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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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Quickbeam

Likes # 1

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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john bunyan

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As FE has said we have had a referendum in the '70's. One cannot keep on changing one's mind - we are in and the talk of another one will only create uncertainty in the minds of multinational potential investors in this country. It is quite clear that there is no appetite in the UK for "ever closer union" , for the Euro or for a "USE" but as a major member ,surely we would be best to seek to resist such moves from within. Countries like Norway (with a small population and big oil asset)appear to have achieved so called independence but in fact they have to abide by EU rules, and pay in a substantial amount without any input to decisions.In my view we are in and should seek to make alliances within the EU with like minded member states to achieve what we are aiming for, such as the "human rights" and other issues. While all this is going on we will lose influence in the EU.

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Aitchbee

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fm said:-

Aitchbee Are you saying you expected Nick Robinson to say;

'This is just a bit of political gameplay. At the end of the day, the UK will stay in Europe. This means I have no reason to keep taking my BBC salary so I'm off'?

My reply to your question is ... NO! (try twisting that one, fm).

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spider9

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fourm member

Very droll, I'm sure!

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johndrew

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The original 1974 referendum (under Ted Heath) simply asked if we wanted free trade. There was no mention as to the additional encumbrances seen since this vote - presumably because our elected leaders thought we would not understand if all the details were made available.

Given the extra bits of EU Law, taxes, immigration, costs, introduction of the Euro and many other items other than free trade we have seen since, I believe the population should be provided with another opportunity to decide whether to continue or not. I also believe this should be after a further opportunity to negotiate with Brussels as to the details of membership is taken.

The attitude of Brussels that one size fits all is being questioned by other member states who find their sovereignty and culture being modified adversely in a similar manner to the UK. Such impositions appear to conflict with the original intent of simple common market principles. It appears that two of the countries that wish to continue with the current status quo are France and Germany - these are two of the original members who wrote the framework.

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. As a result a renegotiation of our membership (which may also include other member states wishes) should take place and the resulting situation be put to a full referendum.

We were promised a referendum the last time changes were made but this was avoided by political interpretation; such a situation should not be permitted again.

As an aside, a straw poll in a French newspaper is reported to have elicited a 70% vote by its readership that the UK should leave the EU. With such feelings in one major member state about us I wonder what a straw poll in others would elicit!

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namtas

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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.

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