox.”

Does this sound familiar? Americans can remember the brutal shooting of Congresswomen Gabby Gifford, while also talking with her constituents in the business community within her voting district.

A New York Times article dated January 8, 2011 stated, “Because of the shootings, House Republicans postponed all legislation to be considered on the floor that week, including a vote to repeal the health care overhaul. The House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, said lawmakers needed to “take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today’s tragedy.”

Tragic events create fear, uncertainty and rage that can affect business on a global scale. What do you think?

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Gail Rockburne
Gail Rockburne
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