Thursday, March 10, 2016

'First cut' on EU Referendum.

Let's begin at the beginning. When David Cameron announced in 2013 there was to be an In/Out Referendun before end of 2017, I was horrified. Not critical though - for two reasons. Firstly, I thought the Prime Minister didn't have much choice and secondly, I thought it was what the British people wanted. I was in favour of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and would be in favour of a referendum on any other treaty. And there will be one to merge the Eurozone countries into a single economy before too long. Anyway we have the big one, an In-Outer on June 23rd. 

I am 'undeclared'. It seems this is unusual, which surprises me. I didn't even have to think about taking this approach to the referendum. My first step has to be to discuss it with my local Association members. They selected me. They supported me. Without them I wouldn't be an MP. So I've invited them all to join me on Sat at 1.30 in Welshpool. (the Kick-Off is at 4.00). I'm also going to arrange local constituency meetings - probably starting in my own village of Berriew. And friends from other areas have asked me to visit their communities. I'll do what I can.

But what am I going to say when I open the meeting? Not thought it through yet. But I'll have to admit some facts (and they are in very short supply). I have been an 'Outer' since 1975, when I campaigned to leave the EEC the last time such a referendum was held. I've never supported the idea of sub summing the British state into an undemocratic bureaocracy. Whatever, my side lost - and lost big. This fundamental belief has never stopped me working as diligently as I could with the Commission for the interests of whatever body I've been leading over last 40 yrs. But I am a great supporter of the Prime Minister. He's put a massive effort into securing reform. No-one could have tried harder. I would hate the thought of being thought by him to be disloyal. So already conflicted!! 

I will make but one brief point. There will be plenty more blog posts over next three months. Where I think it's impossible (deliberately so) is that we have no idea what 'Leave' looks like. And we won't have on June 23rd. The reality is that the Govt is campaigning to stay in, backed up by the entire civil service. If it were ever intended to be a genuine choice, the Govt would be working in preparation for a Leave vote. But it's not. Every Govt sinew is being strained to persuade us to vote Remain. Not willing to contemplate anything else. So there will be no verifiable facts. The Govt will seek to portray Leave as a "Leap into the unknown". And of course it will be. But equally the refugee/immigrant crisis makes remain a bit of an unknown as well! I can but hope that my meetings with members and constituents help clarify their thinking - and mine!! 


mairede thomas said...

It's not only the deal with Turkey and the wider immigration issues that herald big changes and escalating risks to the UK if we decide to stay in the EU. The requirement for political and fiscal integration of the Eurozone member states will result in a volatile roller coaster of economic instability within that region and will trigger contagion risks for those EU member states who are bound by existing EU Treaties but are not well catered for in the new treaties that the EU Commission is designing to meet the needs of the Eurozone.

The Eurozone project is in crisis and the ECB's desperate moves to shore up Eurozone economies and banks with the very dangerous unconventional monetary policy of negative interest rates and continuous money printing is a last ditch attempt to reverse deflation and depression. Mark Carney should have emphasised this danger to the UK's financial stability. Surely the safer option in these circumstances is for the UK to disconnect itself from the financial crisis and anti-democratic institution that the EU has become.

Bril said...

I think the truth is, there can be no verifiable facts about a future situation so different to the past. It's hard enough forecasting what the future will look like if we remain in the EU, let alone if we leave. Consequently, I think that the debate cannot be about facts. It has to be about the philosophy of being a member, albeit under modified conditions and I will make this point at the meeting today if possible.

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Registered Patent Attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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Tom Bidwell said...

The "Out" group seem to me to be making positive points as how our future will look if we leave the EU while the "Remain" seem to concentrate solely on the negative results of leaving the union and trying to scare us into voting "in", really, have they nothing positive to say about remaining in the EU?