Top Lawyer: Ban Referendums To Save EU Project

In the wake of a potential ‘Brexit’ a top French lawyer has demanded that the European Union (EU) “stop sacrificing the European project” and ban referendums. Laurent Cohen-Tanugi called direct democracy “populist suicide” and claimed that people’s opinions in the internet era are invalid. Describing Britain’s referendum on EU membership as a “lamentable soap opera”, the Paris-based international lawyer urged the bloc’s leaders to “stop playing with fire”. Writing in Le Monde, the Paris-based lawyer branded referendums “contrary to the dignity of public office”, “opportunistic and demagogic”, and called for European leaders to: “Stop sacrificing the European project, the states you are responsible for, the geopolitical position of the West and the global economy on the altar of your personal ambitions and the interests of your followers!” Mr. Cohen-Tanugi dismissed imagined “howls of outrage from anti-EU pseudo-democrats”, criticising European elites for having “bought into the simplistic, demagogic” argument that Europeans should have a say in how they are ruled. The lawyer, whose practice focuses on international mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and corporate governance, argued that leaders who allow referendums are “abdicating their responsibilities”. Frequent columnist Mr. Cohen-Tanugi poured scorn on the idea of direct democracy at a time when people have