Here are extracts from an article that appeared in Le Monde today, written by Laurent Cohen-Tanugi (link), a prominent Jewish lawyer in France.
…the only lesson that can be drawn from the lamentable soap opera initiated three years ago by David Cameron is addressed to the European heads of state and government: stop playing with fire! Stop sacrificing the European project, the states you are responsible for, the geo-political posture of the West and the global economy on the altar of your personal ambitions and your partisan interests! This is quite contrary to the dignity of public office.
I can already hear the anti-European pseudo-democrats screaming their heads off jubilant at the bedside of the Union: the last word belongs to the people, there is no European people, only the peoples of the European nations have a say! But the failure of European elites – national leaders first of all, but not just them by any means – is precisely to have bought this simplistic, demagogic and self-interested argument hook, line and sinker, thus abdicating their responsibilities.
Representative democracy wasn’t invented for nothing. It remains more indispensable than ever in the Internet era, where all of the opinions expressed are not always valid, and where the self-maintained “opinion” is an even worse adviser than it was before. Who dares to claim that the majority of British citizens who are getting ready to vote against eastern European immigration – which London incidentally was the first to encourage – have the slightest idea of the disastrous repercussions of a “Brexit” on the United Kingdom, the European project, the Atlantic alliance and the stability of the world? Which European leader will have the courage to declare loud and clear that it is long past time to put an end to – via a prohibition in the treaties – unilateral, opportunistic and demagogic national referendums on questions that put the future of all Europeans at stake? Playing heads or tails with the future of the United Kingdom or European Union has nothing to do with democracy.
…Enough energy wasted, taking of useless risks, inexcusable cowardice. Stop the populist suicide!