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


spider9
Resolved

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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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wiz-king

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When I know what the question(s) are I will think more about the answer.

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Forum Editor

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johndrew

"The original 1974 referendum (under Ted Heath) simply asked if we wanted free trade".

No it didn't - there was no referendum under Ted Heath. Heath negotiated our entry into the European Economic Community in 1973. Prior to that we had twice applied to join (in 1963 and 1967) but our applications were refused because the French President of the time - Charles de Gaulle - was afraid that if we joined English would become the common European language.

The referendum was in 1975, as I said earlier, and was held by Harold Wilson's Labour government.

The question asked was not about Free trade, as you appear to believe. It was simply: "Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?"

Harold Wilson, and the majority of the Labour Cabinet supported a 'yes' vote, and on the day 67% of the voters said 'yes'. It was a resounding victory for those who believed we should stay in. There was no way that we could possibly have been asked other questions about what you call "other encumbrances" because they couldn't be foreseen.

As for your remark that "I believe the UK population are far from stupid and have the ability to analyse the facts and detail if put in front of them" I'm afraid I don't share your optimism.

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Forum Editor

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namtas

"It is interesting that all those who write with so much conviction that it would be disastrous for us the sever links with the EC never back their beliefs with hard evidence, is that because none exists."

Talk about stating the obvious. Of course none exists, because we haven't left the EU. In the same way, those who write with such conviction that we should be better off if we pull out never back their beliefs with evidence, because there isn't any.

We're all expressing opnions, and none of us can be sure we're right. What we can do however, is used our brains to analyse the information that's freely available to us so our opinions can be informed, rather than be based on prejudice, or on a gut feeling.

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namtas

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john bunyan

Your link is a 1975 report. I am sure that everyone is wiser today but even so that report even at that stage suggests caution

**However, there are a number of limitations with these studies • Analyses are largely based on pessimistic assumptions and do not consider possible reform scenarios**

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namtas

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FE Talk about stating the obvious. Of course none exists, because we haven't left the EU. In the same way, those who write with such conviction that we should be better off if we pull out never back their beliefs with evidence, because there isn't any.

So if no evidence exists to back up your belief, to what are you basing your decisions on? and if as you say you have none how can you be so convinced that it would be disastrous for us to leave.

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john bunyan

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namtas The report in my link was revised in 2005.

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Flak999

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There is no doubt in my mind that it would be much better for us to leave the EU. I don't think that anybody back in 1975 envisioned us joining a "United States of Europe" I believe that most people thought that they were joining a trading block of like minded countries.

I will never believe that it is in this countries interests to give up our sovereign independence and suborn our interests to the leadership of a European superstate led by the Germans.

We fought two world wars to stop German hegemony over the continent of Europe and I for one do not intend to cede them ultimate victory via the back door!

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Quickbeam

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You'll certainly get flack for that reply!!!

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Quickbeam

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with or without the c...

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john bunyan

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To go back to the original question, on referendums.What would be the result of a referendum on death penalty, gay marriage, tightening immigration control, cancelling the EU court on "human rights" , whether the English want the Scots in the UK, and so on. The fact is we have a particular form of parliamentary democracy in which referendums are rare, and I remain uncertain if one on this issue is a good idea.

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