EU In/Out? Is a referendum the best way?

  spider9 09:30 23 Jan 13

I'd always thought we were a Parliamentary Democracy, and, as such, we elect paid representatives to take difficult decisions on our behalf.

Membership of Europe is a difficult , complicated topic, and most people (including myself) would be hard pushed to appreciate all the pros and cons - so the populace will now be bombarded by media propaganda aimed at the lowest common denominator, I suspect.

Loads of 'crazy' EU stories will emerge and be fed to the Great British public, with 'good' EU stories being more difficult to show. Hence the media barons will, once again, get their way and politicians can then 'blame' us if it turns out bad.

Weak leadership I'm afraid.

  Forum Editor 09:39 23 Jan 13

We had a referendum (in 1974) to decide whether or not to stay in what was then called the EEC, and we voted, by a significant majority, to stay in.

I suppose it's only fair that we should again be offered the opportunity to vote on whether we should now come out.

Personally I think it's madness to contemplate withdrawing.

  Quickbeam 09:42 23 Jan 13

I've become an OUTer over the last decade.

The simple reasoning being that we can't be any worse off on our own than shovelling money into the EU money waste disposal furnace.

  Forum Editor 09:58 23 Jan 13


"we can't be any worse off on our own than shovelling money into the EU money waste disposal furnace."


Our relationship with America would be seriously damaged for one thing, and -regardless of what the anti-american brigade might say - we need that relationship to be a good one.

The idea that we could be a successful standalone trading nation, and maintain our status as one of the world's wealthiest countries if we ceased membership of the EU is seriously flawed.

No doubt we'll have endless discussions about it all as time goes on.

  sunnystaines 10:00 23 Jan 13

when we voted last time it was all to do with trade, similar to the old EFTA. But things have got out of control and politics and laws etc have all crept in as well as it being a cash cow wasting billions.

Why can the UK not have a vote with 6 months re in or out why have we been fobbed off with after the next election.

I do think the EU has lost its original purpose. The old EFTA yes EU no.

  nickf 10:48 23 Jan 13

I agree with Sunnystaines (sic) , THE EU has become a political beast , rather than the trade focused organisation we signed up for . WE put in far more than we get out . If we don't pull out soon , we will be too far down the road of economic and political union to be able to pull out , and I for one do not want to live in the Empire of Europe .

  Mr Mistoffelees 10:49 23 Jan 13

I agree with the FE, leaving the EU would be economic suicide.

  morddwyd 10:53 23 Jan 13

Interesting times.

What if the UK votes to leave the EU, but Scotland votes to leave the UK and gets EU membership?

How many Chief Executives are thinking of asking their research departments for a feasibility study of migrating from England to Scotland?

How many "Yes" campaigners are even now looking to see how to turn the prospect to advantage?

Generally speaking, and I have no evidence of this, just an opinion, politicians up here seem to be more on the side of the "Auld Alliance" than the "Auld Enemy".

  Quickbeam 10:58 23 Jan 13

FE/fourm member

My post demonstrates the simplest common perception of our feelings towards the EU. And if there was a simple IN or OUT vote tomorrow, there would be a very real prospect of being OUT by tomorrow teatime.

From that I expect the EU to look closely at it's persistent insistence that they always know best, whether they are talking to our government or talking down to us mere plebs, that we don't want a Federal Union, that we want them to listen and accept what the majority electorate want, that we consider that they are paid sufficiently handsomely to survive the recession without any salary increases for several years, that none of us intended for the direction that we are being furrowed into was the way to go, etc, etc, etc...

In short to stay in we need a fundamental reappraisal of the purpose and benefits of the EU. What we have is not what we ordered and is not of merchantable quality.

Without that assurance, I remain an OUT vote.

  spider9 11:09 23 Jan 13

Sadly, I wasn't intending this thread to be about whether anyone has already made their decision, I was rather hoping there would be views on the use of a referendum, and whether it will mean that people will be subjected to 'influences' set out in very black & white terms.

It will be easy for one 'side' to find examples of silly consequences of EU rules (yet forget that UK laws can often be equally as daft!)but the benefits of belonging to a large global trading organisation may not be as simple to actually demonstrate to the man in the street.

We did, as FE said, have one in 1974 when we joined - but I would suggest that the average person now has much greater media pressures on them to 'get out'.

  spider9 11:15 23 Jan 13


Yes, indeed the Scottish question does makes things interesting.

Like you, I feel there is less antipathy up here towards Europe, and the UK referendum may well help the 'Yes' campaign.

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