Tag Archives: EU referendum

Do you know what The Green Party position is on an EU referendum?

The Green Party has a really good policy on whether or not we should have a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. In short it says ‘Three Yeses’: Yes to a referendum, yes to major EU reform, and yes to staying in a reformed Europe.

This position is progressive, democratic and most importantly in line with a large chunk of public opinion.

Of course, the problem is that nobody knows this.

Try it out now, turn to whoever you’re nearest to and ask, ‘Do you know what the Green’s position on the EU is’?

You can post photos of the blank faces in the comments section below.

Why might this be?

Well, below is a screenshot of Google News with a search set for the last week for the term ‘Green Party EU referendum’. Surprise surprise, not one relevant article appears (click on the image to enlarge).

GP EU
Now, change the search to ‘Labour EU referendum’ and you get something very different (again, click on the image to enlarge):

Labour EU
Here we have articles from the BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, Independent etc etc…

This at least partly explains why no one knows what The Green Party position is…it just doesn’t feature in the press.

Now, normally at this point in a blog I would start blaming the editors of the mainstream papers for not showing an interest in Green Party policy, but in this case, that just doesn’t explain it.

Over the last week, while Labour have ensured the issue of an EU referendum has been on every editors thoughts, The Green Party has stayed silent.

No press release, no social media campaign, no slogans. I have watched on as my disproportionately Green twitter feed has ticked over without a single mention of The Green Party’s ‘3 yeses’ policy.

While Labour are saying no to an EU referendum (unless the UK was being asked to transfer more powers to Brussels), The Green Party are offering a progressive, democratic and internationalist alternative. Something that is so clearly missing from the UKIP driven EU debate.

I simply don’t understand why every Green is not shouting about this from the rooftops.

With just over 2 months though until the European elections I am not sure how many more media opportunities The Green Party can afford to miss like this. They need just a 1.6% swing in the vote to triple their number of MEPs but to get that, people need to know what they stand for. 

More information:

  • Read the BBC summary of what Miliband and Labour are offering here.
  • Read The Green Party ‘3 yeses’ policy launch here.
  • Read the full Green Party policy on the EU here.

UPDATE:

Keith Taylor MEP for South East England has just released this press release: Green MEP calls on pro-EU politicians to have the ‘guts’ to promise a referendum.

Good on him! Let’s hope the press are listening! 

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Letter to the Stroud News and Journal: MP rejects EU referendum and democracy

This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Stroud News and Journal

Dear Editor,

On Monday you reported that our local MP considers now not a good time to hold an in/out EU referendum (Now is not the right time for EU referendum, says Stroud MP 07/10/2013).

Defending his position, Mr Carmichael is quoted as saying, “I think that we need enough time to properly re-assess and renegotiate our relationship with the EU” – whilst at the same time saying he backs a referendum to be held in 2017.

I am curious as to what Mr Carmichael is hoping the UK will renegotiate between now and 2017. The fiasco of the Lisbon Treaty (the UKs last real chance to renegotiate the EU) has only just been put to bed and there is no appetite in Brussels for any serious renegotiations in the coming years.

The worse thing is that I think Mr Carmichael knows this. To me, it looks like he is once again just playing politics. The only difference between now and 2017 is that there is a general election in-between.

Your article finished by quoting Mr Carmichael saying, “We are going to renegotiate, reassess, recalibrate our relationship with the EU.” Your guess as to what that means is as a good as mine.

In stark contrast The Green Party has been very clear about where they stand on an in/out EU referendum. They have said they stand for “Three Yeses”:

·         Yes to an in/out referendum

·         Yes to major reform of the EU

·         Yes to staying in a reformed EU

As someone who, on balance, supports Britain’s involvement in the EU, I think it is important that we, the public, get the opportunity to decide if we stay in the EU or not…even if I may not like the outcome of the referendum.

I agree with Mr Carmichael that we are better off in the EU. Where I differ with him is that I think the people of Britain should be given the opportunity to make this judgement themselves.

If Mr Carmichael believes in democracy, he should back a referendum without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Hynd

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26 out of 27 countries think being part of the EU is a good thing

Put another way, 1/27 Member States’ population thinks that being part of the EU is not a good thing – can you guess which country this one is? That’s right, us! The Island. Sigh.

The below table show the support for EU membership, as a percentage of persons surveyed, EU-27 (February 2010)

Country Good thing (%) Bad thing (%)
Belgium (BE) 78 19
Bulgaria (BG) 59 22
Czech Republic (CZ) 55 41
Denmark (DK) 53 44
Germany (DE) 66 29
Estonia (EE) 63 32
Ireland (IE) 86 8
Greece (EL) 63 36
Spain (ES) 62 31
France (FR) 69 28
Italy (IT) 63 28
Cyprus (CY) 63 34
Latvia (LV) 53 44
Lithuania (LT) 52 37
Luxembourg (LU) 80 18
Hungary (HU) 66 24
Malta (MT) 66 27
Netherlands (NL) 81 18
Austria (AT) 71 23
Poland (PL) 46 42
Portugal (PT) 61 25
Romania (RO) 71 14
Slovenia (SI) 86 11
Slovakia (SK) 88 10
Finland (FI) 81 18
Sweden (SE) 52 44
United Kingdom (UK) 28 65

Can you spot the odd one out? Can this be explained through the media? Can this be explained through politics? My thoughts on the UK and why we have such an odd relationship with the EU can be found here.

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The reason all parties are opposing a referendum on the EU? They know we would vote to leave!

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?

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