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


spider9
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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.

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Quickbeam

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Is a referendum the best way?

Well they're not listening to any other reasoning put to them. And I don't think that you can separate your post reason from why we would vote one way or another, they are linked inextricably.

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Forum Editor

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"We did, as FE said, have one in 1974 when we joined"

I shouldn't have said that, because of course we joined in 1973, and there was no referendum. The Labour government was elected in 1974, and they held the referendum in 1975.

I'm sorry for my earlier confusion - put it down to snow on the brain.

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Forum Editor

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Quickbeam

"Well they're not listening to any other reasoning put to them."

I hope you don't believe that a referendum result would be based on reasoned thought, because it wouldn't.

As others have said, the complexities of the issue are simply too great for most people to be able to have a complete grasp of the subject. A referendum result would largely be based on judgements made for emotional, 'gut instinct' reasons, and that's where the danger lies.

Once we leave the EU we would find that the world was suddenly a colder, less friendly place, and our current economic problems would be greatly increased. We need to be in Europe more than most people realise.

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spider9

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Quickbeam "Well they're not listening to any other reasoning put to them"

Reasoning? Or do you mean threats?

Will the threat of withdrawing from a club we always seem to be griping about really mean all those other members will cave in to our demands - I think not.

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pavvi

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It's interesting that the old argument from the Eurosceptic press was that america was our main partner and we didn't need Europe. Now America is saying they need us to be in Europe. Sometimes I think that there are some that believe we still carry significant weight in the world on our own. We aren't the single power we used to be, like it or not, and as FE has said, leaving EU would be a disastrous move.

I think we will want as few Sun/Express readers voting as possible, because we know what their stance will be. What guessing there will be a Brittania on the front of the Sun on election day.

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Quickbeam

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UK and the EU: Better off out or in?

I quite accept that the issues are more complex than how Joe Bloggs sees them, but for every opinion against leaving there is an equally persuasive one for leaving.

I don't automatically accept that if the senior PCA members hold one opinion, well then it must be the best one. If we don't try being out we'll never know. Yes I know that once out, it's permanent, but I remain resolute on leaving, rightly or wrongly, I'm for taking the risk.

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Forum Editor

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Quickbeam

"I don't automatically accept that if the senior PCA members hold one opinion, well then it must be the best one."

We don't have senior members in that context - everyone is just a member when it comes to posting, and I don't think anyone has ever implied that you should automatically accept their opinion.

By the same token, nobody is obliged to accept yours. The attitude that "If we don't try being out we'll never know". and that "I'm for taking the risk." concerns me, because it smacks of wanting to change for change's sake, and with something as crucial to our national future as this it's a worrying stance to adopt. We do know that if we left the EU our relationship with America would definitely suffer. We know that we would find it more difficult to trade with Europe - the community could erect tariff barriers against UK goods, as it has done to China, for instance. We know that it would become more difficult for UK citizens to live and work in EU territories.

Being prepared to take a flyer over something like that because of a belief that "If we don't try being out we'll never know" strikes me as foolhardiness personified.

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Aitchbee

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Nick Robinson, BBC chief political editor said this morning on R4 to Jim Nauchtie [after listening to the Prime Minister's historic speech on Europe]:-

"We may, and I emphasize the word may [Jim], we may have heard Britain taking the first steps to the exit of the European Union in 45 years of membership. Of course, the man delivering the speech [David Cameron] doesn't want that to be the outcome. He beleives that Britain will vote to stay in, but only if Europe 'blinks', if Europe finally gives him what he wants, which is a deal he beleives he can sell.

Personally, My gut feeling is that Europe will not give in to Britain's demands.

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Quickbeam

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We'll have to agree on disagreement then.

Whilst I may be prepared to get out, I don't actually think for a minute that we will. It is in reality just megaphone posturing to get a better UK deal which will be better than what we have now. I don't see Cameron's stance as any different to Maggie's bigger slice of the loaf stance some years ago.

It's interesting how often the needing a special relationship with America argument comes to the fore, when we do use it, we immediately accuse our government of being a tame American Poodle.

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spider9

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fourm member

By making sure that the EU referendum will only be after the Scottish independence vote means that Salmond has been given lots of ammunition to fight with.

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