Richard Dawkins claims it was “irresponsible” to allow British public to vote on Brexit

Richard Dawkins at Protest the Pope Rally in London, September 2010
Richard Dawkins at Protest the Pope Rally in London, September 2010. Photo: Colin Grey.

Nairobi born British professor Richard Dawkins has criticised David Cameron’s decision to hold the EU referendum because it allowed people to make a “hugely complicated” decision on Brexit “on a whim”.

Refusing to identify his position as a supporter or either the victorious Leave campaign or Remain, the author and atheist told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, that the decision should never have been left in the hands of the electorate.

“I’m not so much a Remainer, someone who thinks we shouldn’t have been asked in the first place.

“I think David Cameron took an irresponsible decision in putting it to the country as a simple 50-50 vote.

“I think David Cameron took an irresponsible decision in putting it to the country

“It’s immensely complicated, the matter of Brexit, hugely complicated ramifications – we’re only hearing now the ramifications for Ireland.

“These are not matters that should be voted on a whim, on an impulse, by day-by-day people.”

– Richard Dawkins

While he said he believed  it was “fine” for people who voted using “evidence”, he said: “Many people voted with their gut, probably both ways,” believing the referendum was a “great opportunity for emotion”, which “clouded” the judgement of voters.

“It should have been done by people with sober reasoning,” he said, adding: “By people who had really looked into the evidence both ways.”

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