Labour’s opposition to an EU referendum could cost them crucial votes

Peter Mandelson
Did anyone listen to Peter ‘Mandy’ Mandelson on BBC Radio 4 this morning? Essentially he was there defending the Labour Party’s new policy on not having a referendum on the EU.

Fine. I disagree with him, but if that’s his view then fine.

But…and this is what annoys me…I don’t think it is entirely his view. Have a look at this quote from him in the Guardian in 2012:

“I believe a fresh referendum will be necessary because the political parties cannot reconcile their own differences and come to a final conclusion on their own, and nor should they.”

So why the conversion? Well it could well have been a favour pulled in by the Miliband camp who have watched high-profile figures including Tom Watson and Ian Austin split with the party’s official position in recent months.

Either way – it does at least begin to clarify in the voters mind what their policy actually is (something that was less than clear for the last few years). But one wonders how they have come to this policy? Poll after poll shows that the electorate is desperate for an in/out referendum.

As a result this leaves many traditional Labour voters who want a referendum with a difficult decision. Back Labour and have no say on EU membership, or back another party? If they chose the later they have little real choice with only the Conservatives, UKIP or The Green Party currently offering a referendum.

Still, one has to ask: just how many votes this will cost Labour at the European elections in 2014?


Filed under EU politics, Politics

3 responses to “Labour’s opposition to an EU referendum could cost them crucial votes

  1. This surprises me, labour are usually all about attempting pleasing the electorate and grabbing as many votes as they possibly can, even if it means dumping their morals in the process


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