What a bizarre situation we find ourselves. We are in a situation where our politicians are denying us, the people that they are meant to represent, a say on whether we should stay in the EU or not. Why? Because they know we will get it wrong. They know that we would vote to leave the EU in a click of the fingers. Even the Conservatives know, deep down, that staying in the EU and pushing for reform is the only sensible way forward. So we face a battle, democracy Vs what is good for the country – what’s a politician to do?
The reason all parties are opposing a referendum on the EU? They know we would vote to leave!
Filed under EU politics, Politics
3 responses to “The reason all parties are opposing a referendum on the EU? They know we would vote to leave!”
Europe is agonising over how best to co-operate in avoiding economic meltdown, and the Tories think it’s a good time to discuss our terms of membership. This is not very helpful.
All of Caroline’s points are good points, but the timing is still terrible.
Public opinion is anti-EU because 3 out of 4 newspaper readers are ingesting Tory news manipulation.
You should know that Green Leader, Caroline Lucas MP, intends to vote for a referendum because she believes in strengthening democracy. Here is her statement:
‘You may have heard that there will be a vote in parliament on Monday about whether or not there should be a national referendum on the EU. The motion reads:
“That this House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the UK should
(a) Remain a member of the EU on the current terms
(b) Leave the EU, or
(c) Renegotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and cooperation.”
In order to be consistent with the tenor of party policy, as well as with positions I’ve taken personally in the past, I intend to vote in favour of this motion.
I will make clear that my position is based not on a wish to withdraw from the EU, but on a commitment to increase democracy and accountability. Although being in the Aye lobby means we will have uncomfortable bed-fellows (as indeed we did with our position against the single currency and the EU constitution), I believe it will be possible to get a high profile for our pro-democracy, pro (a reformed) EU position. The Observer has already asked for a short article on this for Sunday’s paper.
I would intend to make the case that the EU has enormous potential to spread peace, freedom and security in and around Europe, and to promote and protect democracy and human rights at home and throughout the world. It has the potential to be a true pioneer in the transition to low carbon economies, and in living more lightly on the planet. But to fully achieve this potential , it has to change direction, and to put democracy and sustainability – rather than ever greater trade liberalisation and growth – at the heart of its objectives.
In principle, any referendum which might occur would be an opportunity to raise the profile of the sort of EU we would like to see, based on co-operation, rather than competition, and a relocalisation of our economies. It would enable us to debate the end goal of the EU – to get away from polarised arguments over “more Europe” or “less Europe”, and to ask the question “what purpose, Europe?”
Many of today’s European citizens are no longer sure what the EU is for. The ambitious free trade project at the heart of the original treaties has, for many, become an end in itself. The debate about the future of the Union has been dominated by “economism” – the idea that the overriding goals of European integration are economic, and that the progress of the EU should be judged in terms of economic growth and the removeal of market barriers alone. As a result, the EU has failed to address fundamental questions of political culture and strategic purpose – and, therefore, has also failed to inspire the mass of citizens with a sense of enthusiasm and common cause, calling into question its own legitimacy.
In order to be able to tackle the new threats and challenges we face today, and to deliver a fair, sustainable and peaceful Europe into the 21st century, the EU must undergo radical reform. It must become more democratic and accountable, less bureaucratic and remote. But it also needs to have a more compelling vision of its role and purpose. A referendum would be an opportunity to debate precisely those issues.
How about yourself Martin? Democracy Vs what is good for the country?