There is high anxiety on both sides of the Atlantic about the vote today, June 23, 2016, when British voters get to decide if Britain should leave or remain within the European Union. There is much at stake and speculation about the possibility of a British Exit. As this particular departure would be an unprecedented event in the history of the E.U., no amount of research into the legal, political, or economic situation of the E.U. and its member states could yield a clear answer as to the ramifications, and readers of this blog may not even see this post until it is all over.
However, the threat of crisis provides an occasion to explore resources curated by the law library that may provide some understanding of the issues. Check out what one of our British information providers, Oxford University Press, has created alongside its paid database, Oxford Reports on International Law: part of the Oxford Public International Law collection, it is a Debate Map listing official free resources as well as Oxford journal subscription articles, all on Brexit. There is also a good summary of legal and political facts and questions posted today at the blog of the Law Library of Congress, In Custodia Legis: “Brexit Referendum.”
Irrespective of the voting outcome, interest in how the entire matter developed and what future reforms might result from simply holding such a vote may suggest follow-up research projects. For these, may we suggest using our Georgetown Law research guides for the European Union and the United Kingdom. For tracking continuing developments, we have a guide that links to our array of world news sources, such as Access World News.
Finally, one of the most disturbing developments of all: a commentator in the journal Foreign Policy points out that the HBO series Game of Thrones is produced with some funds from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, and in the event the British vote to leave the E.U., the filmmakers may no longer have access to those assisting funds, and this is an expensive production!So in addition to possible economic turmoil and recession, recent shows such as last week’s GoT, filmed partly in Northern Ireland, could be at risk. The latest episode in the real life saga is about to be released.